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Good evening everybody, you’re very welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final clash with FC Porto at Anfield.

These sides met in the knockout stages a year ago when Jurgen Klopp’s men made it all the way to the final against Real Madrid, with the Reds running out 5-0 aggregate winners after a comprehensive display on the road.

This season Liverpool have to balance domestic and European affairs as Klopp’s charges wage battle across two separate fronts. It’s an intriguing and relentless Premier League title race competing alongside Manchester City, but tonight the focus turns to European affairs.

Liverpool saw off the challenge of Bayern Munich after a brilliant away display at the Allianz Arena, with FC Porto edging past AS Roma 4-3 in the last 16 to passage into the last eight.

Kick-off is coming up in just over an hour’s time at 8.00pm. Tonight’s game is also live on RTÉ Two if you’re near a TV.

TEAM NEWS: Jurgen Klopp makes three changes from Liverpool’s dramatic late win away to Southampton on Friday night.

James Milner takes up left back in place of the suspended Andy Robertson, Dejan Lovren replaces Joel Matip in the centre of defence and Jordan Henderson comes in for Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Milner, Fabinho, Keita, Henderson, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Substitutes: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Origi, Sturridge

FC Porto: Casillas, Pereira, Felipe, Militao, Telles; Corona, Pereira, Torres, Otavio; Marega, Tiquinho

Substitutes: Vanailson, Leite, Pereira, Costa, Hernani, Brahimi, Santos

Half an an hour before we get underway at Anfield. How do you see this evening’s first leg panning out? Let us know below.


Poll Results:

Liverpool win (343)
FC Porto win (24)
Draw (22)



What the managers have said…

Jurgen Klopp: “It’s such a good time, you can feel it in this moment.

“We are in two big competitions, but we have to use this situation.

“We have not finished our development. We want to write a few proper things on the pages of this season.

“We’re on fire to be honest; in training you can see it. We are really in a good way.”

Sergio Conceicao: “I’ve heard you constantly ask this question, ‘Liverpool, will it be revenge?’ I didn’t talk about it, you keep asking me about it.

“There is no question of revenge, it is a game of football. All games have a history to them, some different to others.

Champions League: Liverpool vs Porto Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“No single game can change the characteristics of our team. What happened last year was last year, end of story.

“I don’t like losing. No-one likes losing in the final stages of the Champions League, particularly the first leg at home.

“But we don’t need to be obsessing about that, negative thoughts are in the past. You don’t measure the value of teams by that one day.”

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KICK-OFF: We’re underway at Anfield for the first half!

2 mins — Opening chance falls the way of FC Porto. Jesus Corona sends an inviting cross into the box where Moussa Marega peels away from his marker. The striker pulls the trigger and successfully unleashes a power low effort, but he fails to hit the target.

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GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 FC PORTO (KEITA 5)

Anfield erupts and we have lift-off with just five minutes on the clock! Sadio Mane breaks free down the left flank and finds Roberto Firmino with a clever pass into the box. The Brazilian forwards the ball on once more to Naby Keita, and his deflected strike finds the top corner beyond the fingertips of Iker Casillas. What a start!

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Peter Byrne

7 mins — It’s the perfect start for Jurgen Klopp’s men. Even though last year’s knockout stage meeting did end 5-0, Reds supporters will have been cautious of being too over-confident ahead of this year’s clash. All that said, FC Porto have suffered a big setback already and have a big challenge to overcome with a lot of football still to be played.

9 mins — Liverpool are going in search of another already, not willing to take the foot off the pedal by any stretch. Trent Alexander-Arnold finds Jordan Henderson, who in turn tries to pick out the run of Mohamed Salah down the right wing, however his pass peters out for a goal kick.

12 mins — Another chance, this time Mo Salah beats Alex Telles with a brilliant turn and increase of acceleration, but his close-range strike at the front post is blocked out wide for a corner kick by Eder Militao.

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Peter Byrne

15 mins — Salah is enjoying a really superb start to this game and the crowd inside Anfield are responding with a chorus of ‘Mo Salah running down the winggggg’. Poor Alex Telles is having a tough time of it at left back inside the opening 15 minutes here.

18 mins — Salah with another effort, this time from range. Naby Keita picks out the Egyptian on the edge of the area, Salah smacks a powerful volley on target, but Iker Casillas gets down good and early to produce the save. It’s all Liverpool right now.

