Porto 1-5 Liverpool: Salah and Firmino both strike twice as ruthless Reds run riot

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Liverpool once again put Porto to the sword as they made it back-to-back wins at the start of a new Champions League campaign, coasting to a 5-1 victory at the Estadio do Dragao.  

The Reds had come out on top in a five-goal thriller in their Group B opener against Milan at Anfield, yet there were no such nerves on Tuesday against opponents they have made a habit of beating through the years.  

Jurgen Klopp was in charge for 5-0 and 4-1 wins on Portuguese soil when steering Liverpool to successive final appearances in the competition in 2018 and 2019, and this year's squad appear on course to make the knockout stages once more.  

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scored twice, the latter after coming on as a substitute, while Sadio Mane was also on target, making it five goals for him in as many appearances against Porto. 

The result should not come as too much of a surprise, considering Porto had not managed a win in the previous eight meetings. The hosts were dealt a blow when Pepe was ruled out with an injury suffered in the warm-up, while Otavio's outing was cut short after 14 minutes.  

Not long after the enforced change, Liverpool went ahead. Curtis Jones' low shot was parried by Diogo Costa onto team-mate Zaidu Sanusi, leaving Salah with a simple close-range finish.  

The Porto goalkeeper did do better to deny Jordan Henderson a goal to mark his 400th appearance for the club, turning the visiting captain's fierce free-kick away, but his failure to cut out James Milner's low cross allowed Mane to tap home before the interval.  

Salah slotted away his second of the game on the hour before heading to the bench and while Mehdi Taremi headed in to pull a goal back, it only served to anger Liverpool into a response.

Costa rounded out a shocking performance by straying from his area to try to reach Jones' throughball, allowing Firmino to roll the ball into an unguarded net. The Brazilian added another just four minutes later when reacting quickly to a deflection, though only after a VAR check for offside. 

 

What does it mean? Liverpool show ruthless edge to seize control 

After a frantic 3-3 draw away at Brentford on Saturday – a game in which Liverpool trailed early before getting level, then twice let slip leads in the second half – this was far more routine for Klopp and his players.  

Such was his team's dominance, the German was able to substitute Salah, Mane and Milner with a weekend clash with Manchester City in mind, the latter set to deputise again for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold for the visit of the Premier League champions to Merseyside.  

Salah stays hot to surpass Eto'o  

Thanks to his double, Salah moves on to 31 Champions League goals in his career, putting him clear of Samuel Eto’o for second place on the all-time list for African players in the competition. Only Didier Drogba (44) has managed more.  

The Egyptian has also now scored in each of his last six appearances for Liverpool. That is the first time a player has netted in six in a row for the club since April 2018, when Salah himself managed to do so for seven successive games.  

Costa goes cold as Porto roll over 

Porto were largely toothless in attack and porous at the back, not aided by the performance of a keeper who could have done better with at least three of the goals he conceded. 

He saved just 61 per cent of the attempts that came his way and, after Taremi’s finish from Fabio Vieira’s cross made it 3-1, his decision to rush out in the 77th minute allowed Firmino to kill off any slim hopes of a comeback. 

What's next?  

Liverpool take on City at Anfield on Sunday in a huge clash prior to the international break. Porto, meanwhile, are at home again, this time taking on Pacos Ferreira in domestic action. 

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Man City clinch Premier League title with comeback win BREAKING NEWS: Man City clinch Premier League title with comeback win

    Manchester City had to do it the hard way on the final day of the season, but they won the Premier League title by defeating Aston Villa 3-2.

    The title race went down to the wire, with City needing to match Liverpool's result against Wolves in order to win their fourth league crown under Pep Guardiola.

    However, Matty Cash's goal midway through the first half at the Etihad Stadium put Villa, managed by Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, ahead going into half-time.

    Ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho then put Villa 2-0 up but – as they did against QPR to win their first Premier League title 10 years ago – City lodged an incredible comeback.

    Ilkay Gundogan was the hero. The substitute dragged City back into it and then, after Rodri had restored parity, scored from close range to complete a sensational fightback.

    It was needed, with Liverpool beating Wolves 3-1, but City have now won their sixth Premier League title, and their fourth in the space of five seasons.

  • Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa: Gundogan double clinches Premier League title after final-day thriller Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa: Gundogan double clinches Premier League title after final-day thriller

    Manchester City pulled off a stunning fightback to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and snatch the Premier League title as Pep Guardiola's side did it the hard way.

    You could not script this drama and be taken seriously. Chasing a fourth title in five seasons, City knew victory would secure that, yet Steven Gerrard had Villa well organised and the hosts struggled to find their usual fluency.

    Matty Cash's 37th-minute opener stunned the hosts, and former Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho left City devastated when he lashed Villa two goals clear in the 69th minute.

    But Ilkay Gundogan's header and Rodri's low strike dramatically hauled the hosts level with two goals in three minutes, before super-sub Gundogan slammed home City's third nine minutes from time, scotching Liverpool's title hopes.

    It was shaping up from the early stages to be 90 minutes of City attack versus Villa defence and countering, with the hosts having had a shade under 75 per cent of possession in the first quarter. Phil Foden rolled a shot six inches wide, via a slight deflection, and Gabriel Jesus wasted a decent opening.

    Villa found the breakthrough when their full-backs combined, Lucas Digne crossing from the left for Cash to head in from eight yards as Joao Cancelo failed to prevent the Poland international attacking the ball at the far post.

    Ollie Watkins dithered as another great chance came Villa's way, John Stones dashing back to jostle the striker off the ball.

    Jesus missed a glorious opportunity five minutes into the second half when he stabbed over from close range. The Brazilian had another shot charged down, while at the other end Watkins was denied by Ederson's sprawling save after brushing off Aymeric Laporte's challenge.

    City were in deep trouble when Coutinho fired Villa two ahead in the 69th minute, fastening on to a flick-on from Watkins and rifling low into the left corner.

    Gundogan gave the hosts hope when he headed fellow substitute Raheem Sterling's cross past Robin Olsen in the 76th minute, and then Rodri lashed in from the edge of the box.

    Guardiola was leaping around on the touchline, the crowd anticipating a winner, just as when Sergio Aguero's late dramatics delivered the title in 2012, and it came when De Bruyne's delicious ball across goal from the right was met by Gundogan. He could hardly miss. City, from the depths of despair, are champions once more.

  • Liverpool 3-1 Wolves: Reds denied title on final day despite comeback win Liverpool 3-1 Wolves: Reds denied title on final day despite comeback win

    Liverpool were denied the Premier League title and an unprecedented quadruple on the final day of the season, despite coming from behind to beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield.

    Jurgen Klopp's men trailed to an early Pedro Neto goal, before Sadio Mane equalised, with Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson belatedly scoring to seal three points.

    With Manchester City trailing Aston Villa 2-0 while Wolves were holding Liverpool, there was hope among the home fans, but that was soon extinguished as Pep Guardiola's City came back to win 3-2 and clinch the title.

    This was a disappointing blow for the Reds, although they can still win their third trophy of the season on Saturday when they face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.