Why Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League semi-final

On Wednesday night Anfield was host to the first all English European knockout tie since the 2010/11 season that saw United beat Chelsea 3-1 over two legs in the Champions League quarter-final, United went on to lose to Barcelona in the final, only their second final loss in the competition with the first also being at the hands of the La Liga giants just two years earlier.

All English ties have become somewhat a rarity this decade, compared to the last decade. 2008 alone saw as many as three collisions, also bring an English winner, again Manchester United.

As a football fan, all English ties are a craving but English clubs’ success levels in the competition in recent years have been low, thus leaving the possibility of such games very slim.

Liverpool and Manchester City met at Anfield and it was destined to be a cracker. Before the game it was evidently a difficult one to predict, the game promised to be electric and the winners had to be alert. I’m honest so I will admit to expecting a City win with both sides scoring and I was way off!

Within 12 minutes, Mohamed Salah broke clear of the City defence and found Firmino, who’s shot was poor.

The ball came back out and Firmino managed to find Salah, who was not going to miss! Salah was narrowly offside when the move started and you could forgive City fans at the time for feeling hard-done by.

The night went from bad to worse for the citizens as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a cracking goal. The tie was all-but over after Sadio Mane headed home in the 31st minute with Liverpool in cruise control.

The sky blues had absolutely no reaction to Liverpool’s goals, dominating the ball yet managing the whole game without a single shot on target. Pep Guardiola told the media he was pleased with his sides performance, an almost Louis van Gaal-like reaction to a dismal display.

Liverpool don’t have a team to match Europe’s elite, you could argue they don’t even have the team to match Manchester City, the Premier League table will back that up.

The most important thing is they stepped up for the occasion and gave their fans a night to remember, something I feel envious of in recent times as a United supporter having watched some of our players go into hiding mid-game against Sevilla, for example.

I want to give a special mention to the two Liverpool full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. They were fantastic on the night and deserve all the praise they get!

Alexander-Arnold, an academy graduate and Robertson, costing around £8m from Hull City, were steals for Liverpool in a world that so much emphasis is put on the extremely high transfer fees in existence.


Written by Jordan Hackett

Follow Jordan on Twitter @Devildart180

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