Sadio Mane’s brace inspired Liverpool to a convincing 3-1 win at Bayern Munich and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Senegal forward’s excellent 26th-minute opener gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a priceless away goal but, in a similar vein to the goalless first leg at Anfield, the action was fitful and error-strewn for the most part.
Bayern were level at the break thanks to Joel Matip’s own goal but Niko Kovac’s side were never able to mount a sustained victory push.
Fabinho, a surprise omission from the Liverpool starting XI, was soon pressed into action when Jordan Henderson suffered an early ankle injury.
The visitors settled well despite that setback and – moments after Roberto Firmino flashed a snapshot wide – Mabrilliantly brought down Van Dijk’s raking ball, spun a needlessly marauding Manuel Neuer and chipped in a sublime finish.
Liverpool’s lead lasted until six minutes before half-time when Serge Gnabry darted in behind Andy Robertson and Matip put through his own goal with Robert Lewandowski lurking.
Neuer dealt unconvincingly with a well-hit Mohamed Salah drive that was straight at him in the 50th minute, with Bayern struggling for rhythm.
Gnabry remained a reliable outlet – not to mention a menace for Robertson – and he whipped a dangerous ball between the goalmouth and a sliding Lewandowski as the hour passed.
However, the Poland striker would like to have given Van Dijk far more work before the defender rose at the back post to power home James Milner’s 69th-minute corner.
Bayern were finished and Mane added late gloss on the end of Salah’s floated cross.
In the other game at Camp Nou, Barcelona also booked a Champions League quarter-final place with a 5-1 home win against Lyon secured thanks to Lionel Messi’s inspirational performance, triumphing on aggregate by the same scoreline.
After last month’s goalless first leg, Messi opened the scoring at Camp Nou from the penalty spot, with Philippe Coutinho adding a second prior to half-time.
Although Lucas Tousart sparked hope of a second-half Lyon fightback, Barca held their nerve and Messi struck again before Gerard Pique and substitute Ousmane Dembele wrapped up the scoring to seal a place in the last eight, where a bigger test likely awaits.