Liverpool 0-0 FC Porto: Reds Hold On To Advance To Quarter Finals

Liverpool 0-0 FC Porto: Reds Hold On To Advance To Quarter Finals

maxwell-hogg
Maxwell Hogg
LiverpoolKarius; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Can (Klagan 80'); Lallana, Mane (Salah 74'), Firmino (Ings 61')
FC PortoCasillas; Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Reyes, Diogo Dalot, Oliver, Andre (Oliveira 62'), Bruno Costa, Corona, Waris (Ricardo Pereira 68'), Aboubakar (Paciencia 80')
REFEREEFelix Zwayer (GER). Henderson (YC 60') Dalot (YC 90+2')
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Well that's all from me for tonight! Thanks for following tonight's match with us and make sure to look out for our post match analysis and comments here at VAVEL UK. Have a wonderful night!

We now wait until March 16 to see who Liverpool face in the quarter-finals. The only other team through to the quarter-finals with the Reds are Real Madrid who won 5-2 across the two legs. With other top sides in control of their ties, Liverpool could await a blockbuster matchup in the next round.

Liverpool looked decent without Salah on the pitch to start. But it is almost like night and day when comparing the side with and without him. His introduction into the game this evening brought a new level of intensity from the players already on the pitch. He is no doubt Liverpool's heart and soul this season.

Porto gave it their all, but even if they were to convert most of their chances, they still would have fallen short. They simply didn't create enough to get a foothold in this tie.

FT: Its all even as both sides fail to find a breakthrough. All smiles from Klopp though as his side kept a clean sheet and advance to the quarter-finals.

90+2' YELLOW CARD Ings flicks the ball past Dalot who has no choice but to foul the Liverpool forward, earning a booking. Both sides are just trading possession back and forth as this one is all but over.

90' Ricardo Pereira tries to send a ball into the box, but his cross goes out of bounds instead. The referee puts his board up and there will be three additional minutes of stoppage time.

88' Gomez plays a cross on the ground to the back post, but Salah just barely misses out on the tap in. Not even a chance to breathe for Porto as Salah delivers another pinpoint cross to Ings who forces a brilliant save by Casillas.

87' The Porto fans are lively in the away end, loudly supporting their side despite the deficit score. Liverpool are passing around the back, slowing the game down after a couple of end-to-end chances in the last few minutes.

84' A free kick drops right inside the Liverpool six yard box, but the resulting shot is blocked well by the Liverpool defense. That should have been a goal and the Porto manager Sergio Concericao is visibly frustrated.

83' Felipe heads the corner over the crossbar, but are immediately back in possession and Liverpool struggle to hold onto the ball.

82' Salah has a go, but it is right at Casillas from an acute angle and doesn't trouble him at all. At the other end, a shot by Oliveira is deflected behind for a corner. 

80' SUBSTITUTIONS Can makes way for Ragnar Klavan and Aboubakar comes off for Goncalo Paciencia.

79' Moreno is dispossessed far up the pitch and Ricardo Pereira surges the ball forward into the space left behind by the Liverpool defender. Porto work the ball over to Corona who tries a shot, but is off target.

77' Perfect delivery from Salah from the top of the box finds the forehead of Milner, but he can only direct his header directly down the middle into the hands of Casillas.

76' Salah's first touch settles a long ball right on his foot outside the box. Playing a ball for an overlapping Gomez, Salah has had an immediate impact. Liverpool look to be kicking it up a gear in the final stretch.

74' SUBSTITUTION The Kop erupts as Salah enters the match for Mane. A decent showing by Mane today. Now here comes the Egyptian king.

73' Liverpool look comfortable on possession as time runs out for the visitors. With a 5-0 aggregate lead, the Reds can comfortably see this one out for the rest of the evening.

72' A bit of miscommunication amongst the Liverpool backline leads to a Porto corner kick. The ball is in a dangerous area, but Karius is on the scene to collect.

71' Another cross into the Porto box is gathered by Casillas. The veteran goalkeeper has been excellent tonight, coming out when needed and positioning himself well.

