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N. Keïta (5)
Roberto Firmino (26)
Liverpool v Porto Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
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And that wraps up our coverage. We hope you enjoyed our commentary, and until next time, goodbye!
Both sides lock horns again next Wednesday in what is sure to be a hotly-contested second-leg at the Estadio de Dragao, but they each have important domestic matters to attend to beforehand. Conceicao’s side travel to Portimonense on Saturday as they look to maintain their charge towards the Primeira Liga title, while Klopp’s men resume hosting duties against Chelsea on Sunday as they seek another win in their quest to capture that elusive Premier League crown.
A job well done for Klopp’s Liverpool, who had to endure a quieter second-half compared to the first as they were able to fend off several desperate attempts by their visitors to get themselves back in the game. Marega has been the main culprit for Porto’s profligacy in front of Alisson’s goal, missing more opportunities as the match progressed and ebbed away from Conceicao’s Dragons. The Reds now have a two-goal advantage to take with them to Portugal thanks to Keita and Firmino, and the underdogs now have it all to do at the Estadio de Dragao next week.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 PORTO
90' + 1'
Lovren basks in the crowd’s appreciation following his robust challenge on Fernando as the latter drove towards Liverpool’s six-yard area from the wing.
There will be three minutes of added time to be played.
Liverpool are doing well to hold off Porto’s desperate efforts as we approach injury time, given the away side’s propensity to score in European away games this season.
So far, Marega has had as many shots on target in this match (3) as every other player for both sides combined.
Danilo goes down after Salah makes full contact with his ankle while studs-up, but the Liverpool winger escapes punishment and Lahoz only blows for the foul! Salah should be mightily relieved to not have been sent off for that dangerous tackle!
Felipe goes down in the Liverpool box after getting bundled over by Van Dijk, but despite his protests, referee Lahoz waves them away and lets play carry on!
Firmino comes off to a standing ovation as Klopp brings on Sturridge in his place.
MAREGA MISSES ANOTHER CHANCE! Militao launches a long ball upfield and Marega manages to get on the end of the pass and run into the Liverpool area only for him to sky his effort high and wide of Alisson’s goal! However, it wouldn’t have mattered much as the forward is flagged for offside, but Marega has had a shocking day in front of goal nonetheless!
Maxi Pereira comes off for Fernando as Conceicao rounds off his number of substitutions.
Origi already makes an impact, winning a foul off of Corona in a promising set-piece position for the Reds. Salah lays the ball off to the onrushing Alexander-Arnold, but the young full-back is stopped before he could attempt a shot.
Conceicao also makes a change, with Torres coming off for Bruno Costa.
Mane doesn't get a chance to add to his goals tally for the season, as he is hooked off for Origi in Klopp's first substitution of the match.
Henderson has created three chances, more than any other player in this match so far.
Mane takes a pass in his stride and attempts to beat the keeper with a curling effort, but the shot flies just wide of the right post after being played in by Keita.
PORTO COME CLOSE AGAIN! Marega manages to make it a hat-trick of missed opportunities at Anfield, but this one isn’t as close as his two previous efforts as Alisson is able to save the Porto forward’s half-chance after going low!
Porto win a corner off Milner after another searching ball towards the path of Corona. The set-piece comes to nothing though, and Liverpool clear without effort.
Salah manages for evade Brahimi’s challenge in the box and tries another effort only for his chance to hit Henderson and out of play for a Porto goal kick.
The ineffective Soares comes off for Brahimi in Conceicao's first change of the game.
Felipe becomes the second player to get booked following a foul on Salah just as the winger was about to create himself another chance.
Liverpool are now confidently dictating play in the Porto half, with the impressive Henderson and Fabinho spraying balls around the pitch.
Including this match, each of Liverpool’s 14 goals in the Champions League this season have come from inside the box, the only side left in the competition yet to net a goal from outside the penalty area. Indeed, each of the 11 goals Porto have conceded in the competition this season have also come from inside the box.
Lahoz runs over to Milner intent on cautioning him for handball only for the Liverpool left-back to state that the ball hit his chest, with replays successfully proving his case.
Henderson leads the charge as Liverpool venture forward in numbers once more, and finds Alexander-Arnold on the overlap before the full-back delivers it towards the onrushing Salah who fashions a chance despite pressure from Felipe.
Alisson and Van Dijk nearly tangle with Marega breathing down the latter’s neck, but the centre-back is able to clear the danger away despite intense pressure from the Porto forward!
