Jurgen Klopp prepped his players for a Manchester City thunderstorm. Liverpool got a bit stung at first, but weathered the early storm to win 2-1 at the Etihad and complete a 5-1 aggregate win in the Champions League quarter finals, reaching the competition’s semi final for the first time since 2008.
Klopp’s tremendous European run with the club continued. Liverpool conceded after 2 minutes from a Gabriel Jesus goal (possible foul on Virgil van Dijk) and had to survive a ball hitting the post once (Bernardo Silva shot) and a goal wrongly disallowed by Antonio Mateu Lahoz, while City’s players, obviously with Guardiola guiding them, diving at every opportunity.
But City didn’t score and almost conceded twice in the first half. Guardiola berated Lahoz and was sent off at half time, which broke City’s players, setting the stage for Liverpool completing a double win over the league leaders in the Premier League in less than a week.
Mohamed Salah (who else) made the most of Sadio Mane fooling the City defense, scoring his 8th goal in the competition this season. If City and Guardiola (up in the stands) still believed things might go their way at that point (needing 4 goals) came a clinical finish by Roberto Firmino after a terrible mistake by Kyle Walker, shedding any doubt from the final result.
Manchester City lost for the third time in seven days, and now might be tilting heading into another crowning opportunity against Tottenham. Liverpool might not be built to handle two competitions this late in the season, but no one is complaining about putting themselves among Europe’s elite once more, and coming close to clinching another top 4 finish in the Premier League.
And who will they face? One team that’s already in the competition’s semi final for the first time since… 1984, when they lost to Liverpool in the final. AS Roma, after a shocking 3-0 win over Barcelona in the second leg and going through on away goals (4-4 after both legs). Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are expected to join them, but maybe not so much after tonight’s results.