Liverpool 2-0 FC Porto: Ratings as Reds continue scoring streak at Anfield

Liam Wraith rates the Reds as they swept their Portuguese opponents aside at Anfield – even though their qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League was already secure.

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Liverpool welcomed Porto to Anfield on Wednesday night knowing qualification to the knockouts was already secured with a 100pc record in their first four games. The Portuguese side came to Merseyside in the hope of securing a vital three points towards the last 16.

There was nothing riding on the game for the Reds with Klopp able to make four changes from the team which started the rampant victory against Arsenal.

Liverpool’s approach to the game showed a team who had already done their work and the approach was almost like a free hit, and it paid off as they barely broke a sweat on the way to another win.

Porto had lots of chances running in behind but really unable to capitalise on any of the opportunities that were presented to them.

Despite being open at the back, the Reds had their chances too and thought they had broken the deadlock after Mané slotted home from a disguised Thiago pass but it was ruled out for a marginal offside.

The lads stepped it up in the second half however and took control of the fixture.

Thiago handed the Reds the lead with a piece of pure brilliance as he cut a cross a ball to fire it in from distance. Salah wrapped the game up as he slotted home the second in at Costa’s near post.

Your ratings, after another enjoyable night ay Anfield:

Starting XI

Ali 6 – The acting skipper was very much a passenger in the first half despite all the chances and opportunities that Porto had. The Brazilian looked as calm as ever on the ball when he was called upon until he channelled his inner Diogo Costa when he almost gave Porto a goal in the second half by passing it straight to them.

Neco 7 – Williams was faced with the difficult task of going up against Porto talisman Luis Díaz but wasn’t phased by the challenge when faced up 1v1. He left lots of space in behind when foraying forwards but on the most part he was solid defensively. The Welshman produced some nice attempted long balls played in behind – at times you would have been forgiven for thinking Trent was on the pitch.

Joël 7 – The world’s most wonderful man continued to be Mr. Reliable at the back, making interventions on more than one occasion to deny Porto big chances or even certain goals. Most notably, he got in to block a Taremi header which looked destined for the back of the net. He was the most composed of the starting contingent. You can’t not love Joël Matip.

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Ibou 6 – Konaté was involved in some tasty battles in behind and enjoyed getting stuck in against the Portuguese visitors. He was having a body-bouncing competition with himself with the amount of times he barged an opponent off the ball – unsurprisingly he was booked. The Frenchman continued to show off his incredible recovery pace.

Shimmy Cash 7 – The Greek Scouser continued to show promise and good form getting up and down that left flank to show that Klopp is spoilt for choice with two top-class full-backs to pick from on the left side. He was strong at both ends of the pitch, a solid night from the all-action Greek.

Morton 7.5 – I want to see more of this lad. The Champions League debutant looked beyond his years in the deepest role of a midfield three, playing with confidence and great skill. His passes were controlled and played with precision, and he showed defensive strength on more than one occasion with some vital interventions – the most notable cutting out a cross that would have left an oncoming Porto man with a tap-in.

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Ox 7 – Almost scored a great volley in the second half but his effort span away from the post. He showed the same defensive promise and control in midfield that saw him receive high praise against Arsenal.

ThiaGOAT 8 – Lovely cushioned header for Thiagoooooooooo! The Spaniard was at his imperious best, scoring the goal of the night. He cut across the ball with his right foot from 30 yards to slam a low piledriver in and give the Reds the lead. It was truly the Thiago show, with some of the passes on display worthy of a spot in the Louvre. He didn’t look like a player on his way to Barcelona anytime soon. They’re skint anyway.

Mo 7 – One Mo goal for Salah. He had a rather quiet night by his standards but that didn’t stop him getting on the scoresheet to make it 17 goals in as many matches this season. Nice skill to sit Matheus Uribe down before curling the ball home in at the near post to double the lead before he was replaced by Origi. Naughty.

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Taki 6.5 – He was unfortunate to not continue his scoring form after having a goal disallowed for offside. Minamino was more than involved in the final third but some of his passing felt a little off at times and the 26-year-old was a little awkward positionally too – understandable for someone who has not played lots of football.

Sadio 7 – Mané continued to haunt Porto causing them problems on more than one occasion as he has in previous encounters. He thought he had his customary goal but VAR disallowed it questionably for offside – the flag was very much the villain on the night. He will have been disappointed not to get on the scoresheet but looked in fine fettle.

Subs

Robbo 7 – The Scotsman took the questioning over his starting spot personally when he came onto the pitch. The Scot burst onto the scene with bags of energy and intention to make things happen.

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Hendo 7 – The skipper looked in good shape coming on building on his positive introduction against Arsenal after picking up a knock on international duty. Positive substitution, assisting the second with a straightforward pass to Salah.

Divvy 5.5 – The Belgian tried to influence things going forward but there was an evident drop to the pace in attacking transition after he replaced Mané on the left wing. Almost won a penalty, but VAR showed it was outside the area.

Fabs 6 – Completed his duties well in midfield with a solid performance. Business as expected for Flaco.

Milly 6 – His most notable contribution was getting booked for time wasting in the 88th minute despite the Reds being 2-0 up. Never change, you lovely old fool.


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