Liverpool 2-0 FC Porto: Thiago shines as Reds take big step in their quest for a perfect Champions League group stage
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Thiago Alcântara dazzled once again under the Anfield lights as his goal set the Reds on their way to a fifth consecutive win in the UEFA Champions League.

Mohamed Salah etched his name on the scoresheet twenty minutes from time after wonderful interplay with captain Jordan Henderson down the Liverpool right, making it 17 goals in as many games for the Egyptian King.

The Reds remain the only Premier League team with a 100% record in Europe this season. A remarkably brilliant feat considering the level of opposition they’ve faced in every game.

Klopp’s men also became the first English side to score two or more goals in 16 consecutive games in all competitions for some 82 years.

Story of the Game

 

Despite Jurgen Klopp rotating his line-up, the Reds started the game on the front foot and young Tyler Morton, making his first start for the club, was excellent in and out of possession in the opening stages.

The Wallasey-born midfielder found himself in little pockets of space and was able to get the ball moving for the Reds against the high-Porto press.

The visitor’s high intensity start was the opposite of what we saw in the reverse fixture and their efforts were nearly rewarded on 11 minutes as Ibou Konate fumbled possession over to Otavio with an ocean of green in front of him. The Porto man played a drawn out out-two with Luis Diaz but luckily for the Reds, Kostas Tsimikas was able to do just enough to put off Otavio who shot wide of Alisson’s goal. A football cynic may have described it as a sitter.

Diego Costa in the Porto net was the source of most Liverpool’s goals in Porto back in September and he was very nearly at it again as his lethargic pass was cut out by Sadio Mane in front of goal. The ball travelled at speed towards Mohamed Salah, but the Egyptian forward couldn’t get the ball under control, much to the delight of the Porto shot stopper. A big let off for him.

Sadio Mane had the ball in the back of the net on 36 minutes but after a relatively quick VAR check, German referee Felix Zwayer ruled the goal out for offside.

After the interval, Liverpool remained in control of the game and on 52 minutes, Thiago Alcântara scored a simply ridiculous goal from 25 yards out. The ball trickled towards him pleading to be struck from range and the Spaniard did very much that. A perfect effort with the lases of his boots saw his strike fly into the bottom right-hand corner past the helpless Costa in the Porto net. It was technique at its very best. A magical footballer displaying his world class talent in front of the Anfield faithful.

On 70 minutes, the Reds doubled their lead through their top scorer, Mohamed Salah. The move started with starting debutant Tyler Morton spraying a wonderful ball over the Porto back line where Salah picked up possession, played an intricate one-two with substitute Jordan Henderson, shimmied past a falling Uribe, and dragged his fine shot to the near post past Diego Costa.

That was all she wrote in the tie and put the Reds on maximum points after five games in the ‘group of death’. Luckily for Porto, an AC Milan win in Madrid against Atletico kept their hope of Champions League knockout football very much alive. A win against the Madrid club in Matchday 6 will put them through. 

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