The first tie of Liverpool’s Europa League quarterfinal was certainly eventful.
The sending off of Ryan Babel was a turning point that enabled Benfica to take charge with two second-half penalties.
Liverpool’s saving grace is their away goal. Scored early on through a wondrous back shot from Daniel Agger, it provides the Merseyside outfit with an opportunistic foundation to build upon.
If they can seize an early advantage, then they may make life a lot easier for themselves. Anything but a first-half lead, though, will offer fans much in the way of nervous desperation.
So what do Liverpool need to achieve in order to edge their way into the semifinals of the only trophy they are able to win this season?
I believe there are three main areas of both concern and importance that will determine the outcome of the night in Anfield on Thursday.