Porto 1-5 Liverpool: Reds in cruise control against sorry hosts
(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool walked away from the Estádio do Dragão with another famous one-sided victory over Porto, triumphing 5-1 on the night of Matchday Two of the UEFA Champions League

The Dragons' goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, had an evening he'd very much like to forget after playing a hand in three of Liverpool's goals, starting with Mohammed Salah's opener from close range. 

Costa simply avoided interaction with James Milner's cross for another tap in, this time for Sadio Mane, whilst Salah bagged his second following great work from star performer Curtis Jones.

Mutters of a late fightback after Mehdi Taremi's header were immediately hushed with a brace from substitute from Roberto Firmino to close out the win for Liverpool, who have won five and drawn one of their last six away games in the Champions League group stages.

The win extended the Reds' unbeaten record against the two-time European champions, with five wins in the last seven matchups and putting 14 past the Portuguese in their last three meetings. 

  • Story of the match

With clear-cut opportunities at a premium in the opening 15 minutes, the confidence exuded from the recent performances of Joel Matip recommenced in north-west Portugal as the Cameroonian swept up loose touches in the final third and made his physicality known.

Otavio's early withdrawal paved the way for Fabio Vieira's involvement in the tie, with the latter featuring in Porto's recent 2-1 win against Gil Vicente.

Liverpool's opener was orchestrated by the determination of Curtis Jones, venturing in from the left flank to unleash a finessed effort from his right peg in a similar vein to that of his first goal of the season against Brentford

None other than Mo Salah, recent inductee into the Premier League century of goals club, was there to tap in with question marks raised over 'keeper Diogo Costa's handling of Jones' effort. 

A period of possession-based dominance naturally followed suit for the Reds, with former Dragon Diogo Jota denied firstly by Fábio Cardoso and then by Costa's palm with two efforts in the box from the Portuguese.

Some of the football played by Jurgen Klopp's men was svelte and composed, at times quite casually gliding through an admittedly weak press from the home side in an endeavour to find that all-important second goal.

Luis Diaz, top scorer in Primeira Liga with five already this term, had his side's best chance to level with a wide enough angle to place a shot to the left of Alisson Becker, only to tamely roll a shot comfortable enough for the Brazilian number one to gather. 

Sadio Mane going down 25 yards out from goal would have been a fitting opportunity for the absent Trent Alexander-Arnold to have a crack at goal, who missed out through a groin injury. 

In his place, nevertheless, was captain Jordan Henderson who came close after a set-piece routine preceded a thunder-bolt strike that was well saved by Costa.

Whatever good work done by the man between the sticks was swiftly undone a matter of minutes later, bizarrely avoiding a comfortably placed James Milner cross with Mane the man at the back post gratefully slotting in another gift for Liverpool before the break. 

Jota would rue another missed opportunity to punish more complacency from the hosts, this time from the head of Jesús Manuel Corona who misdirected a ball across the box to the striker for Costa to recover well for his teammate. 

The sheer dominance of Liverpool was awe-inspiring, outweighing any doubts of the quality of the opposition and made a Champions League group stage match feel like a domestic cup tie in the early rounds. 

Curtis Jones encapsulated the grip his side had on the game, expertly intercepting in midfield, carrying the ball forward and laying it off to the Egyptian goal machine to nutmeg Costa and score his eighth in as many games. 

Substitute Vitor Ferreira was the recipient of Diaz's cut-back after some deft footwork from the talented youngster, firing directly into the arms of Alisson.

Jota was the sole survivor of a re-shuffle of the front three with 25 minutes remaining with an opportunity to make his mark on his old stomping ground.

The 24-year-old was unable to do so after switching the ball from his right to left foot just shy of the six-yard-area and agonisingly poke the ball into the side netting. 

Porto looked to flip the script through Mehdi Taremi's header, with Sérgio Conceição's men capitalising on a rare momentary lapse in defensive concentration when the Iranian ran goalside and past Joe Gomez to nod in.

Momentary lapses of concentration, however, were quite unfortunately Diogo Costa's memo on a night where the experience of a Pepe might have been required but for the Portuguese going down in the pre-match warm-up.

Jones once again threaded through a ball, this time for Roberto Firmino as Costa was caught in 'no man's land' haplessly trying to retrieve the pass, only for Firmino to round the 'keeper and roll the ball into the net from just inside Porto's half. 

Firmino got his second in four minutes, this time in less extraordinary circumstances to guide home following Fabio Cardoso's block of Jones' shot.

Andy Robertson and Milner's tireless effort throughout was a comforting highlight for Reds fans ahead of the visit of Manchester City this weekend, with the former tasked to cover Virgil van Dijk and deny Fabio Vieira a goal in the game's dying embers.

The emphatic nature of proceedings meant that Jurgen Klopp had the privilege of resting several key players, namely Mo Salah and Jordan Henderson, ahead of the crucial league game against City, all whilst tightening their grip at the apex of Group B of the Champions League

  • Man of the Match- Curtis Jones

Embed from Getty Images

The 20-year-old's stock is reaching an all time high after some increased minutes in the wake of injuries to Harvey Elliott, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita.

The Scouser in Liverpool's midfield was at the heart of what was done right and he did it all on the biggest stage, only building on his personal momentum constructed in the tense 3-3 draw to Brentford on Saturday. 

Jones created five chances and completed three key passes for his teammates, notching two assists, boasting an 89% pass success rate with 100% of his dribbles completed, all while making five ball recoveries.

A stellar 90 minutes in truly one of the great European performances in Red on the continent.

VAVEL Logo