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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019


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Welcome along to The42‘s live coverage of the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie between Porto and Liverpool. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side lead 2-0 from the first leg, so are in pole position to progress to a semi-final reunion with Luis Suarez and a first competitive meeting with Barcelona since 2007. 

Still, Porto created plenty of chances in the first leg at Anfield, so perhaps they won’t have it all their own way tonight. 

Get in touch with us by tweeting @gcooney93, emailing or leaving a comment blow the line. 

Kick-off is at 8pm. 

Team news coming very, very shortly…


Porto have Shithouse-Laureate Pepe back from suspension, while Moussa Marega continues up front having posed Liverpool some bother last week.  Yacine Brahimi and captain Hector Herrera also return. 

Here’s the team in full…

Porto: Iker Casillas; Eder Militao, Pepe, Felipe, Alex Telles; Danilo Pereira, Hector Herrera, Otavio; Yacine Brahimi, Moussa Marega, Jesus Corona

…with largely useless ‘official Twitter teamsheet’.

Liverpool, meanwhile, rotate a bit, with Divock Origi getting a start ahead of Roberto Firmino. Milner and Wijnaldum replace Keita and the Mackem Kaka (Henderson, duh) while Andy Robertson returns at left-back having missed the first leg through suspension. 

Joe Gomez makes the bench. 

Here’s the Liverpool team in full…

Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, James Milner; Mo Salah, Divock Origi, Sadio Mane

…along with their far more useful official Twitter teamsheet.


So if Porto are going to spring a major surprise tonight, they will have to do something they’ve never done before: beat Liverpool. 

They can take some hope from Liverpool’s away record in this competition: since last season’s quarter-final win against Man City, Liverpool have lost all but one of their games on the road in the Champions League. 

That said, the outlier is the 3-1 win against Bayern Munich in the last round. 

Oh, and they won 5-0 here last season. 

Roberto Firmino at the Dragao yesterday evening. He gets a well-earned rest from the start of tonight’s game.

Liverpool Tour to Dragon Stadium Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Iker Casillas plays for Porto tonight, this being his 20th season in the Champions League. After tonight, he will be just 12 appearances shy of 200 games in the competition. 

He made his debut in the competition in September, 1999. Back then, Liverpool’s goalkeepers were Sander Westerveld and Brad Friedel. 

Liverpool v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Anfield Source: EMPICS Sport

A brief interlude for fans of comedy, as PSG’s latest attempt to seal the title is going horribly wrong (again). 

They are currently losing 3-1 away to Nantes, with 15 minutes to go. 

There is no #BBCBalance issues with the BT Sport panel for this game: analysis is coming from Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen. 

Hey, one of them played for Man United, we guess…

Weather update: it is absolutely bucketing down in Porto. 

For those of you still attuned to 7.45pm kick-offs in the Champions League: kick-off is at 8pm. 

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed pre-game that Roberto Firmino isn’t injured; he merely wants to reward Divock Origi for his good form.

Dejan Lovren, impressive in the first leg, is out through illness. 

We’re close to kick-off in Portugal. 

Liverpool lead 2-0 from the first leg, and have never lost a competitive game to Porto. 

Divock Origi starts up front ahead of Roberto Firmino, while Andy Robertson returns at left-back. James Milner keeps his spot: he and Wijnaldum play in midfield in place of Keita and the Sunderland Ortega (Henderson). 

Porto have Pepe back, along with Yacine Brahimi and captain Hector Herrera return too. Eder Militao is expected to play at right-back.

The teams are in the tunnel….


Ooof! Porto start superbly, with Corona cutting in from the right, jinking inside Robertson, and whipping a shot narrowly over Alisson’s crossbar. 


Elsewhere: Raheem Sterling has put Manchester City ahead against Tottenham already. 


Porto are eager to get moving here, and Marega has outmuscled Joel Matip a couple of times already. The latest ends in a tame shot at Alisson, however. Liverpool yet to fully settle. 


Enormous boos for Mo Salah as he is penalised for a small push on Alex Telles. They remember the possible red card incident from the first-leg. 


Bloody Hell Dept – Spurs have equalised against City, through Son! 


Another good chance for Porto! A free-kick breaks for Marega in the box, but again his shot is relatively tame and at Alisson Becker. 


Blood Hell Dept Again: Son has scored for Tottenham again! They lead 2-1 on the night; 3-1 in aggregate! 


Ah lads. City have made it 2-2. Madness. 


In Portugal, a Brahimi cross is superbly headed behind by Robertson for a corner. The subsequent delivery is very good, but Militao could only glance his header wide of the far post. 


