Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all make the scoresheet as Liverpool end Porto’s Champions League hopes.
A slow start to the game had Reds’ fans on their feet. Porto were in fourth gear from the first whistle and Liverpool made far too many mistakes.Embed from Getty Images
But it was the Merseyside club who struck first. A fantastic through ball from Salah found Mané at the far post for the only goal of the first half.
The second period was the complete opposite of its predecessor. Liverpool were in charge and were insistent on adding to their lead.
Salah then turned scorer for Liverpool’s second before two headers from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk capped off a comfortable win.
Shaky first half
Liverpool may have entered the tunnel with the lead but they were by no means the better side during the first half.
The first 25 minutes or so was dominated by the Portuguese side. They seemed high-spirited from the first whistle.
They troubled Liverpool defensively time and time again. The Reds couldn’t string three passes in a row before they turned the ball over.Embed from Getty Images
Porto enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with almost 60% and managed 15 shots.
The only statistic that mattered though was the score.
Sadio Mané’s controversial tap in off a sublime Salah assist meant Porto had to score four in a single half to advance.
If this was any other team they probably would have coasted to a win. But this isn’t just any other team.
Liverpool ran rampant after halftime. They were incessant.
They could have slowed the tempo after Mané’s goal. Then Salah worked his magic to calmly slot home after 65 minutes.
The Egyptian’s goal saw the team bring the ball end-to-end, positioning Salah in a one-on-one with Iker Casillas.
Although Porto managed to pull one back through Eder Militao, Firmino and van Dijk quashed any remaining hope they had.
Bobby’s headed effort came off a fantastic Jordan Henderson cross with only 15 minutes left to play.
While van Dijk’s header came during a corner and he was more than happy to celebrate a 6-1 victory on aggregate.
Liverpool had never lost to Porto in a Euorpean match and made sure to keep the streak alive.
They now take on Cardiff City in the Premier League this weekend before a massive Champions League semifinal against Barcelona.