Four-goal Liverpool make easy work of Porto to progress to Champions League semi-final


Liverpool made light work of Porto with a 4-1 win to progress to their second Champions League semi-final in as many years.

The Reds added to the two-goal lead carried through from the first leg to ensure progression to the next round.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring, after a VAR review, before Mohamed Salah doubled the lead in the second half.

Eder Militão’s header beat Allison from close range but it proved a mere consolation goal as Porto were well-beaten as substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk added goals number three and four for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were easily second-best at Estádio do Dragão as the hosts dominated the opening stages.

Jesús Manuel Corona found himself in a great position to score after just thirty-three seconds, but the tricky winger was unable to keep his fizzing effort low after cutting inside against Virgil van Dijk.

Moussa Marega was given three chances to find the net as they dominated the opening stages by denying Liverpool any opportunity to get a shot away.

Marega swivelled on the spot well after lapping up a loose ball, but the end product was tame and led to a comfortable save from Allison.

The 28-year-old also misjudged Corona’s cross from the left and produced a poor touch which trickled away. Then, shortly afterwards, Marega came close again when Corona’s pinpoint cross picked out the striker, but he was unable to get any power behind his left-footed volley.

Héctor Herrera raced through-on-goal on 26 minutes as Porto continued to dominate Liverpool, but the attacking midfielder wasted his chance by taking too long to decide when to shoot and van Dijk stole the ball – although the flag was raised for offside anyhow.

The hosts were made to pay for having not scored from their twelve early attempts on goal on 26 minutes as Mohamed Salah controlled excellently under pressure before distributing the ball to Sadio Mané who made no mistake in sliding home from six yards.

Liverpool were forced to wait two minutes as referee Danny Makkelie refered to VAR to check for a possible offside but the goal was awarded, allowing Klopp to sit back knowing Porto would need to score four goals against a side who have not conceded more than three goals all season.

Porto could have restored parity on the night just before half-time, but neither Corona nor Yacine Brahimi could muster enough power to trouble Allison from good positions.

Liverpool were forced into a change at half-time as the work-horse Divock Origi had to be substituted due to injury, but the Reds were confident that their winning position would be enough to progress to the next round.

Trent Alexander-Arnold wrapped up proceedings just before being substituted. The young full-back sent Salah darting forward with an excellent through-ball just past the hour-mark, and the Egyptian expertly finessed round Casillas to double Liverpool’s lead on the night.

Herrera almost pulled a goal back for the hosts as he sent a ferocious long-range effort towards Allison, but it proved to be a comfortable save for Liverpool’s shot-stopper to make.

The hosts eventually got a goal for their efforts on 68 minutes as Militão rose highest to head an in-swinging corner past Allison from inside the box.

Mane should have restored Liverpool’s lead on 72 minutes when he was able to round Casillas after Jordan Henderson’s perfect defence-splitting pass, but the on-form striker shot over despite having an open-goal at his mercy.

But Liverpool made sure that their progression was ensured with thirteen minutes left as substitute Roberto Firmino nodded home a Henderson cross from an unmarked position.

The visitors added to their tally with six minutes left when Van Dijk reacted quickest to Mane’s flick-on from a Milner corner by heading firmly past Casillas, but progression had already been well and truly confirmed.


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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