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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018
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Good evening and welcome along to our live coverage of Liverpool’s Champions League round of 16 first leg tie with Porto from the Estádio do Dragão.

The knockout round started with a bang last night as Juventus and Tottenham played out a thrilling draw in Turin, and now it’s the turn of Jurgen Klopp’s side as they return to this stage of the competition for the first time since the 2014/15.

The night’s other game sees holders Real Madrid host PSG at the Bernabéu, with both ties kicking off at 7.45pm.

TEAM NEWS: Dejan Lovren, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are all recalled by Jurgen Klopp as the Liverpool manager makes three changes from the weekend’s win over Southampton.

Emre Can, who captained the Reds at St Mary’s, is suspended tonight while Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also drop out. Loris Karius has retained his place in goal.

TEAM NEWS: Here is how the home side will line up this evening — and the big news is that striker Vincent Aboubakar, who has scored 20 goals in 28 matches this season, misses out through injury.

It has been raining all day in Porto and it doesn’t look like relenting for kick off.

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

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

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

Before we press on with our build-up to the game at Estádio do Dragão, the teams are in for the night’s other game, with Real Madrid leaving Gareth Bale on the bench.

Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Nacho, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos (capt), Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Isco; Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Paris Saint-Germain: Alphonse Areola; Dani Alves, Marquinhos (capt), Presnel Kimpembe, Yuri Berchiche; Marco Verratti, Giovani Lo Celso, Adrien Rabiot; Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Neymar

Porto’s clash with Liverpool is one of only two last 16 ties featuring a pair of former European champions, with the hosts winning the competition twice and the Reds lifting it five times.

 

They also have previous. The sides have met four times in Europe, the most recent of which was during the 2007/08 group stage when Liverpool won 4-1 at Anfield thanks to a brace from Fernando Torres and strikes from Steve Gerrard and Peter Crouch.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group A - Liverpool v FC Porto - Anfield Source: EMPICS Sport

Previous meetings:

  • Liverpool 4-1 Porto – 2007/08 Champions League group stage
  • Porto 1-1 Liverpool – 2007/08 Champions League group stage
  • Liverpool 2-0 Porto – 2000/01 UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg
  • Porto 0-0 Liverpool – 2000/01 UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg

Not long until kick off now. Which way do you see this one going?


Poll Results:





If you missed it a little earlier, Virgil van Dijk will partner Dejan Lovren in the heart of defence on his Champions League debut for Liverpool tonight.

The centre-back has previously represented Celtic in the competition, and having joined the Anfield side from Southampton in January, is offered his first chance to line-up under Jurgen Klopp on the continent.

Lovren switches in for Joel Matip alongside him in one of three changes to the starting XI.

The suspended Emre Can is replaced by captain Jordan Henderson at the base of midfield, while James Milner comes in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Joe Gomez returns from a knee issue and is on the bench.

Liverpool XI: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Subs: Mignolet, Matip, Moreno, Gomez, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

In his pre-match comments, Jurgen Klopp yesterday said his team can compete with the best in this season’s competition.

Jurgen Klopp File Photo Source: Nick Potts

“I know it already, we can compete with them,” he said. ”I think probably the strongest football team in this moment in Europe is Manchester City and we played them twice already at the highest level.

“The Premier League is a little different but if we meet them, then we could beat them.

“The last 16 in the Champions League is quite a message already.

“Now we have to show that we are not only part of the competition, we are quite ambitious. That is how it is and we have to take it seriously.”

We’ll keep you up to date with events in Madrid as the evening progresses.

For those wondering, Porto-Liverpool is live on RTÉ2 and eir Sport have coverage of Real Madrid-PSG.

The atmosphere is really building inside Estádio do Dragão as the teams emerge from the tunnel.

As the pre-match formalities are completed, let’s reminder ourselves of tonight’s line-ups.

Porto XI: Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sergio Oliveira, Otavio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.

Liverpool XI: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

1Mins

1 min – Liverpool keeping hold of possession during the early exchanges. Porto appear happy to drop off to ensure they keep their shape and discipline and certainly patience may be the name of the game for the visitors this evening.

3Mins

3 mins – As the rain hammers down, Yacine Brahimi gets the chance to run at Alexander-Arnold for the first time and he wins a corner for the home side.

This will be  a real test for the Reds tonight as Porto scored more goals from set-pieces (eight) than any other team in this season’s group stages.

7Mins

6 mins – Liverpool have been knocking the ball around for the best part of two minutes now but they’re met with a wall of blue and white shirts. That said, Porto appear to be keeping very narrow defensively and the visitors may have some luck if they can get it out wide and attack down those channels.

9Mins

9 mins — CLOSE! Moussa Marega pounces on the loose ball on the edge of the area and eventually Otavio manufactures a yard of space to shoot, but his effort his deflected just over off Lovren.

12Mins

11 mins – There has been a real energy and purpose to Porto early on and they certainly have enough up front to cause Liverpool trouble, as evidenced in that last move.

Down the other end, meanwhile, Robertson decides to try his luck from range but his effort is high and wide.

15Mins

14 mins – Marega has popped up on the opposite side and looks to be a real handful, as he takes Roberston on before crossing, with Van Dijk just about clearing the danger.

17Mins

16 mins – There’s no real energy to Liverpool and the hosts — who look hungrier and sharper — are dictating proceedings so far. We haven’t really seen Salah, Mane or Firmino yet.

22Mins

20 mins — CHANCE! A poor kick out from Jose Sa gifts hands Liverpool possession in a dangerous position but Salah looks to square it for Firmino and his attempted cross is poor and easily cut out. It was surprising he didn’t back himself there to go for goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, albeit from a tight angle.

