Liverpool came through the Manchester City cauldron to win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium and secure a 5-1 aggregate win, thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Will they now win the Champions League?
After the frenzy of Anfield, this was very different. Liverpool had to withstand what Jurgen Klopp called the “thunderstorm” that City brought to the Etihad Stadium. The country’s top goalscorers throwing caution to the Manchester wind. When the opening goal came after only 117 seconds, the home side seemed as if they would prove irresistible.
But Liverpool showed that there is more to their game than attacking verve. Determination and resilience were the watchwords on the night. Virgil van Dijk shrugged off his early error, Dejan Lovren made a mockery of his critics, and Trent Alexander-Arnold belied his lack of experience to cope with Leroy Sane. City just could not find that second goal.
Liverpool would be marginal favourites to beat Roma, the conquerors of Barcelona, in the final four. Mohamed Salah, the scorer of Liverpool’s first at the Etihad, incredibly, the fiftieth he has been involved in this season, would fancy that reunion. But even if they were to start as underdogs against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, there would still be optimism.
With this new optimism and confidence can they go all the way to win it?