Liverpool storm past Porto to set up Barca semi-final
Liverpool produced another efficient away European performance to steam past Porto and secure their place in the semi-finals.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Bobby Firmino and Virgil Van Dijk ensured a comfortable victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Liverpool went into the second leg holding a comfortable 2-0 aggregate advantage knowing an away goal would further strengthen their hand.
But it was Porto who made the quicker start at the Estádio do Dragão (translates to the dragon’s den) as Moussa Marega swivelled in the penalty area but could only fire straight at Alisson.
Controversy followed as Mo Salah’s shot was tapped in by Sadio Mane only to be disallowed for offside. However, the video assistant referee conducted a goal check and announced it was a goal. Mane was indeed onside.
Porto then flooded forward in their numbers as Militão passed to Brahimi but his scuffed shot was easily dealt with by Alisson.
Trent Alexander-Arnold sent in an inviting cross but James Milner could only flick his effort wide as the half-time whistle sounded.
A fantastic counter-attack started by the impressive Firmino, saw Trent Alexander-Arnold slide a delicious through ball to Mo Salah who stroked the ball past Iker Casillas and make it 4-0 on aggregate to Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Porto immediately hit back as Jesús Corona’s corner was powered into the bottom corner by the head of Militão as Sérgio Conceição’s side sought a way back into the match.
Liverpool then set up another fine attack as captain Jordan Henderson looked up and sent a delightful delivery into the Porto penalty box, stooped in through the legs of Casillas by substitute Bobby Firmino.
Virgil Van Dijk then wrapped up the win as James Milner’s corner was flicked on by Sadio Mane, leaving the Dutchman with the easiest of headers.
Jurgen Klopp made that 10 European knockout ties as Liverpool manager unbeaten.
Liverpool will now play Barcelona in a mouth-watering semi-final which will see Anfield welcome back old favourites, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.
That promises to be a cracking encounter and Liverpool have four Premier League matches left as they bid to win a first league title in nearly 30 years.
The season may be hotting up but the next few weeks promises to be crucial for Liverpool Football Club as they aim for an unprecedented Champions League-Premiership double.
FC Porto 1 vs 4 Liverpool
Liverpool win 6-1 on Aggregate.
Mane 26, Salah 64, Firmino 77, Van Dijk 84.
Competition: Champions League
Date: Wednesday 17th April 2019
Venue: Estádio do Dragão
Man of the Match: Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman was vintage again as he kept Porto at bay on several occasions. He even capped off his night with a finely taken set-piece header to set up a date with Barcelona!
James Spencer, Thoughts from the Stands
Hi my name is James Spencer and I am a huge Liverpool fan since I was a small boy!
Steven Gerrard was my favourite player growing up and I watched all the fantastic finals that Liverpool won under Houllier and Benitez! I also liked Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypia, Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso.
Two big games still to come in April as well:
Sunday 21st April
Cardiff City 16:00 Liverpool – Live On Sky
Friday 26th April
Liverpool 20:00 Huddersfield Town – Live On Sky