Liverpool have made it to their third semi-final of the season. With a 6-4 aggregate win over Benfica, the Reds have moved on to challenge Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final. This after winning the League Cup and making it to the yet-to-be-played semi-final of the FA Cup.
All great things! What’s less than great, though, is the way that Liverpool went about their victory. After Sunday’s draw against Manchester City, a second draw in a row was disappointing. Giving up the lead twice and allowing Benfica to score three goals at Anfield was another frustrating thing to witness. Pretty much every match from now until the end of the season is a must win, so seeing this slight dip in form feels concerning.
Of course, the argument could be made that the players did what they had to do to get through to the next round without expending too much unnecessary energy. Despite the three goals allowed, the Reds did finish up the tie without any visible strain.
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool captain, had this to say about the team’s performance in an interview after the game:
“I think we want to do better overall, but at the same time I felt as though we started the game really well. [In the] first half we could have scored one or two more goals. It was comfortable, but I think we’ll be disappointed in the goals that we conceded.
“There’s still plenty of stuff we can be better at, but overall, we knew it was going to be tough. At 3-1 it is never over, we wanted to give it everything. [There was] a lot of changes with fresh legs, but we’re through to the next round which is the most important thing.”
As Henderson said, making it through is what’s most important, and hopefully that dip in defensive form doesn’t push on into the games that they don’t walk into with a two-goal cushion.