Photo Credit: WSBuzz.com
By Israel Igiri
Liverpool humbled Manchester City, scoring three goals inside the opening 31 minutes in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Anfield to put one foot in the last eight of the competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s men blasted their way past the Premier League leaders with goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane to take a healthy advantage to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg of the tie.
Pep Guardiola’s men enjoyed a bright start at Anfield, but were left stunned when the Reds took the lead after 12 minutes as Salah scored his 38th goal of the season from close range. The Egyptian after receiving a pass from James Milner, played in Roberto Firmino and although Ederson blocked his initial shot, the loose ball fell to Salah who had the presence of mind to wait to see where the defenders were scrambling to before firing home.
Sane threatened to get one back for the visitors, but drove wide, before Chamberlain then doubled the hosts’ lead eight minutes later with his sensational, long-range strike. He was standing in an unmarked position when he decided to unleash a powerful effort that hurtled into the top corner of the net.
With the half-hour mark played, the Anfield crowd erupted into celebrations again as Mane sent Liverpool into an unbelievable, but deserved, three-goal lead. Salah’s ball was blocked by the City defence before he then sent in a lofty cross from the right, which found the Senegalese who headed it past Ederson and into the back of the net.
The Manchester side trudged off into the break 3-0 down, but came back better in the second half as they began to test the hosts’ defence more and were boosted by the withdrawal of Salah who appeared to have suffered a groin injury.
City continued their dominance in a bid to do a comeback but the Merseyside club remained composed and resolute to claim another famous Champions League victory Anfield and take a big step towards making the Semi-finals for the first time in eight years. Now, it will take only a miracle for the Citizens to go through.