Thiago and Salah beat Porto in style to keep Liverpool’s perfect start | Champions League

Porto may not have recognized the entire Liverpool squad, but the feeling of deflation against Jurgen Klopp’s side was all too familiar. Klopp rested the players, revitalized the players, and was rewarded with the fifth win in a row, which brought Liverpool the highest number of points in its history. Champions League group stage. Couldn’t wish for more.

Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring with a superb kick before Mohamed Salah scored for the 17th time this season, and the sixth time in the Champions League, as well. Liverpool Continue doing light work for a set of European dumbbells.

Liverpool secured the right to alternate four wins in a row in a supposedly complex group – their strongest start to the Champions League group stage – and Klopp relegated Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota to the bench. They were joined by Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson and James Milner, all recovering from injury, while Thiago, Takumi Minamino and Ibrahima Konate all got a long run in the game ahead of an intense winter schedule. The most notable inclusion was Tyler Morton, the 19-year-old Wallacey midfielder who impressed Klopp in pre-season, as well as two Carabao Cup encounters, earning his first game at Anfield four days after his debut in the league. The English Premier League vs Arsenal. some week.

The luxury of evaluating or using resources was not available to Sergio Conceicao. with one point separating it Porto A team from Atlético Madrid at the start, and the champions of Spain visiting Estádio do Dragão in the final, their motivation to retaliate in September was overtaken 5-1 at home by Liverpool. The guests started superbly with Luis Diaz’s rhythm on the left and Otavio’s creativity on the right, allied with the aerodynamic strength of Mehdi Tarimi, making a befuddled defense in several fouls.

Ottavio engineered his first low-key opener when he sent off Liverpool left-back Costas Tsimikas and smashed a dangerous cross into Taremi’s header. The peek of Porto striker Joel Matip hit his chest and he sailed further than Alisson but also further off the post.

That gap has diminished compared to Porto’s next chance. Liverpool were caught swinging in possession by Ottavio again, this time with Konate in midfield, leaving Diaz well behind Nico Williams as he slashed into the penalty area before firing brilliantly past his teammate. Otavio only had to hit the target, but under pressure from challenging Tsimekas from behind, he ran with his feet wide resulting in disbelief for his teammates and off the Porto bench. He spent the next few minutes rolling in palpable pain awaiting the VAR penalty decision that never came. His pain was likely internal and psychological.

Liverpool's players rush to Thiago Alcantara after he breaks the deadlock with a rough move.
Liverpool’s players rush to Thiago Alcantara after he breaks the deadlock with a rough move. Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool/Getty Images

Porto lost veteran defender Pepe to injury. Shortly after Liverpool’s first real threat on goal, Konate sent a free header from Minamino’s corner straight into Diogo Costa, and the threat from Klopp’s team gradually improved with Salah and Sadio Mane entering the match.

The hosts were helped by some skewed passes by Costa against Porto. First, he fired a routine clearance in Mane’s chest and was held up when Salah’s rebounding shot lacked the power to get past the exposed goalkeeper. Minutes later, he made another pass straight to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but Salah was offside when he played clean with a midfielder pass.

Liverpool were denied the lead by a severe offside call when Thiago released Mane through a gaping hole in Porto’s defense shortly before the break. Mane, who made his 50th European appearance for Liverpool, had the time and space to beat Costa with a calculated finish in the far corner. The referees awarded the goal but the striker’s celebrations were marred by the VAR review at the end.

Porto continued to threaten and undermine their good work with a bad final pass or decision. Taremi only had Alisson to get on the ball when he played it through Ottavio’s smart ball, but he chose not to match anyone in particular, allowing Morton to ditch the danger with a timely interception. Mateus Uribe’s shot wide after Diaz’s free kick caused chaos inside the Liverpool area while Ottavio missed an excellent opportunity to find Evanelson in front of an empty goal after a reckless ban from Alisson.

The achievement was worth the arduous wait for a moment of true quality, and a welcome reminder of Thiago’s pedigree on only his fourth start of the season. Oxlade-Chamberlain took the free kick from the right with a clear header by Otávio and Thiago immediately sensed danger, moving and gently connecting to drive a 20-yard shot through Fábio Cardoso’s legs and into the bottom corner.

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Liverpool doubled their advantage when Salah easily rolled Porto left-back Alberto Zido Sanusi as they rushed a long ball out of their defense with a heel in Henderson’s way. The substitute returned the ball inside to Salah, who swept into Uribe and beat Costa in his close position with a sure shot.

Another Liverpool substitute, Divock Origi, also had an immediate impact when he fouled Chancel Mbemba on the edge of the area. Referee Felix Zuer only referred to the penalty kick because the VAR referee had taken the foul outside the area. Liverpool’s parade continued into the knockout stage regardless.

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