Thiago and Salah on target as Reds keep up perfect start

3 days ago 332
ThiagoThiago scored his first goal of the season for Liverpool

Liverpool maintained their 100% record in the Champions League this season by seeing off Porto at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's men, who had already secured top spot in Group B and a place in the knockout stages after winning their first four games, picked up another three points against the Portuguese side.

The Reds were not at their best in the first half and although hardly at full tilt in the second either, they scored two lovely goals to clinch another victory.

Spain midfielder Thiago drilled in a stunning, long-range finish, cutting across the ball to produce a rasping 25-yard strike that nestled in the bottom corner.

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah then cut in from the right and jinked his way past a visiting defender before smashing home at the near post.

Porto were punished for missing a glorious chance after 11 minutes when Otavio inexplicably side-footed wide from eight yards out with an empty goal to aim at.

Liverpool hammered Porto 5-1 in the reverse fixture in Portugal and could have handed out another similarly emphatic victory but Sadio Mane's cool finish was ruled out by VAR for offside, as was Takumi Minamino's volley from close range.

Klopp said: "Whoever sees Thiago in training knows he has the technique to do it but even with this technique it doesn't happen constantly that he can fire such a thunderball.

"We could have done better and been more calm in the first half but we were a bit hectic. That is not unusual when you put a team out that has not played together a lot.

"Some people think we might play an easy game but we were not here for that, Anfield is sold out so we want to go (for it)."

The good news for Porto was that AC Milan secured a late victory at Atletico Madrid, meaning the Portuguese side stay second in the group.

Victory for Sergio Conceicao's side in the final group game against the La Liga champions will guarantee passage into the knockout stages.

Thiago coming good?

Klopp rested defender Virgil van Dijk, right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and midfielder Fabinho while also resisting the temptation to start full-back Andrew Robertson and skipper Jordan Henderson, both of whom are returning to full fitness after injuries.

However the 2019 European champions still had too much class for Porto.

Thiago has endured a stop-start time since joining the club at the start of last season as he adjusted to English football and struggled to gain any rhythm as he dealt with regular injuries.

But the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich player showed his quality at times last season and is doing so more regularly in this campaign, backing up Saturday's excellent performance against Arsenal with another fine showing on Wednesday.

He played just over an hour and recycled the ball in trademark fashion - but the highlight of the night was his goal in front of The Kop.

There looked to be no danger when Porto cleared a corner out of the area, but Thiago showed sublime technique to score his first goal of the season.

The prolific Salah was quiet for much of the contest but converted the one chance that fell his way to take his tally to 17 goals in as many games this term.

His strike meant Liverpool have scored two or more goals in 16 consecutive games in all competitions, the first English team to achieve that feat since Wolves in 1939.

Mane saw a shot deflected away from goal and scuffed off target from a promising position, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - enjoying an extended run in the side - screwed wide from the edge of the box.

Academy product Tyler Morton, 19, filled in for Brazil's Fabinho and played the full 90 minutes on his first Champions League start in the middle of the park.

Klopp added: "If you are in our squad, you are good football player. I have been in the business long enough not to throw players in who are not ready.

"Neco Williams can play, people might be surprised with Tyler Morton but he did exceptionally well. He is a good player and really pleased for him that he put a performance in like this."

Porto will be glad to see the back of Liverpool having failed to beat the Reds in their past 10 meetings and extending their poor record in England to just one win in their past 23 games.

Had winger Otavio taken the early chance that fell his way, it could have been a different story but their big game is now against the Spanish champions.

Player of the match

Thiago AlcántaraThiago Alcántara

with an average of 8.10

Liverpool

  1. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara

  2. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah

  3. Squad number26Player nameRobertson

  4. Squad number14Player nameHenderson

  5. Squad number10Player nameMané

  6. Squad number3Player nameFabinho

  7. Squad number15Player nameOxlade-Chamberlain

  8. Squad number7Player nameMilner

  9. Squad number76Player nameN Williams

  10. Squad number80Player nameMorton

  11. Squad number18Player nameMinamino

  12. Squad number27Player nameOrigi

  13. Squad number32Player nameMatip

  14. Squad number21Player nameTsimikas

  15. Squad number5Player nameKonaté

  16. Squad number1Player nameAlisson

FC Porto

  1. Squad number7Player nameDíaz

  2. Squad number9Player nameTaremi

  3. Squad number16Player nameGrujic

  4. Squad number8Player nameUribe

  5. Squad number20Player nameVitinha

  6. Squad number27Player nameSérgio Oliveira

  7. Squad number10Player nameFrancisco Conceição

  8. Squad number19Player nameMbemba

  9. Squad number29Player nameAntonio Martínez

  10. Squad number12Player nameSanusi

  11. Squad number23Player nameJoão Mário

  12. Squad number30Player nameEvanilson

  13. Squad number2Player nameFábio Cardoso

  14. Squad number99Player nameDiogo Costa

  15. Squad number25Player nameOtávio

  16. Squad number3Player namePepe

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 76N Williams
  • 32Matip
  • 5KonatéBooked at 29mins
  • 21TsimikasSubstituted forRobertsonat 64'minutes
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forMilnerat 82'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 80Morton
  • 6Thiago AlcántaraSubstituted forHendersonat 63'minutes
  • 11SalahSubstituted forFabinhoat 71'minutes
  • 18Minamino
  • 10ManéSubstituted forOrigiat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 4van Dijk
  • 7Milner
  • 13Adrián
  • 14Henderson
  • 20Jota
  • 26Robertson
  • 27Origi
  • 47Phillips
  • 62Kelleher
  • 66Alexander-Arnold

FC Porto

Formation 4-4-2

  • 99Meireles Costa
  • 23Neto Lopes
  • 19MbembaBooked at 75mins
  • 3PepeSubstituted forCardosoat 25'minutes
  • 12Sanusi
  • 25Otávio
  • 27OliveiraSubstituted forVitinhaat 64'minutes
  • 8UribeBooked at 40minsSubstituted forGrujicat 78'minutes
  • 7Díaz
  • 30de Lima BarbosaSubstituted forMartínezat 77'minutes
  • 9TaremiSubstituted forConceiçãoat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Marchesín
  • 2Cardoso
  • 10Conceição
  • 11Aquino Cossa
  • 16Grujic
  • 17JM Corona
  • 18Manafá Jancó
  • 20Vitinha
  • 22Wendell
  • 28Almeida Costa
  • 29Martínez
  • 50Vieira

Referee:Felix Zwayer

Attendance:52,209

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Liverpool 2, FC Porto 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, FC Porto 0.

  3. Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Neco Williams.

  4. Attempt saved. James Milner (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Neco Williams.

  5. Foul by Takumi Minamino (Liverpool).

  6. Luis Díaz (FC Porto) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. James Milner (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

  9. Marko Grujic (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Hand ball by Neco Williams (Liverpool).

  11. Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

  12. Attempt blocked. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tyler Morton with a headed pass.

  13. Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Marko Grujic.

  14. Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Zaidu Sanusi.

  15. Substitution, FC Porto. Marko Grujic replaces Mateus Uribe.

  16. Substitution, FC Porto. Toni Martínez replaces Evanilson.

  17. Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  18. Chancel Mbemba (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Foul by Chancel Mbemba (FC Porto).

How to follow Liverpool on the BBC banner

Liverpool banner footer

Source Article