5 lessons learned from our win over Manchester City
Tensions boil over at Etihad
Both sides did not hold back from the get-go. This game was a lot more scrappy than the first leg which was more of a chess match. Sadio Mane’s (accidental) feet-first crash into Nicolas Otamendi brought back memories for Ederson, who shoved the Senegalese forward in the chest repeatedly but escaped a red card. The second half was very much different as both sides looked like they accepted the result after Mo Salah brought the game level and the match lost all of its tension.
Referee controversy mars first half
Antonio Mateu Lahoz had a brutal first half: he allowed far too much dissent, booked players seemingly at random, looked anxious and struggled to calm things down, allowing the game to get out of control early. Virgil van Dijk was certainly fouled by Raheem Sterling but the ref saw nothing illegal in the winger's actions which led to the first goal. 40 minutes later, it was City’s turn to be outraged after Leroy Sane goal was disallowed for a mystery offside after the ball went towards the German off of James Milner. Compared to Felix Brych’s highly-rated performance a week ago, the Spanish referee looked extremely unimpressive.
Unless the referee has given a foul Liverpool may have got away wit one there as it seemed to come off Milner.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) April 10, 2018
City give Reds taste of their medicine
The hosts started the match with some furious pressure deep inside the attacking half: this resulted in the first goal and several more goal-scoring opportunities. Liverpool struggled to move the ball up the field throughout the first half, committing one turnover after another. City were coming in waves and the Reds bent but nevertheless, they survived.
#LFC are showing no calm amid #MCFC's "thunderstorm" in a game being played at a ridiculous pace at the moment. They're offering no bite when the hosts lose possession, which is only fuelling City's appetite to go full tilt.— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) April 10, 2018
Attackers take full advantage of rare opportunity
Despite not nearly having sufficient service, Liverpool attacking stars made the most of the chances they did get. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino combined for two goals, even though the latter two were otherwise barely noticeable on the pitch. They were given two opportunities all night -- and that ended up being two too many.
8 – Roberto Firmino has also netted eight goals in a single Champions League campaign for Liverpool – equalling Mohamed Salah's record. Competitive. https://t.co/v7XRd0wggi— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 10, 2018
Guardiola-less City can't keep the pressure up
City manager got sent off for his argument with the referee at half-time. It's hard to say how much of City's second-half collapse can be blamed on their boss’s absence but his side never looked the same after the break. They looked mentally empty after what happened at half-time and were unable to get back into the game. The Spanish tactician may have cost his team the tie with his lack of discipline.