Porto v Liverpool – story of the match
The Reds won 5-0 in Portugal.
Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick and Mohamed Salah continued his phenomenal run with a 30th of the season as Liverpool won 5-0 at Porto to virtually assure themselves a Champions League quarter-final place.
Mane was in the right place at the right time to score twice in the first half before rifling home his hat-trick just before the end, to overshadow the exploits of Salah, whose brilliant individual effort made him the second fastest to the 30-goal landmark in the club’s history and the quickest for 122 years.
What they said
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (on Sane) said: “He was always important, he was always fantastic for us even in his ‘not that good’ moments. That’s real quality. If you are not at 100 per cent but still involved in goals that’s really important. Then it will come if you keep working really hard like he did. The first was a little lucky, but the other two – the second one was about being in the right place and he used his fantastic skills on the third one so it’s good, really good. I’m happy about it.”
Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said: “We started the game on an even keel. We even had a great chance through Otavio in the first 20 minutes. On one occasion we sought to break out quickly from the back in a move that started with our goalkeeper but we lost possession and conceded the first. We made a few more mistakes which cost us dearly, especially against a team with that kind of firepower.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Sadio Mane
Incredibly he is still struggling to find his confidence and best form but popped up in the right places at the right time for the first two of his goals and then smashed home from distance – as his previous two goals before this were – for the hat-trick. In doing so he became only the second Liverpool player to score a treble away from home in Europe after Michael Owen, who did it twice in 2001 (Haka) and 2002 (Spartak Moscow).
Moment of the match
Salah’s reaction time, awareness and close control was something to behold. When James Milner’s shot crashed back off the post his team-mate seized on the loose ball, flicking it up up twice with his left foot, nodding it on and then forcing home from close range.
Liverpool have now won in Portugal for just the third time in 11 attempts. But on the two previous occasions – at Benfica in 1978 and 1984 – they went on to win the European Cup. Liverpool have not failed to score during their last 11 Champions League matches (including qualifying) and their total 28 is the best of any team in the competition.
Liverpool: Loris Karius 7, Trent Alexander-Arnold 7, Dejan Lovren 7, Virgil van Dijk 8, Andy Robertson 8, Jordan Henderson 7, Georginio Wijnaldum 6, James Milner 7, Mohamed Salah 9, Roberto Firmino 9, Sadio Mane 9. Substitutes: Joel Matip (for Henderson, 75) 6, Joe Gomez (for Alexander-Arnold, 80) 6, Danny Ings (on for Firmino, 80) 6.
Who’s up next?
Liverpool v West Ham (Premier League, Saturday February 24)
Porto v Rio Ave (Portuguese Liga, Sunday February 18)