Liverpool 2-0 Porto: Champions League at a glance
All you need to know in 60 seconds …
Liverpool are one step closer to reaching a second successive UEFA Champions League final after taking charge of their quarter-final tie against Porto with a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
Not for the first time under Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool made a fast start in front of their own fans and took the lead after just five minutes thanks to Naby Keïta’s deflected effort.
Roberto Firmino was the provider on that occasion but – soon after Mohamed Salah had poked wide when clean through – was on the mark himself on 26 minutes, applying the simplest of finishes after a delightful Jordan Henderson pass had teed up Trent Alexander-Arnold to cross.
Even with two-thirds of the game remaining, that proved to be job done for the Reds, albeit they were grateful for several missed opportunities by Porto danger man Moussa Marega. As it was, the hosts settled for a two-goal advantage to take to Portugal next week.
View from the stadium: Matthew Howarth
Liverpool never relinquished control after Keïta’s fortuitous opener. Klopp’s team created enough chances – particularly in the first half – to have won by more, but their manager will be delighted with both the result and the performance. It is hard to see a way back for Porto next week, although stranger things have happened in this season’s competition.
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino
Firmino once again displayed intelligent movement throughout to perform a key role in this win. He dropped out wide to set up Keita’s goal and then demonstrated his own predatory instinct to apply the seal to a fine move for the second. The way the Brazilian drifts between the lines makes him a nightmare for defenders but a dream for Klopp’s system.
0: Porto have not won away to English opposition in 19 attempts. Their record is: W0 D3 L16 F10 A50.
2: Keita had not scored for Liverpool prior to his Premier League strike at Southampton on Friday; he now has two in two for the Reds.
5: Liverpool are aiming to reach their fifth UEFA Champions League semi-final.
12: Firmino has been directly involved in 12 goals in his 11 UEFA Champions League games at Anfield for Liverpool, scoring seven and assisting five.
14: Liverpool have now scored 14 goals in seven matches against Porto, conceding just two.
15: Liverpool are 15 games unbeaten in all competitions (W10 D5).
What does it mean?
Porto must beat Liverpool for the first time in eight attempts if they are to reach the last four. Last season’s 5-0 home defeat in the round of 16 does not bode well, though it has been a campaign for unlikely comebacks.
Liverpool welcome top-four chasing Chelsea to Anfield on Sunday before travelling to Portugal next week. After that the Reds have two more home games and two away assignments remaining in their Premier League title run-in.
Porto go to mid-table Portimonense on Saturday before hosting Liverpool. The Dragons, tied with Benfica at the Portuguese top-flight summit, then have a further five league outings left as well as a cup final meeting with Sporting on 25 May.