Porto 0-5 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool came away from their visit to Portugal with five goals, that included a Sadio Mané hat trick and a clean sheet to show for it.
Jurgen Klopp had been preparing for this lineup throughout February. He’d given some experience to Karius and rested Henderson in our Premier League win over Southampton. Nothing was going to stop Klopp from having the strongest possible squad he could for our latest Champions League fixture. We were strong.
The weather in Portugal was absolutely terrible for the travelling fans and team. Imagine booking a holiday to “sunny Portugal” (like the tourist guides describe it) and then arriving to the downpour of rain that Liverpool had to play their football in. Everyone would deserve their money back. That’s not how the weather is supposed to be! Well, both teams still did their best to play through the waterlogged pitch and it was a surprise that any goals could be scored with the wet ball, let alone five.
It took 25 minutes for the goalscoring to start. Mane had received the ball inside of the penalty area and took a shot to the bottom right hand side of the goal. Normally, a shot from that angle would be saved and it did even hit the underside of the diving Porto goalkeeper before powering off his body and going under him, into the net. Maybe it was the rain that helped the ball deflect off the wet goalkeeper and keep going into the goal but Liverpool were winning and that’s all that mattered in that moment. Porto 0-1 Liverpool
The next goal came only 4 minutes later. Milner had gotten into a dangerous position on the left hand side of the penalty area and attempted a shot himself but it hits the post and bounces out right to Salah. He has the goalkeeper closing down on him but Salah keeps his cool under the pressure, flicking the ball to the left of the keeper and then heading it down to himself before he could strike a right footed shot from within the 6 yard box into the net. It sounds easy from that range but he had to position himself perfectly while moving around in a tight space to beat the goalkeeper and a defender who wanted to block his shots. Porto 0-2 Liverpool
Only half an hour had passed but Liverpool had a two goal lead and took it to half time after another quarter of an hour of dominance by the away side. This was not unlike our visit to Southampton, which we’d been winning by 2 goals at half time also but hadn’t managed to score in the 2nd half of that.
Liverpool would improve upon that Premier League result and score in the 2nd half of our Champions League fixture, three times.
The 3rd goal of the game would arrive within 8 minutes of the 2nd half starting. Liverpool started an attack from inside their own half, with a backheel from Firmino giving Salah the opportunity to further press into a very dangerous position . Salah looks to get an assist rather than a goal this time so passes back into Firmino, whose shot is saved and by Sa but only pushed into the path of Mané who shoots the ball through the wet pitch and into the net from close range. No matter how close he is, he still has to strike the ball powerfully or it’d just get slowed down by the water. Porto 0-3 Liverpool
Liverpool fans would have to wait until the 69th minute for their next goal. Milner is pushing up the pitch and puts the ball across the pitch for Firmino who is around the penalty spot. There’s defenders and a goalkeeper to try and stop him but he can and does score from that range. Cue acrobatic Capoeira moves from Bobby in celebration.
The 5th and final goal would come much closer to full time.
Porto were probably already tired and just wishing it would all end so they could get out of the rain and into the warm, dry dressing rooms but the 85th minute saw Liverpool score once more.
Mané moved into the penalty area with the ball, then just let fly a very powerful shot that flew past Sa and into the net for completing Mané’s hat trick. Well done! that seals the victory and gives Liverpool 5 “away goals” to take back to Anfield. It’s doubtful Porto can beat that back in Liverpool. Even a defeat of Liverpool up to 0-4 for Porto should see an aggregate scoreline that can’t be ignored. We won’t let them even get near that result at Anfield though, surely.
Man of the match
Well, did anyone score a hat trick? Yeah, Mané did and fully deserves almost all the credit (or at least 3/5) for helping Liverpool to the 5 goal victory. That’s plenty of away goals to hold against Porto in this two leg tie that continues at Anfield eventually. It’s a lot to overcome for them and Liverpool likely will be progressing to the Champions League Quarter Finals once that fixture is complete. We’re clearly not a “one-man team”. Salah scores a lot but Mané outscored Salah in this fixture. Liverpool have threats all around our strong squad. Jurgen Klopp knows what he’s doing with all these players. When they’re playing at peak performances, Liverpool are unstoppable.
Liverpool play West Ham again on February 24th, 3PM kickoff. We beat them already in London, but we’ll see how it goes at Anfield this time.
Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.