Job done for Liverpool? Jurgen Klopp‘s side will take a commanding 2-0 lead to Porto next week after goals from Naby Keita and Robert Firmino put them in the driving seat for a spot in the Champions League semi-final.
Having overcome the same visitors 5-0 on aggregate last season in the last 16, it was another comfortable victory.
The Reds got the perfect start in the fifth minute when James Milner swung out a ball to Sadio Mane on the left.
He found Roberto Firmino in support and he teed up Keita – who scored at Southampton last Friday – for a shot that was deflected in by the sliding Oliver Torres.
Firmino then extended their lead in the 26th minute when he calmly netted from a right-wing cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Here we rate the Liverpool performances on Tuesday night.
Alisson 7 – Excellent stop to deny a powerful low drive from Marega Marega in the first half. Trademark quick distribution. Confident and cool whenever called upon.
Trent Alexander-Arnold 7 – Struggled against Southampton last time out but a much better performance on Tuesday. Laid on Liverpool’s second for his eighth assist of the season, remarkable production for a right-back.
Virgil van Dijk 7 – There’s a graceful glide in the way Lionel Messi maneuvers his way past players and it’s in that ilk, Van Dijk finesses the ball away from attackers. Poised performance as always from the Dutchman.
Dejan Lovren 5 – There’s invariably a palpable sense of apprehension whenever Lovren is in the XI and that was justified on Tuesday. Liverpool are usually one of the best at utilising the offside trap but he was too slow. Maybe mitigated by the fact he hadn’t started for nearly three months?
James Milner 7 – Wonderful release to Mane in the build-up to the opener and he was excellent in attacking transitions. Closed down what little threat arrived down his left side with relative ease.
Fabinho 7 – Hard to believe this man is Brazilian because he loves a tackle. His defensive contribution freed Henderson and Keita to attack at will.
Naby Keita 7 – Hint of fortune with his deflected strike diverting past Casillas. Seems imbued with confidence after scoring his first for the club against Southampton. Produced a game-high total of eight tackles.
Jordan Henderson 8 – If you’re a Liverpool fan, how can you dislike this man? Absolutely superb on the right-hand side of their midfield. Far better suited to the role than operating deeper as evidenced by a super ball into the channel for Alexander-Arnold to set up Firmino.
Sadio Mane 6 – Disrupted Porto’s backline with his fast-twitch fakes and feints but lacked his usual penetration when in dangerous positions. Although, he was unlucky not to have scored after being adjudged marginally offside shortly after the break.
Roberto Firmino 8 – Graciously tapped in one and set up the other with a tidy lay off to Keita. Buzzed around the pitch tirelessly, held the ball up well and just knitted everything together really nicely.
Mohamed Salah 6 – Tip toed in threatening areas but wasn’t able to come to the dancefloor despite some good opportunities, particularly when latching onto a loose Porto ball in the first half.
Divock Origi 7 – Gave Liverpool a new dimension on the left side with his propensity to immediately go direct. Required better quality with his delivery, though.
Daniel Sturridge N/A – On late for Firmino and had little chance to make an impact.
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