Conscious of virtues and aware of weaknesses, the benfica was defeated by 1-3 against Liverpool in the 1st leg of the quarter-finals of the Champions Leagueon a night with a full house, enthusiastic, when the eagles deserved better luck in the game. The ability to fight and self-denial remained before one of the main candidates to win the competition, in addition to the question: what would the game and the tie be like if the penalty on Darwin had been signaled and implemented in the 67th minute?
the returns of Taarabt and Darwin to the starting lineup were the changes promoted by coach Nélson Veríssimo against the team that played in Braga, in the last round of the League, and each of them came up with different perspectives of performance against Liverpool.
How power of English training recognized by allthe 4x4x2 on red paper always became 4x5x1, with retreat of Gonçalo Ramos to the intermediate sector. Here, Taarabt’s mission was to support Weigl, but also to envision the depth that Darwin, solo in attack, could give, just like Rafa. These were the initial weapons of a Benfica that sought, first, to be compact.
at 6′ Darwin precisely exploited the left side of the opposing defense to create a cross that Everton was unable to fix at the far post.. Liverpool requested Salah three times in the opening minutes and the last of which, in the 8′, saw the Egyptian international fail to control the ball in front of Odysseas.
In the 9′, Salah, again, shot with danger to the deflection with the left foot of the eagles’ keeper. Keïta, first, Salah, then, in the 12′, they again tested the attention of the last man of the eagles. Thiago Alcántara, at 15′, shot over the top in a frontal position.
O Benfica began to feel the weight of foreign footballespecially when, at 17′, Konateheader, after Robertson’s corner on the left, opened the active (0-1). Everton jumped with the central defender on Vertonghen’s back and could do little to counter the execution and respective finishing. Keïta, soon after, at 20′, also headed in the area, but without the same success.
Everton gave a sign of resistance from the eagles in the 23′with a shot to the side mesh of Alisson’s goal. The flank variations and the certainty of the reds’ pass always put Benfica’s departures into the attack, and at 33′ it was in the scoring of a corner kick that the possibility of Benfica festivities was glimpsed. otamendihowever, he was unable to head properly in the small area.
The response from Jürgen Klopp’s men was lethal. Long throw for Luis Díaz, who, in the area, down on the left, watched Sadio Mané. This one only had to pull over in front of the helpless Odysseas (0-2).
Everton, on 37′, shot Alisson on the left and two minutes later Luis Díaz put the ball close to Odysseas’ right post. The red goalkeeper showed up again in the 45′. In a frantic minute, first Salah appeared isolated and shot at the number 99; in response, it was up to Rafa, in the area, under pressure from Van Dijk, to shoot in a dangerous zone over Alisson’s goal.
Which Benfica grew in the second half! Looking more towards the opposite goal, in an attempt to enter into the discussion of the result, the eagles reduced to 49′. Rafa’s quick incursion from the right, low cross to the far post and Darwintaking advantage of Konaté’s mistake and confusion, he beat Alisson (1-2).
Luz was excited, so were the players and the Benfica forced the English to work. Darwin, in speed and stride, at 52′, shot over in front position and outside the area. The scorer threatened again, in the 55′, heading into Rafa’s cross on the right.
One of the great goalscoring opportunities for the home team came in the 60′. Everton, in the center aisle, shot low and hard for Alisson’s tight save. Van Dijk opened his arms and questioned his colleagues about what was going on in the game, Benfica was on top and German coach Jürgen Klopp was dissatisfied with what he saw. And acted. In one go, Thiago Alcántara, Sadio Mané and Salah gave way to Henderson, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. But the Benfica remained compact in the search for a tie.
It could have reached 67′: a controversial bid in Liverpool’s penalty area went unchallenged. It all started with a throw to Darwin, in the left aisle, with the number 9 reaching meters and entering the area. Already facing Van Dijk, he took the ball out of the way, being prevented by the Dutch central’s left arm from advancing for the finish. O Luz’s public protested, the red players too, but Gil Manzano ordered them to follow and VAR Alejandro Hernández did not take action.
Nélson Veríssimo launched Meïte in place of Taarabt in the 70′ and Liverpool had the first shot in the second half in the 82′, seconds before the coach looked for happiness with the entry of Yaremchuk. At 86′, João Mário was still in the game, but in the next minute, at 87′, Luis Diaz set the resultappearing in the face of Odysseas and overtaking him (1-3). At 90’+7′, Diogo Jota still had the opportunity to score, but the eagles’ keeper blocked the shot again.
O benfica advances to the 2nd leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, at Anfield Road, on Wednesday 13 April at 20:00, with a two goal downbefore, on Saturday, at 18:00, at Estádio da Luz, he will receive the B SADin matchday 29 of the Bwin League.