On an entirely forgettable night, Liverpool reached reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League, ending their nine-year absence from that stage of the competition.
Holding a 5-0 advantage from the first leg, this return fixture was a procession from the first second, and there were no concerns of an improbable response from Porto, with Liverpool coming closest to scoring when Sadio Mane hit the post in the first half and substitute Danny Ings had a header saved by Iker Casillas.
The reward for Liverpool’s performance in Portugal last month was for the second leg to have preseason-like feel at this stage of the season. And the biggest boost resulting from it is that it appeared to be injury-free prior to the weekend’s game at Manchester United.
To say the odds were against Porto was an understatement. To get to the quarterfinals, Sergio Conceicao’s side were required to pull off one of football’s greatest ever comeback stories, while breaking a number of long-standing records in the process.
Klopp had a call to make with his team selection: either put out his strongest XI in the hope of maintaining rhythm or to rest players ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford. In the end, he settled for a blend of the two options, making five changes, while starting Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk on the bench.
Having probably made travel arrangements and bought tickets for this game well before the first leg, Porto’s travelling support made the most of their trip to Merseyside, even if their team’s performance didn’t come close to the same intensity.
Salah eventually appeared in the 73rd minute, but by that stage his two forward partners, Mane and Roberto Firmino, were off the pitch and beginning their recovery for the United game. Liverpool’s job was done long before these 90 minutes.
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