It was a comprehensive showing from Liverpool in Lisbon last week as Jurgen Klopp’s men ran out 3-1 victors at the Estadio da Luz against Benfica, giving themselves a two-goal cushion heading back to Anfield. Klopp will now be hoping to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third time in his tenure.
The Reds were in cruise control during the first half in the Portuguese capital, and they duly capitalised on their dominance, netting twice through Ibrahima Konate and a well-wrought Sadio Mane second. Darwin Nunez reduced the deficit shortly after the restart, but Luis Diaz restored Liverpool’s advantage at the death.
Merseyside now prepares itself for the visit of the Portuguese giants, with Nelson Verissimo needing a monumental effort from his players if Benfica are to turn this game around, but they have previous in that department. Only two clubs have ever won by more than one goal away to Liverpool in the knockout stages of the Champions League. One of those was Benfica in 2008/09.
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Liverpool vs Benfica: Match Stats
Darwin Nunez showcased last week why he is en vogue at the minute. The scintillating Uruguayan marksman brought up goal No. 5 in just nine Champions League appearances for Benfica this season. No player has ever netted more for the Portuguese side in a single season in the competition than him (sitting alongside Nuno Gomes with five in 1998/99).
Mohamed Salah may also prove a difference-maker in this contest. The Egyptian fired a rare blank last week, so he will want to put things right this time around. Incredibly, Salah has scored 14 goals in 23 appearances for Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League. If he scores against Benfica, then he will overtake Steven Gerrard (14) for the most goals scored by a Liverpool player at Anfield in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
05 Apr 2022 – Benfica 1-3 Liverpool – Champions League
08 Apr 2010 – Liverpool 4-1 Benfica – Europa League
01 Apr 2010 – Benfica 2-1 Liverpool – Europa League
08 Mar 2006 – Liverpool 0-2 Benfica – Champions League
21 Feb 2006 – Benfica 1-0 Liverpool – Champions League
The Reds have won each of their last five games against Portuguese sides in the Champions League, scoring 16 goals and only conceding thrice in that time. Overall, the Merseyside club are unbeaten in nine games against clubs from Portugal in the competition since Benfica won at Anfield in March 2006. Goals from Simao and Fabrizio Miccoli got the job done for Ronald Koeman’s men against Rafa Benitez’s side.