20 mins — Jim Beglin was not one bit impressed with Dejan Lovren’s remarks during the World Cup, where the Serbian described himself as world class. “If he wants to see world class he only needs to look to his left,” the former Ireland defender says referring to Virgil van Dijk. A sick burn from Beglin. No coming back from that one, Dejan mate.

Liverpool v Napoli - UEFA Champions League - Group C - Anfield Source: EMPICS Sport

22 mins — Chaaaaance! Mo Salah almost doubles Liverpool’s lead from close range. The Egyptian finds himself in a one-on-one situation against Iker Casillas, but Salah drags his left-footed shot just narrowly wide of the bottom corner. Inches away.

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GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-0 FC PORTO (FIRMINO 26)

It’s there! Liverpool double their lead just prior to the half hour mark. To be fair, it was coming. A sustained period of pressure from Klopp’s side pays dividends, Trent Alexander-Arnold breaks free just inside the box on the right, squares the ball, and Roberto Firmino is on hand for the easiest of tap-ins.

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Peter Byrne

28 mins — This has been a pretty perfect evening for Liverpool so far. FC Porto have offered very little in attack and have been suffocated at the other end with Salah, Firmino and Mane causing all sorts of problems for Telles, Militao and Felipe.

30 mins — Chance! Moussa Marega breaks free for a one-one-one with Alisson, but the Brazilian holds his nerve and produces a brilliant low save with his feet. A few moments later there’s a handball incident involving Trent Alexander-Arnold and the referee will go to VAR to decide if it’s a penalty to FC Porto. The drama…

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Mike Egerton

32 mins — No penalty! Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz checks with VAR to see if Alexander-Arnold’s handball was worthy of a spot-kick to the visitors, but he comes to the conclusion that it was unintentional and there was nothing the young defender could do about it.

34 mins — Close! From the resulting corner kick striker Marega has another brilliant opportunity to halve the deficit. The corner is hoofed clear and sent back into the box where Marega is completely free, but his low volley is straight at Alisson. He really, really should have scored to make it 2-1.

36 mins — There have been more than enough chances for FC Porto to find a way back into this game tonight. Moussa Marega has passed up chance after chance, and Sergio Conceicao does look a worried man on the touchline at the moment. Liverpool look beatable at the back, but simultaneously look like scoring at every attack of their own.

Britain Soccer Champions League Source: Dave Thompson

39 mins — Not long to go before the interval with Liverpool still pressing high and looking for holes in Porto’s defence to try and exploit. Jordan Henderson has had to sit on the bench a lot this season, but has been very impressive so far tonight. A real driving force in the middle of the park in and out of possession. 

42 mins — Francisco Soares looks like breaking free into space to try and force a late chance, but Virgil van Dijk reclaims possession cool as you like before walking the ball out of defence. He makes it look so, so easy.

44 mins — Opportunity to make it three down the other end. Mo Salah cuts inside from the right and tries to pick out Sadio Mane with a low pass into the danger zone. Mane peels forward looking for a tap-in, but Eder Militao reads the danger and gets in front to hoof clear.

Liverpool v Napoli - UEFA Champions League - Group C - Anfield Source: EMPICS Sport

There will be one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

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HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 FC PORTO

A very strong first-half display from Liverpool sees the Reds two goals to the good at the break. Naby Keita scored his second in as many games when his deflected shot from the edge of the area flew into Iker Casillas’ top corner.

A neat Trent Alexander-Arnold cross into the box saw Roberto Firmino tap into an empty net to make it 2-0, and could have been even more as Mo Salah ran Alex Telles and the entire FC Porto backline ragged.

Sergio Conceicao’s men have had their chances, but look a wounded animal right now. More action to come very shortly!

47 mins — Porto have an early spell in possession, but Liverpool fly down the other end and have the ball in the back of the visitors’ net. Sadio Mane’s low strike beats Iker Casillas and flies into the bottom corner, but the goal won’t count as Mane is flagged for offside.

50 mins — There is a moment of panic as Van Dijk and Alisson collide into one another inside the Liverpool box. The Dutch defender didn’t have faith in his goalkeeper and decided to clear the ball himself, but Alisson had already come from his line causing the pair to run into each other.