Henderson plays a beautiful lofted ball towards the Porto area and finds Mane who finishes past Casillas with aplomb, but the flag has been raised for offside against the Senegal winger! Referee Lahoz consults with his assistants, and after much deliberation and VAR review, the decision stands and the hosts are denied a third goal!
No changes for either side after the interval, as Porto look to maintain their offensive threat against a Liverpool side who have been exposed at several times before half-time.
Liverpool get play restarted as the second half gets underway!
Aware of the danger that Conceicao’s Dragons will pose, Klopp will aim for the same defensive solidity from Van Dijk and company that has greatly aided them on their domestic and continental endeavours this season. It won’t be a surprise to see Porto come flying out of the boxes once Lahoz blows his whistle to start the second half, but the hosts may have done enough to see them through to the second leg.
While the Liverpool players head down the tunnel with a two-goal cushion, this was far from a dominating first-half performance and Klopp will be wary of that. Despite Porto’s defensive mishaps which saw them fall 2-0 behind within the first 26 minutes, Marega missed two excellent chances within four minutes either side of a VAR decision that went against his side, and have remained an offensive threat after switching their formation to an attacking 5-3-2 after Firmino’s goal and Liverpool’s second.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 PORTO
There will be one minute of added time to be played.
Fabinho scythes down Danilo with a crunching challenge and is called for the foul, despite replays showing the tackle to be deemed well within the laws of the game.
Otavio wins the ball off Fabinho and tries to start an away attack by trying to find Soares, but Van Dijk is able to intercept the pass and calmly plays the ball out of the Liverpool half.
Keita continues his good start, proving himself to be a threat on the counter. He nearly finds Mane with a quick pass, but the Senegal winger can’t catch the ball and Casillas is able to collect and clear.
Telles finds Corona with a short quick free-kick, but the latter is quickly crowded out by the Liverpool defence who attempt to launch another fast counter-attack only for Mane to lose possession. Porto clear the danger away.
Firmino has been directly involved in 12 goals in his 11 Champions League games at Anfield for Liverpool, scoring seven and assisting five.
FIRMINO CAN’T FINISH IT! The Brazil forward wastes a glorious chance to make it 3-0 after getting on the end of Henderson’s pass following another Keita ball from deep, and the effort goes well over the bar from close range!
MAREGA MISSES ANOTHER CHANCE! Instead of a penalty, Porto take a corner which is initially cleared only as far out as Danilo, whose attempted pass is deflected en route to the Liverpool area only to find Marega in acres of space, but the forward’s half-volley is hit straight towards Alisson and he can only look on in despair at wasting two excellent chances within the space of four minutes!
After much deliberation, Porto will not be awarded a penalty for the alleged Alexander-Arnold handball after Lahoz reviewed the VAR footage!
GREAT SAVE BY ALISSON! Marega should be kicking himself at missing that chance after the Porto forward got on the end of a great pass and only had the Liverpool goalkeeper to beat, only for the latter to stop the chance with an outstretched leg! The ball comes back into the Liverpool box and Alisson punches the danger away, but VAR is to be consulted as Alexander-Arnold was judged to have handled the ball before it bounced out of play!
Henderson deserves just as much credit for the assist as Alexander-Arnold, as it was the Liverpool skipper’s throughball that sliced the Porto defence wide open for the young full-back to cross it to Firmino to double their advantage.
GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! EXCELLENT TEAM GOAL BY LIVERPOOL TO MAKE IT 2-0!! Liverpool play it around from the back and continue up the pitch towards the Porto half, ending with an exquisitely threaded throughball by Henderson towards the path of the overlapping Alexander-Arnold, and the full-back crosses it low to Firmino who is able to tap the ball into an empty net! Anfield is rocking, and the Reds now have a firm grip on the tie!
Liverpool are now finding time to settle and play a possession-based game as their opponents continue to chase shadows around the Anfield pitch.
SALAH MISSES A SITTER! Taking advantage of Porto’s slow defending, the alert winger receives a pass from Milner and evades one tackle before lifting the ball over Casillas only for the ball to trickle just wide of the empty goal! A huge let-off for Conceicao’s Dragons there!
Soares gets the ball out on the wing and floats one in the Liverpool box towards Otavio, but Milner manages to boot the danger away. Porto regain possession with Casillas starting from the back.
SALAH ALMOST MAKES IT 2-0! His initial shot after cutting in from the wing is blocked, but the loose ball falls back to Keita who plays in his team-mate with a one-touch pass before the Egypt winger’s first-time shot is saved low by Casillas!
