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Liverpool advance to Champions League quarters despite loss to Inter

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| PHOTO: Getty Images |
  • Liverpool lost 0-1 to Inter Milan in the second leg of the Champions League but won 2-1 on aggregate to advance through
  • Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal of the match at Anfield but could not help his side win on aggregate
  • Inter were also reduced to 10-man as Alexis Sanchez received to yellow cards to earn a send-off from the referee 

Liverpool eased through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite losing 1-0 in Tuesday’s second leg at Anfield with a 2-1 aggregate victory over 10-man Inter.

Late goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in last month’s first leg ensured the Reds were in control of the tie heading into the return fixture.

The hosts hit the frame of the goal through Joel Matip and Salah and looked under no threat until the point Lautaro Martinez fired in a stunning goal for Inter with an hour played.

Alexis Sanchez was sent off 107 seconds later for a second yellow card, however, and it was Liverpool who went closest to scoring the next goal when Salah struck the post.

Thiago Alcantara and Matip returned to Liverpool’s line-up and the latter picked out the crossbar from the best of Liverpool’s limited first-half openings.

Milan Skriniar superbly blocked Virgil van Dijk’s goal-bound header moments later, while Hakan Calhanoglu tested Alisson at the other end from a low free-kick.

Liverpool slowly started to turn the screw and should have been out of sight in the tie, only for Salah to fire against the upright after Diogo Jota was denied by Samir Handanovic.

Those wasted chances came back to haunt Jurgen Klopp’s side when Martinez unleashed a swerving 20-yard shot into the top-right corner.

Sanchez, who received a yellow for a challenge on Fabinho late in the first half, was sent off for following through on Thiago almost immediately after Martinez’s goal.

Liverpool 0, Inter 1 (Agg. 2-1)

Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the Champions League clash with Liverpool. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Liverpool were further frustrated as Salah’s cushioned volley came back off the upright, but the hosts protected their one-goal aggregate lead to reach the last eight.

Liverpool had won 12 games in a row in all competitions and gone just over a year – a run spanning 28 matches – since last losing at Anfield prior to this contest.

Martinez’s goal brought an end to both of those streaks, but the damage was not fatal for Liverpool thanks to their late double at San Siro three weeks ago.

Liverpool 0-1 Inter Milan

Inter Milan players celebrate after Lautaro Martinez scored against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League second leg at Anfield. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Despite their efforts, Inter could not join Manchester United as the second team to recover from two-or-more goals down at home in the first leg to advance in this competition.

Martinez’s goal was his first in 11 Champions League matches since netting against Real Madrid in November 2020 – and what an incredible strike it was from the Inter forward.

Unfortunately for him and Inter, former Arsenal and Manchester United player Sanchez was dismissed two minutes later, badly damaging the visitors’ hopes of a leveller.

Liverpool hit the frame of the goal on three occasions and were denied by a couple of superb last-ditch blocks from Inter players on a frustrating day at Anfield.

Salah had previously scored eight goals in seven Champions League games this term, but he failed to net from his three shots today, which had an expected goals value of 0.70.

Liverpool switch focus back to the Premier League on Saturday with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, while Inter head to Torino in Serie A on Sunday.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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