69' Corona works his way into the box, but is dispossessed and goes down in the box. Weak shout for a penalty is shrugged off by referee Felix Zwayer

68' SUBSTITUTION Ricardo Pereira comes on for Porto, replacing Waris.

67' Mane surges down the left hand side before switching play to the opposite side. A long ball is played to the far post by Henderson and is found by Mane, but his header lacks power and is easily gathered by Casillas.

65' Liverpool can't find a breakthrough and turn the ball over. Porto come surging back down the pitch and Aboubakar earns a free kick that results in no real threat.

64' A long ball by Milner is snuffed out, Lallana the intended target. The midfield is full of Porto players and Liverpool are struggling to work their way through it, playing primarily down the flanks.

62' SUBSTITUTION Porto decide to also make a change with Sergio Oliveira coming on for Andre Andre.

61' SUBSTITUTION Firmino's night is over as Danny Ings comes on to give the Brazilian a breather.

60' YELLOW CARD Henderson is booked for a poor tackle on Joe Corona. He isn't happy about the call, but with studs up it feels justified

59' Firmino charges down the center of the pitch and shakes Felipe off with his skill, but the Porto captain does well to block the shot while on the ground.

58' A long free kick fired toward goal in hopes of catching Karius on his back foot, but the shot is nowhere on target.

57' Not much happening as Liverpool slow play down trying to build possession. The ball is played side to side, but Liverpool can't find the way to break through on the edge of the box.

54' The Porto offense is starting to put serious pressure on the Liverpool defense, finding themselves in the box more frequently. The defense has done well to shut down shooting opportunities, but Porto is getting closer.

53' Gomez is beat on the ball by Abdul Majeed Waris who charges down the field and has a go at goal. Karius pushed the ball around his post for a corner kick. The resulting corner kick is cleared easily, but Porto remains in possession.

51' A low cross is played to Lallana in the box who lets the ball run.... for nobody as Porto takes possession going forward. 

49' A flicked ball from Can finds Firmino, but he is flagged offside. Firmino is struggling to time his runs tonight.

48' Henderson plays Lallana down the left side in space. Lallana plays the ball into the box for Milner, but he can only connect with the tip of his show, missing wide.

47' Porto trying to build their possession forward, but once again the Liverpool press has them back in their defensive third. 

HT: The teams are back on the pitch, and Porto gets us underway here in the second half.

We have the second half coming up here in a few, so make sure you stay tuned to keep up with all the action.

Porto have had some decent possession at spells of the game and have sent a couple dangerous balls over the top, demanding Karius' attention. While Porto look less likely to score, they have the Liverpool defense's full attention, and the Reds will need lookout for more of the same in the second half.

Other than that, Liverpool have been dominant attacking the right flank. The youngster Diogo Dalot has been given a huge start today, but has failed to rise to the occasion so far. If Liverpool score in the second half, it's  most likely coming from the right-hand side.

Mane had the closest chance for either side when his shot beat the post. It nearly turned into the goal off the post, but Porto did well to clear the danger after. 

HT: The whistle blows after not even a full minute of stoppage time to end the first half. Couple of decent looks by both sides, but it is Liverpool that look to be the more dangerous side.

45' A long ball over the top is played to Milner down the right hand side, but he can't get on the end of it.

44' Moreno goes down inside the Porto box, but the referee isn't interested. Replay shows there to be no foul play on the defender's behalf, bit of a dive by Moreno to be honest.

42' Can tries to play an overlapping Moreno into the box, but the pass is barely deflected. Can comes back in to win the ball back and lays it off to Henderson, who plays the ball out of bounds.

40' A long throw in from Porto into the box looks promising, but the referee calls a foul on the opposition and Liverpool once again assume possession. The Reds doing really well to hold onto the ball and get into dangerous areas.

38' Henderson plays a quick pass forward for Firmino, but the pass is too heavy and Casillas comes out to gather. Nearly offside again, but Firmino timed his run just right.

