Friday, 22 March, 2019

Sadio Mane double sends Liverpool through to Champions League quarterfinals

Liverpool players celebrate following Sadio Mane's third goal against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena APLiverpool players celebrate following Sadio Mane's third goal against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena
Shannon Reynolds | 14 March, 2019, 18:54

Last season's finalist booked a spot in the next round after beating Bayern Munich 3-1 on aggregate with Van Dijk bagging his first Champions League goal for Liverpool.

The Reds advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to goals from Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

Mane now has seven away UCL goals for the Reds - overtaking one Steven Gerrard who was the previous record holder. He has brought the same defensive organisation, but with more time and space to use his ball-playing abilities, he has also enabled Liverpool to be more dynamic playing out from the back.

All four English teams that entered the competition are still alive - and it means half of the quarterfinalists will be Premier League teams for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal all reached the last eight.

"We have a good series in the Bundesliga and we have to focus on that", Kovac said. We have set a mark that this wonderful club is really at the top of the landscape of European football.

"We all thing that's where this club belongs and tonight we proved it at least a little bit". I don't want to speak about it really.

Virgil van Dijk outjleaps the Bayern defence to head in Liverpool's second goal from James Milner's cross
GETTY IMAGESVirgil van Dijk outjleaps the Bayern defence to head in Liverpool's second goal from James Milner's cross

His last three scoring games have all been doubles and his timing could not have been more impeccable just as concerns were being expressed about Mohamed Salah's form of three goals in the last 10 and none in the last six - easily his longest run without scoring for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp praised Virgil van Dijk's impact on Liverpool's season and feels the best is yet to come as the club's fight on two fronts continues.

"Virg knows that he can play better than he did, especially in the second half, we played as good as is necessary and possible in a game like this".

And fans will hope the omens will show they can go all the way to the final again.

He told Viasport: "In both games we played too defensive, we didn't try to push forward to create [attacking] situations, also in the first game, and I think today we didn't risk so much".

Liverpool will discover their quarterfinal opponents when the draw is held in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.

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