Champions League - 2nd Leg
Man CityManchester City1LiverpoolLiverpool2

Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Etihad Stadium
Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City
Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 50 goals in all competitions this season - 39 goals and 11 assists

Liverpool reached their first Champions League semi-final for 10 years after coming from behind to win at Manchester City and secure an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win.

City made the perfect start as they tried to reel in a 3-0 deficit from the first leg when Raheem Sterling set up Gabriel Jesus for a cool finish after only two minutes - but they never recovered from a contentious incident just before half-time that saw manager Pep Guardiola sent off.

Bernardo Silva had struck the post and with Liverpool under intense pressure, Leroy Sane scrambled home what City thought was a crucial second.

The goal was ruled out for offside even though the ball came off Liverpool's James Milner and Guardiola marched on to the pitch in an explosion of fury to remonstrate with referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The outburst saw him forced to watch the second half from the stands.

With Guardiola away from his technical area, City lost momentum and the visitors delivered the killer blow of the away goal when, inevitably, Mohamed Salah chipped in his 39th goal of the season after a powerful run by Sadio Mane in the 56th minute.

Roberto Firmino's classy finish 13 minutes from time completed the formalities and Liverpool will now have their sights set on a sixth triumph in Europe's elite competition.

The Reds will discover their semi-final opponents when the draw is made on Friday at 12:00 BST in Nyon, Switzerland.

Magic Salah delivers again

Salah's fitness was the major topic of conversation around Liverpool's team selection before this game - and his decisive contribution in the 56th minute demonstrated exactly why.

The striker was substituted in the first leg with a groin problem but was fully fit and restored at the start as Liverpool protected that three-goal lead from Anfield.

The Egyptian was powerless in the first half as City tried to claw that deficit back in a thunderous first 45 minutes that saw Jurgen Klopp's side under siege.

In this golden season, however, Salah only needs one chance and so it proved again as he collected the ball as it ran loose from Mane's drive into the area before delivering a composed lofted finish with the confidence of a man who feels he cannot miss.

These are the sort of game-changing contributions needed at this elite level and Salah delivers them.

It was fitting that the underrated Firmino added Liverpool's second with equal calm as City ran out of hope - but it was Salah's cool head in this frantic atmosphere that changed the course and emphasis of this quarter-final second leg.

Liverpool entered this season's Champions League at the play-off round but have made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007-08
Liverpool entered this season's Champions League at the play-off round but have made it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007-08

Guardiola loses cool as Man City curse luck

City will feel they were on the rough end of the decisions as they complained that Sterling should have had a penalty when he was fouled by Andrew Robertson and Salah's opening goal at Anfield was offside.

The sense of injustice was burning again here when what could have been a crucial goal to put City 2-0 up was ruled out for offside.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unhappy with the referee during Manchester City's Champions League game with Liverpool
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shouts at the referee at the end of the first half. The City boss had to watch the second half from the stand after being sent off

Milner got the final touch but the flag went up in a moment that was effectively the end of City's challenge on the night.

Guardiola lost his cool, storming onto the pitch to gesticulate wildly at the referee as the players trooped off at half-time.

It was enough to see Guardiola sent to the stand and the debate will rage about just how much of an influence this had on City in the second half without their manager to orchestrate and inspire from the technical area.

Guardiola has history with Lahoz after he was angered by a penalty awarded to Monaco in the last-16 first leg of the Champions League at the Etihad last season, which was missed by Radamel Falcao, and also his failure to award Sergio Aguero a penalty in the same game.

Tuesday night's result was City's third damaging defeat in six days after defeat at Anfield in the first leg followed by the concession of a two-goal lead at home to Manchester United when victory would have brought them the Premier League title.

But their efforts were appreciated by the home supporters who applauded them off warmly.

It has been a painful few days for Guardiola and his players - but at least they will soon have the league title to console them.

Can Liverpool go all the way in the Champions League?

Liverpool will draw huge confidence from emerging successfully from this all-Premier League quarter-final - and there will have been delight when news filtered through from Italy that Roma had stunned Barcelona.

Klopp's side have the quality in attack to trouble any of the defences left in the Champions League, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich looking favourites to join Liverpool and Roma in the last four.

Liverpool's defence rode their luck and had their nervous moments here but the bottom line is they restricted City to one goal over two legs.

The final aggregate score was convincing, although City will complain long and hard about some decisions.

Liverpool cannot match the experience of battle-hardened Champions League campaigners like Real and Bayern.

However, the potency of their attack, their growing momentum and the history that gives the club a sense of destiny in this competition means they will have high hopes of lifting the trophy for a sixth time.

Man of the match - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah
Another game, another goal for Mohamed Salah. His cool equaliser on the night took the wind out of City who had dominated a breathless first half.

Familiar territory for Liverpool - the stats

  • Liverpool have reached the semi-final stage of the European Cup/Champions League for the 10th time - the only English team to have appeared in more are Manchester United [12].
  • After reaching the Champions League semi-finals in each of his first seven seasons in the competition as manager with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola has failed to make this stage in both of his campaigns with Manchester City.
  • Liverpool are the first team to beat a side managed by Guardiola three times in a single season.
  • Jurgen Klopp has beaten Guardiola more often than any other manager [seven wins].
  • Guardiola has only progressed in two of his eight Champions League knockout ties as a manager in which his side lost the first leg [v Porto in 2015, Arsenal in 2011].
  • Guardiola has lost three consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since May 2015 as Bayern manager.
  • Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have both scored more goals in a single Champions League/European Cup campaign for Liverpool [eight each] than any other player in the club's history.
  • Gabriel Jesus has scored three goals in three games against Liverpool in all competitions, more than against any other team since his debut with Man City.
  • Liverpool have scored 33 goals in the Champions League this season - the most by an English side in a single campaign.

What's next?

Manchester City head for Wembley looking to avoid a fourth successive defeat when they meet Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday [19:45 BST]. Liverpool will know the identity of their Champions League semi-final opponents by the time they kick-off against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday [17:30].


Man City

Formation 3-4-3

  • 31EdersonBooked at 14mins
  • 2Walker
  • 30Otamendi
  • 14Laporte
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forAgüeroat 66'minutes
  • 7Sterling
  • 20Bernardo SilvaBooked at 30minsSubstituted forGündoganat 74'minutes
  • 33Gabriel Jesus
  • 19Sané


  • 1Bravo
  • 4Kompany
  • 8Gündogan
  • 10Agüero
  • 18Delph
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 47Foden


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Karius
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 29minsSubstituted forClyneat 81'minutes
  • 6Lovren
  • 4van DijkBooked at 65mins
  • 26Robertson
  • 21Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 7Milner
  • 11SalahSubstituted forIngsat 89'minutes
  • 9FirminoBooked at 35minsSubstituted forKlavanat 81'minutes
  • 19ManéBooked at 14mins


  • 2Clyne
  • 17Klavan
  • 18Moreno
  • 22Mignolet
  • 28Ings
  • 29Solanke
  • 58Woodburn
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 1, Liverpool 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 1, Liverpool 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Danny Ings replaces Mohamed Salah.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

  5. Post update

    Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Nathaniel Clyne replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Ragnar Klavan replaces Roberto Firmino.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus tries a through ball, but Leroy Sané is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 1, Liverpool 2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Sadio Mané.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Ilkay Gündogan replaces Bernardo Silva.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Leroy Sané is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Leroy Sané with a cross following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aymeric Laporte.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero replaces David Silva.


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