37' Henderson finds Firmino at the top of the box. He tries to play Mane through on goal, but the winger is judged offside. Third time now Liverpool have been barely caught offside. Porto is doing well to hold their shape.

36' Play down the right side by Porto is broken up by Moreno. Henderson tries to play Can over the top, but he is flagged for offside.

35' Dejan Lovren finds himself on the end of a free kick, but his resulting header in over the bar. The chances keep coming for Liverpool, and it feels as if they'll surely break the deadlock before the break.

33' Aboubakar nearly picks a lateral pass off by Milner. Liverpool need to be careful here, their passing needs to be better in the back.

32' Porto found themselves in a three on two counter attack, but the final pass is poor. The visitors have looked good, but lack that sharpness in their approach to really create chances.

31' WOODWORK Mane's shot beats Casillas but hits the post. The rebound is cleared. The closest chance so far.

30' Mane was almost clear down the middle to goal, but a last minute interception sent Porto on the counter attack. Liverpool did well to gather themselves, and Henderson picked a pass out to stop the threat.

28' Felipe clears a cross out of the Porto box. Liverpool keep possession and Mane tries to play Firmino through on goal, but Felipe is there to shield him off the ball for a goal kick.

27' Moreno tries to play another one-two, but once again concedes possession. Going forward he has looked poor so far tonight, not the performance he was hoping for.

25' Firmino finds the ball inside the box, but Porto captain Felipe clears the danger. Claim for handball by the Liverpool man, but they are shrugged off and play resumes. Didn't have much of a case anyways.

23' A foul by Can in midfield awards Porto a free kick. They take it quickly to try and catch Liverpool off guard, but they aren't tricked and push Porto back.

22' Porto is starting to build a nice bit of possession, but Liverpool's high press is making most of that possession take place in their defensive third. The visitors are really struggling to handle with Liverpool's high energy. Matip tries to find Firmino down the right side, but his pass is poor.

19' Down on the other end, Aboubakar once again almost finds himself on the end of a ball over the top, this time barely missing his touch. The Cameroonian is certainly making his presence known.

18' Can does well to hold up play on the right side and sends an overlapping Joe Gomez into space who whips a dangerous cross into the box. Mane got a touch to it, but couldn't direct the ball on target.

16' Aboubakar almost finds himself on the end of a nice ball over the top of the defense, but Loris Karius does well to come out and collect.

15' Alberto Moreno tries to play a one-two with James Milner, but Milner slips when trying to play the ball back as Porto clear.

14' Maxi Pereira is back into play and concedes possession to Liverpool on the sideline. The Porto fans can be audibly heard as they urge their team forward.

13' Jordan Henderson tries to play a quick pass to Mane after intercepting, but the pass is snuffed out by the opposition. Maxi Pereira is out of the game, still being attended to as Porto begin to put pressure on the Liverpool defense.

11' Porto slows the flow of the game down and build up possession before Maxi Pereira skillfully makes his way down the line. James Milner does well to tackle and Pereira is slow to get up.

9' A brilliant ball over the top finds Roberto Firmino, but the play is waved dead for offside.

8' Emre Can finds himself in space down the right and sends a cross to the box. Maxi Pereira heads back to the keeper to kill the attack.

6' Cross in by Liverpool is cleared with ease. Porto on the back foot here now.

5' Liverpool pass around the back as they try to settle themselves into possession. Not much happening early on as both sides try get their offense going. Henderson with a nice bit of skill to find himself in space on the left.

3' Porto see a nice bit of possession to start the match, but Liverpool's high pressing efforts force the turn over. Mane sent a nice cross into the near post after coming onto possession.

KO: Liverpool get us going from center field and this Champions League  round-of-16 second-leg matchup is underway!

A minute of silence is held in honor of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori who passed away in his sleep two nights ago.

Both sides are down the tunnel and exchange handshakes. Captains exchange banners and with that kick off is coming up.

The team buses are arriving as both squads prepare to warmup. A little over 45 minutes to kick off, so make sure you stick around for minute-to-minute updates of all the action tonight.

