This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 16 October, 2018
Advertisement

Mane hat-trick moves Liverpool towards Champions League quarters

Jurgen Klopp’s side were in emphatic form tonight as they beat Porto 5-0 in their first leg clash.

Mane's first-half strike set Liverpool on their way.
Mane's first-half strike set Liverpool on their way.
Image: Tim Goode

SADIO MANE SCORED a brilliant treble as Liverpool romped to a 5-0 thrashing of Porto at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday to march towards the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mane fired the away side ahead in the first leg of the last-16 clash, before Mohamed Salah’s audacious finish quickly made it two.

The Senegalese forward slotted in his second as Liverpool completely outclassed their opponents, with Roberto Firmino adding his name to the scoresheet with 20 minutes to play, before Mane’s searing strike completed his first European hat-trick.

Playing in the last 16 of the competition for the first time in nine years, Liverpool are now all but certain to reach the quarter-finals ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 6.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had scored 23 goals in the group stage and continued that scintillating form in Portugal, while the defensive frailties that have plagued them at times this season never resurfaced as Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk put in accomplished displays at the back.

Sergio Conceicao’s deflated Porto will now turn their attentions back to domestic matters, where they hold a two-point lead in the league and are in the Cup semi-finals.

Roared on by the home fans, Porto started brightly and Brazilian midfielder Otavio was denied an early goal by a last-ditch tackle from Lovren.

But it didn’t take Liverpool long to grow into the game, as left-back Andrew Robertson fired over on his Champions League debut and Ivan Marcano’s brave block prevented Firmino from heading in.

But the five-time European champions were gifted the lead in the 25th minute as Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa, who has replaced former Real Madrid great Iker Casillas this season, allowed Mane’s tame strike to squirm underneath his body and into the net.

Mane has been overshadowed so far this term by the blistering performances of Firmino and Salah, but the Senegalese forward’s first goal in six games was his fourth in the Champions League.

FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Estadio do Dragao Source: Tim Goode

Liverpool took total control of the tie just four minutes later as Salah scored his 30th goal of the season in style.

James Milner’s strike crashed into the post, but the Egyptian star was on hand to flick the ball over the onrushing Sa with a magnificent piece of skill and slot into the net.

The visitors were utterly dominant, but Tiquinho Soares, playing in place of the injured Vincent Aboubakar, fired narrowly wide for Porto on the stroke of half-time.

Porto had plenty of the ball but were always vulnerable to Liverpool’s waves of rapid counter-attacks, and Mane made it three shortly after the restart.

The away side cut the Portuguese league leaders to shreds with a series of first-time flicks and passes, and after Firmino was denied by Sa, Mane was on hand to tap in the rebound.

The visitors’ relentless pressure meant another goal was almost inevitable, and it arrived when Milner picked out Firmino from a posse of unmarked Liverpool shirts in the centre to slot home.

The English outfit still weren’t finished, though, as Mane’s long-range effort flew past Sa with five minutes remaining to round off the procession in fine fashion.

© – AFP, 2018

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Patrick Kluivert tells son to ‘follow his heart’ amid Man United links

Higuaín slams ‘armchair’ fans after Tottenham draw

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (52)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel