Liverpool stunned Porto at their home ground by scoring five goals to ease a win in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. Denying Porto of any goals. Liverpool’s Mane, Salah and Firmino scored goals as the Reds registered quite an emphatic victory at Estádio do Dragão.
This win is the third away victory of the Liverpool team in Portugal. The previous two wins came against Benfica in 1978 and 1984 with both campaigns ending at European Cup victories for the Reds. While Jurgen Klopp‘s side might be less concerned with what happened in the past right now, they would definitely be looking very confident at the moment after such a dominating victory.
Klopp said earlier that his team is a match for the best in Europe. While Porto can’t be included in such a category, still they are the current leaders of the Portuguese league with 55 points.
During the initial part of the game, the Portuguese team looked very confident by creating chances and preventing Liverpool from scoring. The strike of Otavio almost found the net, missing with just a small margin and skimming the roof instead. Although when it started raining, the Reds took full control of the game.
The first goal was struck by Sadio Mane in the 25th minute. When the ball came towards him, he went for a shot that slipped away from the goalkeeper’s hands and went for a goal.
The next one was not long in coming as Salah showed his skills to tap in one more. Though he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, still the ball needed a bit of Salah’s skills to find the net. The long range shot of James Milner bounced off and the ball came in front of Salah who juggled impressively to get it past a defender and the keeper for a goal.
With this superb goal, Mohamed Salah completed his 30th goal of the season for Liverpool. Also, he became the 2nd fastest player in the history of Liverpool to reach the mark of 30 goals, the first being George Allan.
In the second half, Sadio Mane continued with his brilliant performance. When Jose Sa saved the shot of Roberto Firmino thereby giving an easy opportunity to Mane, the Senegalese winger did not waste any time and fired a goal to extend their lead by 3-0. While in the 69th minute, Firmino eased into one more goal with the help of Milner’s cross. In the 85th minute, Sadio Mane completed his hat-trick with an absolute cannon of a shot to give his side an unassailable lead of 5-0.
Jurgen Klopp seemed very happy with the performance of Mane about whom he said later as quoted by the club official site:
“Tonight he showed it again what a fantastic player he is. He was always important, he was always fantastic for us, even in his not-that-good moments.”
Liverpool will face West Ham United and Newcastle at Anfield before they host Porto for the second leg of the Champions League match on March 6.