UEFA Champions League: Liverpool labour to book semi-final place, face Villarreal; Manchester City wade off Atletico, set up Real Madrid clash



Liverpool players rejoice

Liverpool booked a Champions League semifinal showdown against Villarreal as the quadruple chasers survived a late collapse in Wednesday’s 3-3 draw against Benfica.

Jurgen Klopp’s side already had one foot in the last four after winning 3-1 in the quarterfinal first leg in Lisbon.

They were on cruise control for long spells in the second leg at Anfield, but had to hold their nerve before advancing 6-4 on aggregate after an uncharacteristic meltdown in the closing stages.

Also, another English side, Manchester City held off a late surge by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday as a bad-tempered stalemate at the Wanda Metropolitano saw Pep Guardiola’s side safely through to the Champions League semifinals.

Kevin De Bruyne’s first-leg strike last week at the Etihad Stadium proved enough for City to claim a 1-0 victory on aggregate in Madrid, although the Belgian had to go off with an injury which, if serious, would be a hammer blow to their hopes of winning the treble.

Kyle Walker also hobbled off in the second half.

City will now face Real Madrid, with Liverpool up against Villarreal in the other semi to complete an all Spanish-English line-up in the last four.