Porto are doing a really good job of switching play and stretching Liverpool. Raking balls to Brahimi and Corona on either wing are causing Liverpool some considerable bother. Origi, meanwhile, is playing wide-left with Mane through the middle. 


Corona comes out to the left wing this time, beats Matip up a stick, and floats a cross over van Dijk’s head. It comes to Marega, but he heads tamely at Alisson. 


Now Marega volleys wide! He was totally unmarked in the box. Liverpool are all over the shop, here. 


Marega’s flicks a header down to Pepe, of all people, who volleys wide via a deflection. Corner incoming, with Liverpool struggling to breathe…


The corner is half-cleared, comes back into the area for Marega, Liverpool half-clear again, and Militao fizzes a long-range shot into the stand. Alisson, however, shanks his kick into the stand. 


Man City are now 3-2 up against Spurs. Sterling again. 


Liverpool have steadied it a bit in the last couple of minutes, and have a free-kick, won as a result of a Pepe foul on Salah. It goes nowhere. 


Porto causing Liverpool a world of toruble down the left-flank. Jesus Corona ghosts by Alexander-Arnold, and stands up a cross that is headed away well by van Dijk. The ball comes back yet again…and yet again Marega fluffs his lines. He had plenty of chances at Anfield, and has had at least as many so far tonight…


A half-chance for Corona in the Liverpool box, but his shot is blocked. Liverpool cannot get a hold of the ball. They are getting battered. 


The return of Brahimi has made a big difference for Porto here, with he and Jesus Corona menacing presences on either wing. If Porto had a striker more clinical than Marega, then they could be in some trouble. 

13 shots so far for Porto, Liverpool are yet to have any! 


Liverpool have a goal ruled out for offside! Salah’s goal-bound shot was diverted in by Sadio Mane, but there is a lengthy stop for a VAR review of it…


…it’s still ongoing…


A killer blow for Porto, totally against the run of play, Mane scores. Salah’s shot on goal was slid in by Mane. He was marginally onside, as VAR confirmed. 


Porto go right up the other end, and Militao pulls the ball back from the right wing to find Brahimi arriving into the box unmarked. His shot, however, is right at Alisson. 


Goodness me, was that against the run of play. Liverpool hadn’t even managed a shot of any description before Mane’s close range-finish. Porto now need four goals…


Andy Robertson dumps Militao on his behind on the right-wing. Corona’s deep cross is easy fodder for Alisson, however. 


Wijnaldum passes the ball directly to Danilo on the edge of Liverpool’s box, having been given the ball by Alisson. Liverpool remain startlingly sloppy. 


35 minutes for the Pepe Yellow Card Bingo. For clattering into Origi. Liverpool have started to take the sting out of the game, now. 


Chants of ‘Liverpool, Liverpool, La la la Liverpool’ to the tune of Solsbury Hill audible around the stadium now. It’s pretty catchy. 


Eder Militao pretty impressive at right-back thus far for Porto. He is off to Real Madrid at the end of the season. Brahimi on the left-wing has been terrific, and Jesus Corona has had his moments on the right, too. The latest is a shot at Alisson. 


Liverpool’s front three are very fluid. Mane started centrally, then Origi did a stint there, and now Salah is central. 


Marega shunts Fabinho off the ball, marauds into the box, and is then dispossessed calmly by van Dijk. The ball rebounds up and onto Robertson’s arm, but there is no VAR referral. It would have been exceptionally harsh. 


We are into two minutes of added time. 


Salah is fouled by Danilo in midfield. Liverpool take it quickly, the ball finds Alexander-Arnold on the right-wing, whose cross is flicked goalward by Milner…and narrowly wide of the far post. 


Porto have been largely terrific, and have dominated the game…but Liverpool have been better in both boxes. They sucker-punched Porto with their first shot of the game, Sadio Mane’s effort ruled back in by VAR after a linesman’s flag. 

That goal has killed Porto, really. They need four goals in 45 minutes to go through, without conceding again. Liverpool are almost there…we’re back in 15 minutes. 


‘Corona one of those who bottled it for the home side’ says BT’s Jake Humphrey at half-time, which is exceptionally unfair carry-on in the name of a pun.


Both sides have made changes: Tiquinho is on for Otavio for Porto; Origi has been subbed for Fimino. 


Good chance for Liverpool. Danilo’s header is poor and breaks for Salah, but his cross is poor with Firmino and Mane unmarked in the box. Corner. 


Corner comes to nowt. 


