Liverpool hosted FC Porto in Group B UEFA Champions League fixture at Anfield aiming to make it five wins from five games. The Reds, who are sitting at the top of the table comfortably, had already booked a place in knockouts.
Meanwhile, Sergio Conceicao’s men sits at the second spot and looked to gain something from the game to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for Round of 16 alive.
Liverpool rested a few senior key players. Goalkeeper Alisson wore the captain’s armband for the first time in a Liverpool shirt.
Meanwhile, the Reds academy graduate Tyler Morton was handed his first Champions League start by Klopp after last weekend’s Premier debut.
Sergio Conceicao’s men made life difficult for Liverpool in the first half of the game. Porto looked lively and were a constant threat in the Reds penalty box.
Liverpool were lucky not to concede as Porto wasted some really good chances.
Liverpool’s African stars Salah and Mane were quiet in the first half. Although in the 37th minute Mane made it 1-0 with a superb finish from the left flank. But the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside by the tightest of margin.
While in the second half, the Reds opened the score with Thiago Alcantara’s sweet strike making it 1-0. Moreover, in the 70th minute, Mohamed Salah doubled the lead for the Reds with his first chance and last touch of the game.
Porto manager Conceicao was seen out of his seat for the most part of the game screaming instructions to his players but his players let him down with their decision-making in Liverpool’s penalty area.
Porto still can make it to the next round as the final game against Atletico will be the decider.
Meanwhile, Liverpool cruise control of the group by making it five wins from five games.
Key numbers from the game
Liverpool have scored 15 goals in the group stage of the Champions League in the opening five games. Previously, only in the 2017-18 season, the Reds scored more goals at this stage in the competition.
Mohamed Salah’s goal in the game was his sixth goal in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. He is now joint-most any Liverpool player who has scored in a single group stage equalling Roberto Firmino’s six goals in the 2017-18 season’s group stage.
While Thiago Alcantara’s goal was the first goal in the Champions League for Liverpool. His last Champions League goal was in a 2-1 win against Sevilla, while he was playing for Bayern Munich in April 2018.
Moreover, three of Thiago’s nine goals in the Champions League have been against Porto.
Champions League-Liverpool 2-0 FC Porto: Post match reaction
Klopp’s reaction to Thiago’s incredible goal
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. It was good timing, to be honest. Great goal.
Klopp speaks on whether the team selection was to give players rhythm
Absolutely, that was the plan.
For this game, nobody felt like he needed a rest because we had Saturday – Wednesday, the boys are really used to that and they are all completely fine. It is just then the amount of games coming up, we need them all really in kind of a rhythm and that’s why the line-up really made really tonight.
Klopp speaks about on thinking behind moving Takumi Minamino to the right towards the end of the second half
I was completely happy with the way Taki played. We just had to see the game out with bringing on players and then we have to move it a bit around, and Taki then ended up on the right wing. But that’s only a position where you defend. In our system, you are not there as a right winger.
Klopp’s responds on whether Liverpool being ‘really difficult to play against’
We could have lost this game tonight.
We were lucky in moments. But yes, we have our moments where we are really not cool to play against, that’s true.
What’s next for Liverpool
Liverpool will welcome Southampton at Anfield for Saturday’s clash in the Premier League. The Reds are currently four points adrift of leaders Chelsea and will look to win against The Saints to maintain pressure at the top of the table.