Champions League

Salah sends Liverpool into CL semi-finals

2018-04-10 23:02
Mohamed Salah (AP)

Manchester - Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool's return to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in a decade as a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday took them through 5-1 on aggregate and ended Manchester City's European dream for another season.

As it happened: Manchester City v Liverpool

On a night of high frustration for free-spending City, manager Pep Guardiola was sent off at half-time for taking his furious protests towards Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz too far.

City led the quarter-final, second leg 1-0 on the night at that stage after Gabriel Jesus's second-minute opener, but the hosts felt aggrieved after Leroy Sane had a second goal wrongly disallowed just before the break.

Salah ensured there was to be no stunning comeback when he coolly chipped home his 39th goal of the season 11 minutes into the second half before Roberto Firmino sealed a comprehensive aggregate triumph for the five-time winners.

Guardiola admitted beforehand that his side needed the "perfect" performance and the hosts got the perfect start as they opened the scoring after just 117 seconds.

Liverpool were unhappy at Mateu Lahoz in what was to be the start of a controversial night for the Spaniard when Virgil van Dijk claimed he had been pushed by Raheem Sterling in the lead-up to the goal.

The referee was unmoved, though, and with the Dutchman out of position, Fernandinho's through ball found Sterling and his low cross was swept home by Jesus.

Liverpool fans would have been forgiven if memories of their 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season came flooding back.

City were helped signficantly that September afternoon by a first-half red card for Sadio Mane and the home fans were screaming for the Senegalese to be dismissed again on 14 minutes for a late challenge on Nicolas Otamendi.

However, Mateu Lahoz settled for a yellow card and a booking for City goalkeeper Ederson, who rushed from his goal to push Mane persistently in retaliation.

Salah had been an injury doubt after limping off in the first leg, but Liverpool were unable to spring the Egyptian free in the first 45 minutes as City peppered the visitors' box with crosses without finding the final touch.

Bernardo Silva saw a deflected effort spin just wide and then rattled the post with a deflected long-range strike.

The turning point came seconds later when Sane turned into an empty net after Loris Karius's punch came back off his own player James Milner.

Mateu Lahoz wrongly ruled the goal out for offside, sparking City and, in particular, Guardiola's anger.

Liverpool could have delivered the knockout blow even before the break had Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to maintain his balance instead of firing high and wide after rounding Ederson.

Guardiola ran onto the field to pull his protesting players away from the official before embarking on his own rant at Mateu Lahoz that saw him watch the second half from the stands.

City understandably failed to maintain the intensity of their first-half display in a third huge game in six days after also blowing the chance to win the Premier League in a thrilling 3-2 Manchester derby defeat on Saturday.

Unsurprisingly it was Salah who got the decisive away goal and in some style.

Just like his opener in the first leg, Salah followed up after Ederson had denied Mane with a wonderfully-judged chipped finish past the despairing Otamendi in the 56th minute.

City were condemned to a third straight defeat for the first time in Guardiola's near two-year reign 13 minutes from time when Otamendi was caught in possession and Firmino slotted in off the far post to the delight of the Liverpool fans gathered behind Ederson's goal.

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Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke 04, RZD Arena 18:55
Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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