A Lautaro Martinez strike secured a 1-0 win for Inter Milan at Anfield on Tuesday although the Italian champions failed to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit, with Liverpool advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals on aggregate score.
Liverpool hit the woodwork either side of the break as the hosts turned the screw to add to the late goals by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino at San Siro.
Joel Matip met a Trent Alexander-Arnold freekick in the first half but his header richocheted off the crossbar before Salah hit the post after the ball fell his way in the second half.
The visitors then stunned Anfield into silence as former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez fed Martinez, with the Argentine striker’s powerful effort beating Liverpool custodian Allison to find the top corner at the hour mark.
However, moments later, Sanchez received his second yellow card following a rash challenge on Spanish midfielder Thiago. The incident proved decisive as it defalted Inter’s momentum and helped Liverpool hold on to preserve their lead in the tie.
The hosts came close to sealing the tie, but were denied by the post a third time after Sadio Mane found Salah inside the box, with the Egyptian’s shot only hitting the base of the post.
Tempers started to flare towards the end of the game as Ivan Perisic and Jordan Henderson clashed by the touchline, with both camps becoming increasingly aggressive. Apart from Sanchez, six other player were booked in the game and a member of the Inter staff was also sent off.
The loss broke Liverpool’s seven-match winning run in the Champions League and was the first at Anfield in 28 games in all competitions since being beaten by Fulham in March 2021. It was also a rare occassion when Liverpool failed to score – having found the net 109 times in their last 43 games.
The draw for the quarterfinals takes place in Nyom, Switzerland on March 18.