Casillas will continue to start ahead of Jose Sa after conceding five in the first leg, and Aboubakar does indeed make his return to the line up. They'll need goals from him tonight.

FC Porto Bench: Jose Sa, Ricardo Pereira, Luis Mata, Otavio, Sergio Oliveira, Brahimi, Paciencia

FC Porto Starting XI: Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Reyes, Diogo Dalot, Oliver, Andre, Bruno Costa, Corona, Waris, Aboubakar

Porto's team sheet just now coming in...

No Virgil Van Dijk or Salah as Klopp makes five total changes to his side. It will be interesting to see how the Liverpool offense works with Salah on the bench, and is a good chance to rest their main man ahead of the big trip to Old Trafford on the weekend.

Liverpool Bench: Mignolet, Van Dijk, Salah, Klavan, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings, Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool Starting XI: Karius; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Can; Lallana, Mane, Firmino

Our 8:45PM kickoff time is steadily approaching. In the mean time, the team news is starting to come in.

The hosts didn't lose a single match in the month of February, and the same goes for Porto if you look past their loss in the first leg. Both of these sides are playing some of their best football, but the margin of victory necessary may be asking too much of the visitors. A depleted striking force won't make their night at Anfield any easier.

Only once has a five-goal deficit been overturned in the history of the competition, and that was Panathinaikos coming back to beat Budapest Honvéd FC. There was the legendary four-goal turn around by ?FC Barcelona last year, but Porto must one up that feat if they are to go through.

Adam Lallana is set for his first starting appearance since he returned from injury, and his performance tonight could be crucial in working his ways into Klopp's plans going forward. Emre Can is also available again after serving a one-match suspension in the first leg for yellow card accumulation.

Liverpool have a relatively empty injury list, with only forgotten man Adam Bogdan and Nathaniel Clyne missing out on the evening game. Clyne has been inching closer to a return since resuming training in the last couple of week, but still has work to do before finding a place in the lineup.

Here's a quick update on both sides injuries and potential returns. Other than Marega and Soares, Porto have also travelled without star midfielder Danilo Pereira and starting left full-back Alex Telles. With two of Porto's scoring threats out-of-action, the return of Cameroonian forward Vincent Aboubakar is timely and welcome for the visitors.

Of course it is a given that Liverpool's Mohammed Salah is still in the form of his career, and he will look to continue to add to his impressive 32 goal tally. There has also been a resurgence for winger ?Sadio Mane over the past month, who has scored five times in his last three appearances. The Liverpool offensive machine is running at full-speed and surely have the quality to put this tie to rest.

Francisco Soares has scored five in his last four appearances and was the man that Porto hoped could bring their side back into this tie, but will miss out on the trip to Anfield due to a thigh injury along with leading goalscorer Moussa Marega, who is out due to a hamstring injury over the weekend. But with a 5-0 deficit, the visitors also can't afford to concede even once, which will certainly put the pressure on recently reinstated Iker Casillas and his backline.

Porto responded quite well to their stunning defeat over two weeks ago with dominant performances in Liga NOS. The league leaders have won their past four matches, scoring 15 times across them. This includes their weekend victory over table-chasing Sporting CP. Their ability to score in the past weeks will need to showcase itself today if the Portuguese side are to have any chance advancing to the quarter-finals.

Liverpool easily dispatched Porto in the first leg in Portugal and haven't seemed to miss a step since. A 10-day break after the first leg didn't slow the Reds down, who put four past West Ham United in their first game back. Liverpool also beat Newcastle United over the weekend 2-0 at home to keep their momentum rolling into the midweek clash.

Welcome all to VAVEL UK! We have Champions League action coming up tonight with Liverpool hosting FC Porto in the second-leg of their round-of-16 tie. A 5-0 drubbing of their opposition last time out has Liverpool already one foot in the quarter-finals, but Jurgen Klopp insisted his side are taking this game seriously. KO is at 8:45PM BST and, we will have minute-to-minute update's of this evening's game as it happens. Until then, stick around for some build-up tonight's matchup!

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