Liverpool face a daunting trip away to Portuguese giants FC Porto in their first away Champions League game of the campaign – but know a win could vastly increase their chances of winning this difficult group of death. LFC produced a clinical away performance, picking up a big 5-1 win to take control of the ‘group of death’.
The Reds had an impressive start to the game and took a rather fortunate lead in the 18th minute, when the ball was parried straight into Mohammed Salah’s path – allowing the winger to score into an open net.
Liverpool were hungry for more and after dominating possession the entire half, they got their second in the 45th minute when Sadio Mane tapped the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0!
Salah got his second of the night in the 60th minute – putting the ball through goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s legs to make it 3-0! Liverpool kind of slacked off after that and lost their clean sheet – with Mehdi Taremi scoring an impressive header in the 75th minute.
The FC Porto goalkeeper’s nightmare continued as he basically gifted Roberto Firmino a goal in the 77th minute after coming miles off his goal – allowing the Brazilian striker to hit a weak shot that slowly crept into the empty goal.
Firmino got another one in the 83rd minute by a stroke of luck – blasting the ball into the net from an open area to make it 5-1! A formidable win for the Reds after a dominant performance and a few more performances like these should ensure the group win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Porto
Jurgen Klopp (8.0) –
Everything worked out perfectly for Klopp today. He had his side motivated to torment Porto with their attacking work & high press style and ensured the hosts crumbled to the pressure. While LFC were lucky with a few goals, Klopp won’t care as his side definitely deserve this big result after how they dominated the game.
A big win before the Man City game at the weekend and Klopp will have to repeat some of the same magic at the weekend to produce a similarly big win in that one.
Alisson (6.0) –
Alisson was first tested in the 38th but strongly held onto the shot from afar. Makes an impressive reflex stop in the 62nd to stop FC Porto from making it 1-3. Not really able to do much to stop the Porto goal and wasn’t tested much after that.
James Milner (8.0) –
With Alexander-Arnold unavailable, Mr Reliable Milner sots in as a right-back today. Well, he surely didn’t allow Trent’s absence to be felt and whipped in a perfect cross past many defenders to set up Mane’s goal. Milner really enjoyed himself out there, topping many defensive stats and causing problems with his crosses. Looked a bit annoyed to be subbed after the hour-mark.
Virgil van Dijk (7.0) –
Big Virg ensured that Porto were kept very quiet in the first half, maintaining a really strong defensive line. Hardly put in a foot wrong all game long, winning 6 duels, making 4 interceptions and dominating the Porto defenders.
Joel Matip (7.0) –
Matip looks much more composed from the Brentford game & is making good use of his physicality to win key duels. Ended up winning 7 duels and 4 aerial ones, maintaining a really strong backline with VVD and riding on the wave of momentum with his teammates.
Andy Robertson (8.0) –
Robbo looks more like his old self, bombing forward down the left-flank and whipping in inviting crosses. Makes an impressive forward run to help set up a big chance for Jota in the 25th. Managed to find the ball inside the box in the 48th – but his thunderous shot was parried over the bar.
Made a fantastic last-ditch challenge to deny Porto a second goal. Robbo owned the left-side, bombing up and down that side and winning all the key duels. Created a lot of chances, hassled the forwards with his sharp defending & looked at his energetic best.
Fabinho (7.5) –
Fabinho’s helping LFC dominate the midfield battle with his tenacious nature and also contributing a lot defensively to protect his backline. Absolutely dominated the Porto midfielders with his persistent pressing & helped his side maintain total control throughout the game.
Jordan Henderson (7.0) –
The LFC captain looks vibrant in midfield today, moving the ball forward efficiently & creating stuff with his crosses. Denied a sweet goal late in the first half, when his impressive long-ranger was tipped just over the bar. Hendo ensured that LFC were on top of the game all the time, moving the ball forward really well & urging his teammates to keep going for goals.
Curtis Jones (8.5) –
Jones seems motivated after the goal against Brentford & sets up Salah’s side, as it was his powered attempt that was parried away before falling into Mo’s path. Took an ambitious shot from afar in the 33rd, but it saved very easily. Superbly stole away possession and then set up Salah’s second with an impressive defence-splitting pass.
Played a role in Firmino’s second too, as it was his attempt that hit a Porto player before falling straight into Bobby’s path inside the box. Nearly got his goal after taking a venomous long-ranger in the 86th – but only to see it saved. Ran the show in midfield.
Sadio Mane (7.5) –
Mane looked menacing moving down the left and also linked up really well with Robbo. Got a rather fortunate goal when Milner’s cross went past a sea of bodies to allow him to score into an open net. Tormented Porto’s defenders with his sparky movement and helped create some impressive moves. Subbed after the hour-mark – mostly with the City game in mind.
Diogo Jota (7.0) –
The in-form forward plays against his former side in this one. Nearly got his goal too in the 25th after being spotted in the eight-yard box, but saw his attempt go over the bar. Reacted quickly to pounce on a defensive error in the 51st, but his finish wasn’t good enough to go past the goalkeeper. Denied by the keeper again in the 54th – with his volley being parried away swiftly.
Jota was found inside the box again in the 63rd and took a clever touch before attempting a shot which only ended up hitting the side-netting. Fate just didn’t have it for him to get a goal today.
Mo Salah (8.5) –
Salah produced a real predator’s finish for the opener, pouncing on a defensive error to tap the ball into an open net. Oozing with confidence and moving the ball forward really efficiently. Cleverly pounced onto Jones’ pass before smartly nutmegging the goalkeeper to get his second. Not given the chance to complete his hattrick, but Mo helped get the job done with a clinical performance.
Roberto Firmino (8.0) –
Firmino didn’t take much time to make an impact after being brought in. Showed sharp reflexes to fool the goalkeeper outside the box and sneak the ball into the back of the net. A bit fortunate to get miles of space to score his second, but made no mistake powering it into the goal past the goalkeeper.
Joe Gomez (N/R) –
Gomez was slightly at fault for Porto’s goal, as he lost track of Taremi in the eight-yard box and allowed him to head in the consolation.
Takumi Minamino (N/R) –
Wasn’t really involved in anything prominent in his cameo.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/R) –
Struck a venomous free-kick on target in the 89th, forcing a sharp save.
Divock Origi (N/R) –
Unable to do much in the final few minutes of the game.
MAN OF THE MATCH
LFC played really well as an entire unit today, but I’ll give the MOTM to Curtis Jones. He was extremely influential in midfield & basically helped set up 3 goals. Deserves to start vs City.