Porto - Liverpool set up a mouthwatering Champions League semi-final against
Barcelona on Wednesday after their superstar front three all scored in a
4-1 win away at FC Porto that saw them cruise into the last four 6-1 on
On a wet night at the Estadio do Dragao, Liverpool had to weather an
early storm before scoring from their first attempt just before the
half-hour mark, Sadio Mane prodding home for a goal given after a
lengthy VAR review.
Already in control of the tie after a 2-0 win at Anfield in the first
leg last week, Liverpool had effectively killed off Porto there and
then, but Mohamed Salah, substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk
added further goals after the break.
Eder Militao scored a consolation for the hosts 21 minutes before the
end, but this was another miserable night for them after they lost 5-0
to the same opponents on this ground a year ago.
Liverpool now march on to a clash with Lionel Messi's Barca, the
first meeting of the clubs since a last-16 encounter in 2006/07 that
Liverpool won on away goals.
The dream of a Champions League and Premier League double remains
alive for Liverpool and their supporters, whose spirits were not
dampened by the dreary weather by the banks of the River Douro.
This was their 17th game without defeat and their eighth straight
victory, although Barcelona will offer a far tougher test than that
provided by Porto.
The first leg of that tie is in a fortnight, and in the meantime
Liverpool will revert their focus to domestic matters, with games
against Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town up next.
With the matches coming thick and fast, Klopp made three changes to
his team here following Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea. Firmino and Naby
Keita, who both scored in the first leg, dropped out along with Jordan
They were replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Divock
Origi, with the latter making his first Champions League start for the
club. However, the Belgian only played the first half before making way
Indeed, he had hardly
touched the ball during a Porto onslaught in the opening stages, sparked
by a Jesus Corona shot just over the bar in the first minute.
They had 13 attempts on goal in the first 25 minutes, but would regret not scoring while on top.
When the away side finally made it into the box at the other end,
Salah -- his every touch jeered by the Porto support who felt he should
have been sent off in the first leg -- rolled the ball into the six-yard
area for Mane to get his 22nd goal of the campaign.
While the offside flag came up, the longer Dutch referee Danny
Makkelie spent conferring with his video assistants the more obvious it
became that the goal would stand.
Porto knew their chance was gone, with their fans cursing Mane again
-- he had scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's big win here in the last-16
tie last season.
The match opened up after the interval, with Trent Alexander-Arnold
releasing Salah to run through and beat Iker Casillas on 65 minutes.
Porto got their consolation shortly after when Militao -- who will
join Real Madrid next season -- rose to head in from an Alex Telles
corner, finally giving their support something to cheer.
They will be glad to see the back of Liverpool, however.
Mane missed the target after rounding Casillas, but Henderson set up
fellow substitute Firmino to head in the visitors' third on 77 minutes
and Van Dijk nodded in from a corner to round out the scoring.