Liverpool booked their passage to the Champions League semi-finals this season after a 3-3 draw at Anfield tonight and a 6-4 aggregate victory over Portuguese giants Benfica.
The result will now pit Jürgen Klopp’s high-flying Reds against Unai Emery’s Villarreal, after the La Liga side ousted German giants Bayern Munich from the competition last night with a two-leg 2-1 aggregate victory.
Roberto Firmino has already scored as many Champions League goals (20) as Fernando Torres.
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 13, 2022
Brazilian international striker Roberto Firmino scored a brace for the Reds against the away team on the night that propelled him up the goalscoring charts to become the fourth Liverpool player to score at least 20 goals this season in all competitions, and although Benfica walked away with a high-scoring draw on a night in which Klopp rested a first-choice XI option box, Liverpool remain on the hunt for another quadruple this season but will continue to be weary of facing a team from Emery who has already proven his ability in cup competitions under the Spanish manager.
Liverpool player ratings
Allison (5.5) – Hardly the best day for the Brazilian international. He made a handful of saves but nothing special.
Joe Gomez (7) – A very solid start for Gomez, who substituted for Trent Alexander-Arnold that night. Good things from a player who is predominantly a centre-back.
Ibrahima Konate (7.5) – He scored against Benfica in both games for Liverpool and was generally good at all times. Growing like a red this season.
Joel Matip (6) – Not the best of him tonight and he certainly looks a bit more confident when deployed alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Costas Tsimikas (8.5) – Two assists tonight from the Greek international who usually plays when called by Jürgen Klopp and is a credit to the depth of the club squad.
James Milner (6) – Good overall. Nothing more and nothing less.
Naby Keita (6) – Like Milner, Naby Keïta had a good start, but remains largely inconsistent overall in his performance levels.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) – Not the best of it, but it was still decent and its utility in multiple phases of the game comes through most of the time.
Diogo Jota (7) – He got an assist and had some solid moments where he looked like a threat as usual.
Luis Diaz (7) – He did not directly contribute to any of the goals of the night, but his work rate and his ability to influence a game without a goal or an assist is a credit to him.
Roberto Firmino (8) – A brace for the Brazilian who remains one of Jürgen Klopp’s key players despite not always being the first choice at this stage.
Subtitled at 57 minutes: Muhammad Salah (6) – A night off for Salah from the XI and he didn’t do enough to earn a higher rating after being introduced.
Subtitled at 58 minutes: Fabinho (6) – He was given approximately thirty minutes in the evening but it was not his normal presence.
Subtitled at 58 minutes: Thiago (6) – A performance similar to Fabinho. He was fine with what they gave him.
Subtitled at 66 minutes: Sadio Mane (6) – Much less influential than who came in (Diaz), but a bad night off the bench was not a problem in general.
Subtitled at 90 minutes: Divock Original (N/A) – He entered the discount and had nothing to offer for reasons beyond his control.
SL Benfica player ratings
Odysseas Vlachodimos (5) – Poor performance by the Greek international, directly responsible for Roberto Firmino’s first goal of the night.
Gilberto (6.5) – It was a fairly decent outing for Gilberto, who can probably leave Anfield with relative confidence.
Nicholas Otamendi (7) – The veteran centre-back turned the clock back a bit and performed admirably at the heart of the defence.
January Vertonghen (5.5) – A shadow of the key center-back role in which he excelled at Tottenham for years. It just should have been so much better.
Alexander Grimaldo (7) – A solid performance from a player who continues to produce from the left-back position. Added an assist that it deserved.
Adel Taarabt (6) – He tried to get involved and caught a glimpse of his ability that was shown at times in the Premier League, but he was just okay overall.
Julian Weigl (6.5) – He showed the same calm on the ball and command and control that he showed at Dortmund. He was doing pretty well.
Diogo Gonçalves (6) – Scored a vital goal for Benfica in the first leg but was unable to replicate his previous performance on what was otherwise an average night.
Gonçalo Ramos (7) – A goal of his that he deserved in general. One of Benfica’s best players tonight.
Everton (6.5) – Lively and annoying as usual, but unfortunately he couldn’t offer more than that.
Darwin Nunez (7.5) – He scored a goal and showed throughout the proceedings why he is one of the hottest commodities in Europe right now.
Subtitled at 45 minutes: Roman Yaremchuk (7) – A goal off the bench from the Ukrainian international and overall he was a good presence in the centre-forward channel.
Subtitled at 66 minutes: João Mario (6.5) – Better than the man he replaced (Taarabt) overall with a rating that reflects that. Maybe I should have started.
Subtitled at 78 minutes: Paul Bernard (6) – Cheered on from the bench, but it’s always hard to take on Liverpool at Anfield and make a real impact.
Subtitled at 90 minutes: Gil Dias (N/A) – In discount time and with little chance of offering something remarkable at night.
Subtitled at 90 minutes: Andre Almeida (N/A) – The same fate as the aforementioned Dias. You just can’t get a grade.
What the managers said
🗣 “Villarreal probably have the most successful cup coach in the world of football, so he knows what he’s doing.”
– Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 13, 2022
🎙 “I think that all Benfica fans should be proud of the campaign that Benfica did in the Champions League”.
– ONCE Portugal (@ElevenSports_PT) April 13, 2022
what you may have missed
Darwin Núñez is the first player to score six goals for Benfica in a single match #UCL campaign:
⚽️⚽️ against Barcelona
️⚽️ against Liverpool
⚽️ against Bayern
⚽️ against Ajax
European royalty only. 👑 pic.twitter.com/9NDWisgcHb
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 13, 2022
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19:00, Wednesday 13 April 2022