Liverpool will take a two-goal lead into the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Anfield after an important 3-1 victory over Benfica in Lisbon on Tuesday.
Liverpool scored twice in the first half to take command of this quarter-final tie before Luis Díaz grabbed a late clincher.
Ibrahima Konate rose highest to head the visitors into the lead from a corner before Sadio Mane added a clinical second to dampen the mood at a lively Estadio da Luz in a dominant first half.
The home fans ramped up the noise again shortly after the interval when Konate’s mistake allowed sought-after striker Darwin Nunez to pull one back for the Portuguese outfit and make it a contest.
But the Premier League side will have an advantage when they welcome Benfica in the second leg next Wednesday after Diaz added a late third with a composed finish after rounding Vlachodimos, who also denied Diogo Jota in the final moments.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said: “It was a tough game, what I expected. The crowd was there and we knew 2-0 is nothing, nice but not more. They score the goal and it was much more open than we wanted but the goalkeeper was probably the best player and made a couple of really good saves. We usually score more [in those situations] but we didn’t, mainly because of the goalkeeper. So credit to him.
“Coming here and winning an away game in the Champions League is tough. Obviously, Benfica fought for their lives.
“We could have scored in the last minute – the fourth one would be nice but we’re not in dreamland here.
“It’s half-time, we know much more about our opponent; they will go for it again. They won at Ajax; they ground out all the results out in the group stage that they needed. So we are aware of the quality and now we have a nice game in between and then we will be ready again for Benfica.”