Dream week for Liverpool

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, center, heads the ball the Champions League quarterfinals, 2nd leg, soccer match between FC Porto and Liverpool at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)

Champions League:

Liverpool capped off one of its finest weeks in club history with a 4-1 win at Porto on Wednesday, a victory that booked them a spot in the Champions League semi finals. The Reds’ best and brightest led the team to victory, as in-form forward Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 26th minute before Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk all recorded second half goals to bust the game open. The Reds’ Champions League triumph comes just days after they earned a win over Chelsea to put themselves back atop the English Premier League table.

In one of the most thrilling games in recent Champions League memory, Tottenham booked a spot in the semifinals as they fought their way to a 4-4 aggregate tie and advanced on the away-goal tiebreaker. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with a curled strike from the left side of the box in the fourth minute, but Heung-Min Son scored twice in the next 20 minutes to give Tottenham a lead. City midfielder Bernardo Silva leveled the score at 2-2 only a minute later, then Sterling knocked in his second goal off a Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to give his side the lead in the 21st minute. In the second half, Sergio Aguero gave City a 4-2 lead as he finished off a counter in the 58th minute, but Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente scored a critical third goal in the 73rd minute off a corner. Sterling thought he earned a hat-trick winner in stoppage time, but VAR ruled him offside and Tottenham advanced with a 3-0 away goal lead after they won the opening leg 1-0 at home.

Ajax continued their remarkable Cinderella run in the Champions League as they advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win in the second leg of their matchup with Juventus on Tuesday. After the red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo headed home a goal off a corner kick in the 28th minute to give the hosts a lead, Donny Van de Beek evened the score as he finished a through ball in the 34th minute. In the second half, Ajax had an abundance of scoring chances before captain Matthjis de Ligt headed in the winner for the Dutch side in the 67th minute, which allowed them to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Superstar forward Leo Messi broke his Champions League Quarter Final scoring drought of 12 games with a pair of massive first half goals to lead Barcelona into the semifinals past Manchester United 3-0 at the Camp Nou. After winning 1-0 on the road in the first leg at Old Trafford, Barcelona dominated possession and held the majority of scoring chances on Tuesday, including Messi’s 16th and 21st minute strikes from outside the box that gave the Spanish side a commanding lead. Forward Philippe Coutinho put the icing on Barcelona’s win with a magnificent right-footed strike from 30 yards out to give Barcelona a 4-0 aggregate lead.

Premier League

Liverpool earned a huge 2-0 home win over Chelsea on Sunday at Anfield which allowed them to regain their spot at the top of the table. Forward Sadio Mane scored his 18th goal of the season as he volleyed home a cross from captain Jordan Henderson in the 51st minute to give the Reds the lead. Feeding off the momentum of Mane’s goal, Liverpool continued to press and Mo Salah cut onto his left foot on the right wing and stung a shot that flew into the top left corner to clinch all three points for the hosts.

Raheem Sterling scored on each side of the break to lead Manchester City to a 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday that gave them a brief lead at the top of the table before Liverpool’s win over Chelsea. Sterling scored off passes in the box for both goals, and Gabriel Jesus provided an insurance goal in the 90th minute as he finished off an attack. City controlled 73 percent of possession and outshot Palace 20-7.

Lucas Moura’s first-ever Premier League hat-trick propelled Tottenham to a dominant 4-0 win over last-place Huddersfield at home on Saturday, a victory which pushed them to third.


Story Salit is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at story.salit@uconn.edu.