Yet it was Liverpool whose approach turned out to be perfect in the circumstances as they followed up some staunch first-half defending to level through Salah in the 56th minute and seal the tie through Firmino 13 minutes from fulltime, clinching their third win against City this season.
That prompted some angry protests that continued after the half-time whistle, with City boss Pep Guardiola sent to the stands for complaining to referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The visiting side's frustration was compounded by the fact that the creative duo of Silva and De Bruyne barely had any time with the ball to even try for a comeback.
The game represented a rare instance when City faltered and paid heavily for their mistakes, however it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can replicate Wednesday night's magic in the second leg at the Etihad.
Punters' interest in UCL matches has only increased in recent years, particularly due to the growth of online betting platforms which have been handing out various attractive rewards to interested punters, for instance, the 888sport free bet.
The Egyptian striker has hit an impressive 38-goals so far this season and he wasn't risked in Saturday's 0-0 Merseyside derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park.
It was a while ago that I was in the semis! Manchester City showed signs of revival after Leroy Sane's laudable attempt at goal, but the renewed energy soon fizzled out at the end of the first half.
Gabriel Jesus admitted Manchester City's Champions League exit was tough to take.
Liverpool, who had beat Manchester City 4-3 in the Premier League in January, took the lead at their home turf just 12 minutes into the game after James Milner landed a slick ball on the touchline, and even though there were slight concerns about a potential offside as Salah took off from the halfway line, the Sky Blues were utterly helpless to prevent what ensued from that instant. "We have the chance to win". He fired back in one spiky but not ill-tempered exchange on Tuesday. I was expecting something like that but I liked the reaction immediately after that.
The United loss denied them the chance to wrap up the Premier League title with a record six games to spare and they may now need another two victories to secure the crown.
But the tricky point unquestionably arrives for Guardiola in April, with domestic matters in hand but not enough in the tank for the final European push. If he can master the art of peaking at just the right time, the champagne will taste that little bit sweeter.