23Mins

22 mins – Liverpool look a bit more menacing all of a sudden. Roberston latches onto a ball down the left and whips in a delicious cross, forcing the Porto centre-back to make a last-ditch intervention with Firmino ready to pounce.

Flag 26Mins

24 mins — GOAL! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane)

An absolute howler from the ‘keeper! Wijnaldum forces his way through and lays it off for the unmarked Mane, who fires it straight at Jose Sa but he gets it all wrong and the ball creeps under his body and across the line. A penny for Iker Casillas’ thoughts as he sits watching on the bench.

29Mins

27 mins – That’s a real disaster for the hosts, who had started brightly and were causing Liverpool a few problems. Klopp’s side had responded well and were starting to pick holes in the Porto defence, but Mane’s opener was very soft.

Flag 33Mins

29 mins — GOAL! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah)

The complexion of this tie has changed completely in the space of five minutes. Milner strikes the post from distance and Salah is quickest to react, but he still has so much to do by lifting the ball delightfully over the ‘keeper and composing himself before finishing. That’s goal number 30 of the season for the Liverpool forward.

35Mins

33 mins – Porto have lost their way and Liverpool, having not played particularly well, find themselves in complete control of this tie.

37Mins

36 mins – There has also been a goal in the night’s other last 16 tie, and Rabiot has silenced the Bernabeu with a delightful finish from close range. The holders are up against it.

39Mins

38 mins — Liverpool again happy to retain possession and unlike the opening 20 minutes, they’re under no pressure to force the issue now. Porto continue to sit deep and the visitors have been able to dictate the pace of the contest. It’s far too easy for them.

41Mins

41 mins – Space opening up for Liverpool between the lines now and they can cause serious damage here if they play it right. Four minutes until the break.

44Mins

43 mins — CLOSE! Liverpool are very nearly caught at the other end. Brahimi finds a pocket of space and feeds it into Tiquinho, who holds Van Dijk off but fires wide.

45Mins

45 mins – Right on the stroke of half time, Cristiano Ronaldo has fired Real Madrid level from the spot after Kroos was brought down in the box by Lo Celso.

Flag 45Mins

HALF TIME: Porto 0-2 Liverpool

Easy as you like for the Reds. They were gifted a first goal by the Porto ‘keeper but assumed complete control from there as Salah doubled the lead with a brilliant finish after Milner’s shot cannoned off the post.

45Mins

That Ronaldo penalty against PSG was a significant one for more reasons than one.

Flag 46Mins

KICK OFF! The teams are back out and we’re underway again in Portugal. The hosts have made a change at the break, by the way, with Otavio making way for Jesus Corona.

49Mins

49 mins – Not a lot happening during the opening minutes of this second half. The onus is now on Porto to force the issue with Liverpool keen to maintain control and ensure they don’t allow the Portuguese side back into the game.

Flag 54Mins

52 mins — GOAL! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane)

Porto have pushed numbers forward but leave themselves exposed at the back and Liverpool pounce clinically. Firmino is set free and although his initial effort is well saved by the ‘keeper, Mane is there to slot the rebound home. Game, and tie, over.

57Mins

58 mins – Liverpool are cruising in Porto now and have one foot firmly in the quarter-finals. A little over half an hour to go in this first leg.

64Mins

63 mins – Liverpool are in the position now where they can just knock the ball around at will and then inject a bit of pace into the attack as they go in search of a fourth.

Flag 71Mins

69 mins — GOAL! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino)

That’s glorious, and Liverpool are just toying with Porto now. Milner races down the left and cuts it back perfectly for Firmino to latch onto and side-foot home first time from 12 yards out. That’s his eighth goal in Europe this term.

75Mins

74 mins – Klopp makes his first change as Henderson makes way for Joel Matip. You’d expect a bit of a reshuffle for the final 15 minutes, with the visitors now deploying three centre backs.

75Mins

77Mins

76 mins – As far as away performances in Europe go, this has been pretty much perfect from Liverpool, and Klopp’s side have never really got out of third gear. Porto have been incredibly disappointing and once the first goal went in, the life was sucked out of the home side. It has been so comfortable for Liverpool.

80Mins

80 mins – Double change for Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino have been replaced by Joe Gomez and Danny Ings for the final 10 minutes.

83Mins

83 mins — CHANCE! Lovely build-up play again from Liverpool but Mane is unable to get over Robertson’s cross and it sails over.

85Mins

84 mins – There has been a dramatic late goal in Madrid, where — you know who — has just struck again to give the European champions a slender 2-1 lead heading into the final few minutes. Ronaldo bundled it home from close range after Areola fumbled the cross.

Flag 86Mins

85 mins — GOAL! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane, hat-trick)

Game, set and match. Mane completes a memorable hat-trick with a stunning drive from range.

87Mins

88Mins

87 mins – Marcelo has just put Real Madrid 3-1 up at home to PSG having fallen behind in the first half. Big goals in the closing moments there.

89Mins

90 mins – Into two minute of additional time now. Sadio Mane, by the way, has become the fifth player to score a Champions League hat-trick this season and the second Liverpool player to do so after Philippe Coutinho.

Flag 92Mins

FULL TIME! Porto 0-5 Liverpool

An emphatic return to the Champions League knockout stages for the Reds after they dominated from start to finish to settle this tie and ultimately book their place in the quarter-finals.

A hat-trick from Sadio Mane, as well as goals from Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, seals an impressive result for Klopp’s men. Easy as you like.

Thanks for joining us this evening. We’ll have much more reaction from Porto shortly, plus a report from Madrid where late goals have swung that last 16 tie firmly in the holders’ favour.

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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