Despite Nunez’s strike, Diaz, Mane, and Konate placed Liverpool in pole position for the Champions League semi-finals.
Jurgen Klopp’s side made it seem so simple at the Stadium of Light during a terrific stretch there that you’d think they were playing Sunderland.
With strikes from Ibrahima Konate and Sadio Mane, they led 2-0 and were in complete control.
The only thing that could change was whether Liverpool would face Villarreal or Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.
Luis Diaz scored late to restore a two-goal advantage after Benfica’s Darwin Nunez made life difficult for them by gifting him a goal.
As a result, it’s almost certainly over. In the last four, Liverpool will travel to Spain or Germany.
Klopp now has a few things to consider ahead of Sunday’s title final against Manchester City.
However, you can bet that Konate will be replaced by Joel Matip, and that Jordan Henderson, another surprise substitute, will return to Klopp’s midfield.
Even so, the midfield with Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, and Fabinho, as well as the back four, were in complete control for the first half, and Klopp’s substitutions appeared to be spot on.
Bruno Lage, Benfica’s former manager, lent a hand to the team before the game.
The Wolves manager supplied all of Liverpool’s statistics from their December match at Molineux, which ended with Divock Origi’s 90th minute winner.
Benfica, on the other hand, failed to make a nuisance of themselves in the last third, aside from incessant diving.
It’s funny when you consider that just a week ago, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were the fiercest of foes in a World Cup play-off.
But they were connecting wonderfully and could have each scored a goal, but Konate put them in front.
It was shockingly poor defending from a squad at this level of the competition. The out-swinging corner by Andy Robertson was adequate.
Konate, on the other hand, was free to attack the ball and head it into the net without being challenged by Brazilian forward Everton.
Sadio squandered a free header opportunity, then Otamendi squandered a similar opportunity by failing to make contact.
And Otamendi was left to lament his luck as Liverpool scored on the opposite end.
A superb, creative diagonal ball to Diaz, who was deep in enemy territory but not close enough to score with a header, made it feasible.
He instead nodded the ball to Mane, who had the easiest of chances from a few yards out.
Diaz was all grins, which is understandable given that he was playing for Porto until January and isn’t exactly well-known in these parts.
Mane did not even bother to celebrate, which is what attackers do when they score a fifth goal in the Carabao Cup at home against a League Two club.
Salah was set free by Alexander-second Arnold’s class pass. Liverpool’s number 10 would have buried the chance a few weeks ago, but he gifted the keeper an easy save here.
Benfica had a few chances, but their finishing was poor, and Alisson was not put to the test until the ball was left in the net.
Konate was the obvious offender, and his performance was poor, as he failed to clear a cross from Rafa Silva.
Instead, the ball went straight through his legs, and Nunez took a single touch before firing a shot into the corner, leaving Alisson helpless.
Nunez had an opportunity to equalize but misjudged his header, and Alisson saved a fine Everton drive.
With the game’s momentum shifting, Klopp made a triple replacement, replacing Thiago with Henderson, Salah with Jota, and Mane with Firmino.
Nunez demanded a penalty after claiming that Virgil van Dijk shoved him over. Van Dijk was foolish to put his arm out in front of the Uruguayan, even though it was not a penalty.
Diaz then had the final laugh with only three minutes remaining.
He’s been a fantastic addition since arriving in January, and it’s rare to see a player acclimate to the Premier League so fast in the midst of the season.
Despite this, he read Keita’s excellent pass, around the keeper, and slid the ball into the empty net.
Klopp was all grins as he high-fived assistant Pep Lijnders, who had been looking tense. The quadruple is still on, despite their denials.