Manchester, April 11: Mohammed Salah’s goal for Liverpool 10 minutes into the second half doomed Manchester City’s hopes of a miracle comeback in their Champions League quarter-final tie as the visitors won 5-1 on aggregate to advance to the European club football tournament’s semi-final for the first time in a decade.
Though City started in a hole after losing the first leg at Liverpool 0-3, the fans at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday were encouraged when Brazilian centre-forward Gabriel Jesus scored for their side just two minutes into the contest, trimming the deficit to 3-1, reports Efe.
The hosts kept Liverpool pinned in their own end for the entire first half, but City’s dominance did not translate into a lot of chances.
Reds keeper Loris Karius stopped a fairly tepid effort by Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and the post thwarted Portuguese winger Bernardo Silva.
City thought they had a second when German winger Leroy Sane pull the ball in the net in the 41st minute, only for referee Mateu Lahoz to disallow the goal for a non-existent offside.
At the end of the half, City coach Pep Guardiola confronted Lahoz to complain about the decision and the referee responded by sending him to the stands.
Buoyed by their good fortune, Liverpool looked like a different team in the second half, pressing to force City into mistakes.
Eleven minutes after the re-start, Salah released Sadio Mane on the counter and the Senegal international breezed past Laporte and Otamendi before City keeper Ederson came out. While the keeper thwarted Mane, Salah got to the loose ball and lofted it over Ederson, restoring Liverpool’s three-goal margin.
The contest was settled definitively in the 77th minute when Nicolas Otamendi’s failure to clear the ball on the right set up an easy goal for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, whi flicked past Ederson at the right post.