Soares is shown the first yellow card of the game after taking down Salah.
Salah turns away from Telles and goes on a trademark run down the wing only for Militao to stop him in the box and concede a corner. Alexander-Arnold’s set-piece is headed away only as far as Keita, but his shot is blocked and the visitors go on a quick break only for Salah to not only prevent the danger after tracking back, but also stopping play by winning a foul off Otavio!
Keita once again finds Salah, and the winger goes on a threatening run into the box before his cross is intercepted then headed away by the Porto defence. The visitors are getting overrun in midfield, with the goalscoring Keita already dominating the middle of the park.
Since the start of last season, only Cristiano Ronaldo (24) has been directly involved in more goals in the Champions League than Firmino (20 - 12 goals, eight assists).
Keita is having a terrific start to the game, and he manages to win the ball in midfield before nearly finding Salah in the Porto box with a lofted throughball.
Militao shoves Salah down to the ground near the touchline to the fury of the home support, but referee Lahoz lets play go on.
Keita has scored two goals in his last two games for Liverpool in all competitions, having scored none in his first 27 appearances for the club beforehand.
Brilliant wherewithal by Firmino, whose quick thinking found Keita near the edge of the box after Mane played him in from the wing.
GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! LIVERPOOL GET THE EARLY LEAD!! Milner plays a beautiful long ball out on the other wing to Mane, who dribbles past a couple of defenders before finding Firmino in the box, and the Brazil forward plays the onrushing Keita on the edge of the area whose heavily deflected shot bamboozles Casillas and goes in the back of the net! First blood to Klopp’s Reds, who are 1-0 up with only five minutes played!
Marega manages to fashion himself a half-chance after receiving a cross from out wide, but he doesn’t make a clean connection and watches as his opportunity sails harmlessly away from goal.
Milner manages to clear an early cross by the overlapping Telles as Porto start the match with an aggressive manner.
Both sides are decked in their usual colours, with the hosts in all-red while the visitors are sporting their famed blue-and-white stripes.
Referee Miguel Lahoz blows his whistle, and Porto get us underway at Anfield!
The players are out and kick-off is drawing near.
Porto have never won away against an English club in any European competition, losing 16 of 19 such matches and drawing the other three.
Conceicao makes four changes from the team that won 2-0 against Boavista on the same day, including welcoming Alex Telles back from injury as he replaces Wilson Manafa at left-back. Pepe and skipper Hector Herrera’s suspensions free up space for Felipe and Torres to start in their absences, while Corona is pushed up to wide midfield to replace Brahimi as Maxi Pereira comes in at full-back.
Klopp makes three changes to the side that emerged from St. Mary’s 3-1 victors against Southampton on Friday, with Lovren coming in for Matip as Van Dijk’s partner at the heart of the defence. Andrew Robertson’s one-game ban means that Milner takes his position at left-back, and Henderson is rewarded for his goal and performance against the Saints with a start in midfield ahead of Wijnaldum.
SUBSTITUTES: Yacine Brahimi, Fernando, Andre Pereira, Vana Alves, Hernani, Bruno Costa, Diogo Leite.
PORTO XI (4-4-2): Iker Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Felipe, Eder Militao, Alex Telles; Otavio, Oliver Torres, Danilo Pereira (c), Jesus Manuel Corona; Moussa Marega, Tiquinho Soares.
SUBSTITUTES: Simon Mignolet, Georginio Wijnaldum, Divock Origi, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge.
LIVERPOOL XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, James Milner; Jordan Henderson (c), Fabinho, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.
And without further ado, let’s take a look at how both sides line up, starting with the hosts.
However, the hosts will do well not to underestimate Porto, who are in the midst of some excellent form themselves. Sergio Conceicao’s outfit haven’t lost in over a month and are also locked in a tight title race of their own, only trailing Benfica on goal difference at the summit of the Primeira Liga. Revenge will surely be at the forefront of Conceicao’s mind, as he was in charge when his Dragons were on the receiving end of a first-leg 5-0 hiding at their own backyard by the same opponents in last season’s round-of-16 stage.
Jurgen Klopp will be pleased to see his Liverpool side in fine form at a crucial stage of the season as they continue their march towards domestic and European glory. Now top of the Premier League, albeit only two points above Manchester City having played an extra game, Klopp’s Reds must now focus their attention on their opponents as they look to knock them out of the Champions League knockout stages for the second year running, and are deserved favourites having not lost in 14 straight competitive matches heading into this tie.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of this Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash as Liverpool host Porto at Anfield!