Liverpool achieved another resounding victory in Porto, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scoring two goals in the Reds’ 5-1 Champions League victory.
Jurgen Klopp’s team already had two major victories to their name at the Estadio do Dragao in their recent past, winning 5-0 in the 2017/18 season and 4-1 the following year, although the Liverpool manager had downplayed them. . on Tuesday’s trip.
But it was largely the same that Liverpool produced a devastating display. The first two goals were tap-ins by Salah (18) and Sadio Mane (45) in the first half as the visitors dominated the game.
They continued to control the game after the break and extended their lead when Salah (60) scored his second goal of the night after some more incredible work from Curtis Jones.
Porto was given a ray of hope when a low header from Mehdi Taremi beat Alisson in the 74th minute. But, shortly after, Firmino (77) scored his first goal just 10 minutes after entering as a substitute after a second error by the afternoon of the Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
Firmino’s second goal came four minutes later after a lengthy VAR control for offside, and the forward was deemed to be in play when he swept home in the 81st minute.
5 – Sadio Mané has scored five goals against Porto in the UEFA Champions League, the most by a Liverpool player against a single opponent in the competition. Thorn.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 28, 2021
The victory keeps Liverpool at the top of Group B with six points, two points ahead of Atlético de Madrid, which beat AC Milan 2-1 with a late penalty. Porto remains in third place.
It also bodes well for Liverpool fans, as in the previous two seasons they have beaten Porto in the group stage, they have reached the Champions League final.
How Liverpool enjoyed another trip to Porto
Porto were forced to make a pre-match change when Pepe was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by rookie Fabio Cardoso. There was also another forced change within 15 minutes when Otavio tore his hamstring and was replaced by Fabio Vieira. However, Porto did have the first notable effort when Luis Diaz’s feeble effort was stopped by Alisson at the near post.
But, in the 18th minute, it was Liverpool who took the lead after an excellent job from Jones down the left, cutting inward before seeing his shot parried rather carelessly by Costa. Zaidu Sanusi was unable to keep the ball under his control, with Salah lurking to roll the ball over the line.
Port: Costa (5), Corona (5), Cardoso (5), Marcano (6), Zaidu (6), Uribe (5), Oliveira (5), Otavio (n / a), Martínez (5), Díaz (7 )), Taremi (5).
Subs used: Vieira (6), Grujic (5), Wendell (5), Vitinha (6), Pepe (5).
Liverpool: Alisson (6), Milner (7), Matip (7), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (8), Fabinho (7), Jones (9), Henderson (8), Mane (8), Salah (8) , Jota (7).
Subs used: Gómez (6), Firmino (7), Minamino (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Origi (n / a).
Man of the match: Curtis Jones.
From then on, Liverpool dominated again. Diogo Jota should have added the second before half an hour, but his first effort was blocked. His second on the rebound was then shot into the stands, but Costa had it down the stretch.
Diaz was the brightest offensive spark for Porto in a limited first half, and he had another shot in the 38th minute, but his feeble effort was too easy a collection for Alisson. Soon after, Jordan Henderson came close to a fired free throw, but saw his fierce shot flipped over the crossbar.
Liverpool deservedly doubled their lead at the break. James Milner, replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right back, sent a cross into the box that caught all of Porto’s defenders and left Costa stranded in the six-yard box. His inexplicable goalkeeper saw the ball roll towards Mane at the back post, who hit the ball into an empty net.
- Liverpool made a change from the team that drew against Brentford at the weekend. Trent Alexander-Arnold stayed home with a groin injury and was replaced by James Milner at right back.
Liverpool continued to push for the third early in the second half, and was soon rewarded. Jones was the instigator again, earning an inning in midfield before entering the area. Porto’s defense was in disarray when his diagonal pass separated them to find Salah at the back post. So it was an easy ending for the striker to his second goal of the night.
Díaz once again unleashed the best spell of the Porto game. He cut the area from the left, before returning the ball to Vitinha, on loan to the Wolves last season, but sent his effort straight to Alisson. Shortly after, Porto withdrew a goal to give themselves a ray of hope. Vieira found himself in space down the right, sending a superb cross that Taremi headed home after getting in front of Joe Gomez.
But the joy was short-lived, as Costa made another dire mistake. Jones hit the ball over Firmino’s run, with the keeper running to meet the striker. Sensing an opportunity, Firmino pumped the ball forward, leaving Costa running after him. However, the ball crossed the line long before the Porto stopper cut it, with the goal easy to hit.
Four minutes later, it was another five-goal shot for Liverpool at the Estadio do Dragao and a second for Firmino. There was a bit of a wait for confirmation, as initially his goal was scored offside. Jones fired from range, hitting Cardoso’s arm and landing in Firmino’s path, and duly scored.
After a control by the VAR, which would also have looked for a possible handball, the goal was given to crown another well-deserved victory before Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City, live on Sky Sports.
Man of the Match – Curtis Jones
Adam Bate from Sky Sports:
“It wasn’t a surprise that Salah, Mane and Firmino were the scorers in Liverpool’s win, but it was Jones, their youngest starter, who was the star of the show.
“Jones set three of the five goals and did much more, on and off the ball, to underline his growing importance to this Liverpool team. He was the catalyst.
“Klopp had been gesturing for his players to speed up the play as they stroked him from behind with the scoreless score midway through the first half. Jones did a lot better than that. Recognizing the space was open, he veered off in looking for him and lunged at the defense.
“It was a quality moment and it showed that the 20-year-old midfielder is ready to do more than just play it safe, score the ball and wait for the big names to deliver it. He has that arrogance, that appetite and ability to make them play. things happen himself.
“Jones can still do the simple stuff too. Yeah, there was a languid ball forward and a failed attempt to tip a pass back when he saw Salah in space, but those moments stood out for a reason. They were the only two times. in the first half he missed a pass.
“Forty more found a partner in those 45 minutes, his passing accuracy was the best of all on the field. His total of 28 completions in the middle of the opposition before the break was also more than anyone else. It was a performance that demanded attention.
“With this evidence, he seems ready for a bigger role. His work for the third goal illustrates that better. Winning the ball was great, running with him was good too, but the presence of mind to pick the right pass was even better.
“The fourth owed something to a miserable goalie after Jones sent the ball down the left channel more with hope than expectation, but he had done well to retain possession in a difficult position before that. He capped off what was a wonderful night. for him.
“While Milner impresses by maintaining his level. Jones could be finding a new one.”
Opt for statistics
- Liverpool remain undefeated against FC Porto in their nine meetings in all competitions (six wins and three draws); In club history, only against Scunthorpe United and Walsall have they played more often without ever losing (11 each).
- Liverpool have scored more than 3 goals in six consecutive games for only the third time in the club’s history, after doing so in May 2009 and October 1892.
- No player has provided more UEFA Champions League assists to Liverpool (excluding playoffs) than James Milner (12, tied with Steven Gerrard).
- Roberto Firmino was only the third substitute to score twice in a UEFA Champions League game for Liverpool, after Ryan Babel v Besiktas in 2007 and Georginio Wijnaldum v Barcelona in 2019.
It’s another great game for Liverpool this weekend: they host Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports; start at 4.30 pm. His next Champions League game is on Thursday October 19 with a trip to Atlético de Madrid.
Porto meet Pacos Ferreira on Saturday in the Primeira Liga and welcome Milan to Stadio Dragao in three weeks.