Player ratings as Luis Diaz inspires Reds to first leg win

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Goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz earned Liverpool an important Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Benfica in Lisbon.

Konate and Mane had given the Reds a 2-0 lead in the first half, before the highly-rated Darwin Nunez capitalised on a defensive error to scored at in the 49th minute. The irrepressible Diaz then put the game beyond doubt with an 88th minute third.

Liverpool started brightly, with Diaz causing Benfica problems from the outset. The former Porto man created the first chance of the game inside the opening three minutes, beating his man out left before looping a cross into the box. Naby Keita broke from midfield to latch onto it, but was unable to keep his subsequent header down.

Five minutes later the Reds came close to bagging an opener. Some wonderful interplay between Mane and Mohamed Salah – which included a cheeky backheel from the former – led to Salah finding himself through on goal on the right hand side of the penalty area. However, Alex Grimaldo was on hand to get a toe on his effort on goal, spinning the ball out for a corner kick.

The barrage continued in the 11th minute, with Salah turning provider for Keita, whose effort from the edge of the box was clumsily palmed clear by Odysseas Vlachodimos. It wasn’t pretty, but the goalkeeper did just enough.

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