Liverpool has one foot in the Champions League semi-finals, as they rocketed their way to a 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.
Anfield was brimming with a spine-tingling atmosphere as the match got off to an intense start, with both teams prepared to battle it out. For the first 10 minutes, Manchester City seemed to just edge ahead as the dominating team.
However, it was Liverpool and Mohamed Salah who would set Anfield alight. After 11 minutes, Trent Alexander-Arnold released Salah, who streamed down the pitch towards goal and set up Roberto Firmino, only for the Brazilian’s shot to be saved. However, Salah scrambled for the ball to smash it into the goal.
⚽ Thirty-eight goals this season for Salah.
— Sky Bet (@SkyBet) April 4, 2018
Liverpool showed no intention of stopping there, as they rocketed to a 2-0 lead thanks to the Ox from outside the box. After 20 minutes, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain received the ball just outside the box, took a touch, and then let it rip as he sent an absolute screamer fizzling past Ederson.
— 90min (@90min_Football) April 4, 2018
Liverpool looked absolutely terrifying on the attack, while City appeared well and truly rattled.
The Reds’ intensity showed no signs of letting up as they pressed and pressed, attack after attack, leaving City with no chance of settling their nerves.
Jürgen Klopp had every reason to fist pump his way down the sidelines as his side’s rampant display racked the score up to 3-0. Sadio Mané thundered the ball into the back of the net from a header in front of goal. The Reds were rocking; City was shellshocked.
12′ Salah ⚽
21′ Oxlade-Chamberlain ⚽
30′ Mane ⚽
— bwin (@bwin) April 4, 2018
A dream first half for Liverpool but a nightmare for the visitors. Pep Guardiola’s side barely had a sniff of the ball as the men in red hounded and harassed the City players out of possession, not even allowing them one shot on target. The Reds headed into halftime on a high as the City players came off the pitch looking hustled and bullied, surely relieved for the chance to recollect themselves.
0 – Manchester City failed to direct a single shot on target in a game for the first time since 26th October 2016 (v Man Utd in the League Cup). Blunt.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 4, 2018
However, the real question at halftime was could Liverpool keep calm and continue steamrolling their way to victory or would they lose their nerve and implode into chaos?
It seemed things were starting to go downhill for the hosts as the Egyptian King was withdrawn early in the second half due to injury, and replaced by Gini Wijnaldum.
Bad news for @LFC fans as Mo Salah limps off with a suspected groin injury!
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) April 4, 2018
Manchester City appeared to have found their groove at the start of the second half, beginning to challenge with the ball and have their first sight of goal. Liverpool started to struggle as they started to feel City’s attacking pressure for the first time in the game.
However, it was to no avail, as their attempts didn’t come to fruition. The Blues’ attacking attempts left them with no clearcut chances as Liverpool managed to seal a 3-0 victory.
Liverpool made their return to the Champions League knockout stages in style thanks to their intense first half performance. The Reds came away with a firm grip on the tie and City facing a mountain to climb next week.
Anfield was bouncing at the final whistle, but will Jürgen Klopp’s side be able to shake the Etihad next week?