52 mins — Thankfully for the hosts neither Marega or Soares were on hand to nick possession and try and force a chance. The visitors have enjoyed a very strong start to this second half though, it must be said.

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Mike Egerton

53 mins — Chances at both ends now. Mo Salah picks up possession inside the box, latching onto a cross. He volleys from close range but Danilo is there to provide the block and the ball is gathered quite easily by Casillas after the sting was taken out of Salah’s initial effort.

56 mins — Steady patient build-up play on the edge of the Porto box now, Salah and Firmino linking up well waiting and waiting for the right opening. The ball eventually finds Naby Keita on the edge of the area within shooting distance, but he runs into a wall of bodies in blue & white stripes and is dispossessed.

60 mins — Another period of relentless pressure from Liverpool. Roberto Firmino tries his luck from the lefthand side of the box, eying up Casillas’ top corner, but Pereira sticks his foot out and provides the block.

Here are both of tonight’s goals in case you missed them

62 mins — Substitution for FC Porto: Yacine Brahimi replaces Francisco Soares.

64 mins — James Milner heads wide for a Porto corner after Yacine Brahimi’s cross-field ball tried to find Oliver Torres at the back post. Less than half an hour to go and it’s been a much more even second halve despite the fact Lverpool have enjoyed 64% possession.

67 mins — There is another use of VAR as referee Mateu Lahoz double checks for a Dejan Lovren handball inside the box. The ball did strike the Serbian on the arm, but just like the first half incident involving Trent Alexander-Arnold the official deems it was not intentional and offers no penalty to Porto.

Britain Soccer Champions League Source: Dave Thompson

69 mins — Some good running from Moussa Marega sees the 27-year-old race through on goal down the right. He offers a weak effort from a difficult angle which forces Alisson into another save. Seven shots from Porto so far tonight, but none have found the back of the net to notch a crucial away goal.

72 mins — A dangerous run cutting in from the righthand side sees Mo Salah look like carving out a chance to potentially put this tie to bed. He tries to eek out an angle to shoot, but runs out of space and loses possession.

73 mins — Substitution for Liverpool: Divock Origi replaces Sadio Mane.

73 mins — Substitution for FC Porto: Bruno Costa replaces Oliver Torres.

75 mins — Fifteen minutes left on the clock and both sides are still slogging it out. After Firmino’s goal to make it 2-0 you did suspect Liverpool might turn this into a cricket score just like last year’s 5-0 victory. But it’s been a much more measured second half with a bit less intensity.

Imago 20190409 Source: Imago/PA Images

77 mins — Over in London meanwhile Tottenham have taken the lead against Manchester City in tonight’s other quarter-final first leg. Son Heung-min smashes home from close range to put Spurs ahead late on. You can follow all the action here.

78 mins — Substitution for FC Porto: Fernando replaces Maxi Pereira.

79 mins — Closeeee! Moussa Marega comes within inches of halving the deficit. He outmuscles Dejan Lovren inside the box and slams a powerful left-footed effort towards the target, but he fails to test Alisson as his strike once again flies off target. He could have had a hat-trick tonight.

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Mike Egerton

82 mins — Substitution for Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge replaces Roberto Firmino.

83 mins — Another chance for FC Porto, who are pushing on with a lot of late pressure here. Marega puts Van Dijk under pressure, forcing the Dutch defender to put the ball out for a corner. But the cross comes to nothing and is beaten away at the first hurdle.

85 mins — Another VAR review as Mo Salah brings Danilo down with a high foot on the edge of the box. After consulting with the technology high above, the referee says the foul is not worth a booking and Salah escapes despite a heavy challenge.

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: Mike Egerton

88 mins — Good combination of passes between Telles and second half introduction Brahimi sees Porto attack down the left wing. Jordan Henderson covers the space, however, and provides an interception to end the danger.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.

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FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 FC PORTO

The referee blows his whistle for full-time and it’s all over at Anfield. An impressive performance from Liverpool sees Jurgen Klopp’s men potentially take a big step towards the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second season in a row.

Naby Keita broke the deadlock with just five minutes on the clock, just his second Liverpool goal, before Roberto Firmino put the Reds in firm control with a close-range finish following a neat low cross from Alexander-Arnold.

Thanks a million for joining us for the ride tonight. Plenty more reaction to follow over the coming hours, but for now you can read our match report from Anfield here and you can offer your player ratings here too. Until next time, cya!

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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