Now Porto have a corner: another good cross by Corona after a flurry of stepovers, headed behind by Matip ahead of Marega. 


Liverpool clear. 


Porto have a free-kick wide on the left….


…that they squander by hoiking it to nobody, and over the end line. 


Ooof. Tiquinho has a decent chance, winning a header above Alexander-Arnold. It’s well wide of Alisson’s goal, mind. 


The game is very stop-start at the moment, Porto yet to find the rhythm of the first-half. 


Eder Militao has just ‘megged James Milner, Messi-style. He really is very, very impressive. Madrid have got a good ‘un. 


Decent long-range hit by Herrera, but it is right at Alisson. Porto would be some team if they had a bit more cutting edge…


Brief return to the Bloody Hell Dept: Aguero has just QPRd it past Hugo Lloris, to put City 4-2 up on the night and 4-3 ahead in aggregate against Spurs. 


Liverpool beginning to swagger in this game now. Mane sauntered into the penalty area by Alex Telles, but his chipped ball for Firmino is slightly errant. 


Porto have yet another free-kick wide on the right. Corona’s ball is excellent, and a queue of Porto players are ready to turn the ball in at the back post…only for Felipe to shank it over the crossbar. 


Firmino’s ability to drop short and his strength means Liverpool are doing a better job of hanging onto the ball in the second-half. Aside from van Dijk, difficult to think of a more important player for Liverpool. 


Liverpool are crusing now. James Milner has just switched play like Pirlo to Alexander-Arnold on the right-wing. It takes Militao to finally win the ball back for Porto. 

Flag 66Mins

GOAL! Porto 0 -2 Liverpool (Salah 65′)

Beautiful goal. Firmino wins the ball back in the left-back position, switches it for Alexander-Arnold, who advances and slides an impeccable ball behind the Porto defence for Mo Salah, who rifles the ball into the left corner beyond Casillas. He never looked like missing, and he has his confidence back. 


That assist is Alexander-Arnold’s final action: he comes off for Joe Gomez, who is back from a lengthy injury lay-off. Salah’s return to form, Gomez’ return…it’s all coming together for them at the right time. 

Flag 69Mins

Goal! Porto 1-2 Liverpool (Militao) 

A deserved goal for the hosts. Corona’s outswinging corner is headed home by the superb Militao. They need another four goals, mind…

Liverpool make a final change: Andy Robertson makes way for Jordan Henderson. Milner drops to left-back. 


WHAT A MISS MANE! He scampers through having latched onto a gorgeous Henderson pass, rounds Casillas…and then leaning back he hacks the ball over the crossbar. It was an open goal! Inexplicable miss. 


BLOODY HELL DEPT AGAIN: Fernando Llorente has scored for Spurs! 4-3 to City on the night, 4-4 on aggregate with Spurs going through as it stands!


At Porto, Brahimi takes a tumble in the box but no penalty given. Replays show it was a fairly pitiful dive. 

Flag 77Mins

Goal! Porto 1 – 3 Liverpool (Firmino) 

Jordan Henderson makes a difference again: he whips a ball in from the right flank onto the head of Firmino, who glances the ball into the net. Job done. 


Liverpool on easy street now. Jesus Corona, who was great form Porto, has been subbed for Fernando. All three of their forwards have scored, and it will be fascinating to see what they can do to Barcelona…


Bruno Costa comes on for Brahimi for Porto. He was very good as well, and had Marega been sharper in front of goal, things might have been different for them tonight. 


A loose pass by Gomez ends up with Tiquinho, who advances to goal and pokes a shot narrowly wide of Alisson’s right-hand post. 

Flag 84Mins

Goal! Porto 1-4 Liverpool (Van Dijk) 

Milner’s corner is flicked by Mane at the front post to van Dijk at the back, who thunders a header into the net. 


Salah shanks a free-kick into the stand. Jurgen Klopp laughs in response – quite a luxury. 


Liverpool lording it now. We’ll have two minutes of added time. An exhausted Alex Telles hacks the ball over his own bar for a Liverpool corner. 


That corner is floated to Salah outside the box, but his volley is right at Casillas. 


Full-time! Porto 1-4 Liverpool 

Liverpool withstood an early barrage from Porto, and were fortunate to be ahead through Sadio Mane at half-time. Firmino’s introduction, however, changed the game and Liverpool eased to a 4-1 win. 

They head for Barcelona in the semis…as the only English side to ever win at the Camp Nou. 

Thanks for following the, er, hipster’s choice of game tonight. 

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney


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