Porto 0-5 Liverpool: Champions League – as it happened

Sadio Mané was the hat-trick hero as Liverpool routed Porto at the Estádio do Dragão.

FULL TIME: Porto 0-5 Liverpool

Liverpool’s love affair with the Champions League has been rekindled on Valentine’s Day. Liverpool were as brilliant as Porto were abject. They’re as good as in the quarter finals already. It’ll be a strange night at Anfield in three weeks if they don’t make them, put it that way. Liverpool’s fans will note with interest that their only two other competitive wins on Portuguese soil have been part of European Cup winning runs, against Benfica in 1978 and 1984.

Klopp applauds the fans after their 5-0 win.
Klopp applauds the fans after their 5-0 win. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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90 min: There will be two added minutes.

89 min: A ball breaks into the Liverpool box down the right. Paciencia is one on one with Karius, but the keeper, desperate for his clean sheet, starjumps and saves well. The Porto man was offside anyway.

87 min: Mane’s haul is the first European away hat-trick in Liverpool’s history that hasn’t been scored by Michael Owen. How about that, then.

GOAL! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane 85)

Here’s that hat-trick! Robertson and Ings combine well down the left. The ball’s shifted inside for Mane, who has Gomez in acres to his right. But he’s not passing up this chance, and pearls an unstoppable effort into the top left. Jose Sa had no chance!

Mane scores for his hat-trick.
Mane scores for his hat-trick. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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83 min: Robertson makes off into acres down the left, and loops a wonderful cross into the Porto box. Mane, rushing in, connects with his boot, hoping to seal a Champions League hat-trick. But he leans back and the ball sails harmlessly over the bar.

82 min: All those subs have robbed this game of its remaining energy.

80 min: ... and then Ings replaces the ever-excellent Firmino. A Champions League debut for a striker who’s had no end of dreadful luck in recent years.

79 min: Gomez comes on for Alexander-Arnold ...

78 min: Telles dribbles down the left. He’s probably fouled by an Alexander-Arnold/Matip sandwich, but goes down so theatrically the referee isn’t having a bar of it.

77 min: Salah floats one into the Porto box from the right. Robertson wins the header and sends the ball back inside. Firmino tries to flick it on powerfully, but only manages to hoick it over the bar, and he’s offside anyway.

75 min: Liverpool meanwhile make their first: Joel Matip replaces the captain Henderson. A change of shape, and now van Dijk is romping down the wing, channelling his inner Cruyff. A chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but he elects to lay off for Wijnaldum and the move breaks down.

74 min: Porto make their third change of the night: Goncalo Paciencia comes on for Soares.

72 min: Nothing comes of the set piece.

71 min: Porto nearly open Liverpool up, Herrera dinking a clever pass down the inside-left channel to release Soares into the area. He’s one on one with Karius, but not for long: as he shoots, van Dijk comes across to block. The ball squirts wide left of goal for a corner.

GOAL! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino 69)

Mane steals the ball in the midfield. He’s tugged back by Corona, but Mane powers forward anyway. He slides a pass down the left for Milner, who enters the area and squares for Firmino. The Brazilian opens his body and slams a sidefoot into the bottom left.

Firmino celebrates scoring Liverpool’s fourth.
Firmino celebrates scoring Liverpool’s fourth. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

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68 min: This is a slightly better period for Porto. Waris, 25 yards down the inside-left channel, sends a low shot towards the bottom left. Karius claims it well.

66 min: Corona nips past a careless van Dijk on the right. He’s into the area. His low cross-cum-shot is hacked out by Lovren, who has got his new partner out of trouble there. Not sure what van Dijk was trying to do there; it certainly wasn’t much of a challenge. Van Dijk makes amends by banging the corner away with a powerful header.

65 min: Henderson fairly pelts a backpass towards Karius. The keeper does very well to keep his eye on the ball and trap it, or that’d have sent the net billowing.

64 min: Alexander-Arnold crosses deep from the right. Firmino, coming in from the left, tries to meet the ball with an outstretched leg, but can’t quite make it.

63 min: Marega knocks the ball down the inside-left channel and hares after it. For a second it looks as though he might power through, but Wijnaldum sticks out a leg and stops him in his tracks. The stadium is pretty quiet right now, Liverpool in the process of doing a number on the home heroes.

62 min: Waris comes on for Brahimi, who started very brightly tonight but faded badly.

61 min: Corona clears the posts in the rugby style from 25 yards.

60 min: Porto knock it around for a while, but it’s all in their final third.

58 min: Telles hooks into the Liverpool box from the left, but that’s easy for Karius. Porto are desperately trying to up their game, but can’t find an extra gear at the moment.

57 min: Porto need something to happen quickly. Corona wins a header in the Liverpool area, cushioning the ball for Marega on the edge of the box. Marega gets a shot away, but it’s a weak bouncer, and settles gently into the arms of Karius.

56 min: The hosts are getting a bit of a chasing right now. Salah breezes into Porto territory again, and should really release Alexander-Arnold on the overlap. But he attempts a very tricky pass inside for Firmino, and the chance is gone.

55 min: Corona fizzes down the right, but he’s got no team-mates in attendance, and soon enough he’s hustled off the ball by Robertson. Porto look utterly deflated.

GOAL! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane 53)

Porto press Liverpool back. But then the visitors spring clear, Firmino sending Salah away with a gorgeous backflick. Salah has options either side, but sends Firmino into the box with a perfectly weighted pass down the middle. Firmino tries to thread into the bottom right. Jose Sa gets down well to stop the shot, but can only push the ball wide right. Mane, rushing in, opens his body and slams a sidefoot home. That was an extremely quick break.

Mane scores his second and Liverpool’s third.
Mane scores his second and Liverpool’s third. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

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52 min: Ricardo breaks down the right and is clattered by Milner, who has put in a few meaty challenges tonight and might see yellow soon if he’s not careful. No punishment this time, though.

50 min: Firmino flicks a header down the middle. Salah races after it, but Reyes nips in to save the day for Porto. The referee comes across to bollock someone on the Liverpool bench. “Behave!” he tells them. Not sure who that was directed at, but it wasn’t Klopp, who stands in the technical area, palms out and shoulders shrugged in mock innocence.

48 min: Van Dijk steps up from the back and plays a pass down the left. Milner chases in the hope of breaking through, but Ricardo puts a stop to his gallop.

47 min: Plenty of early second-half possession for Porto. All in the midfield, but tiny acorns and all that.

Here we go again! The hosts get the ball rolling for the second half. Jesus Corona has replaced Otavio. His first act is to send a pass down the right, meant for Soares, sailing out for a goal kick.

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Half-time reading: It was a good evening for Spurs in this competition last night. Barney Ronay takes the opportunity to give Maurico Pochettino’s excellent side some lyrical love.

HALF TIME: Porto 0-2 Liverpool

That’s a highly acceptable first 45 from the visitors. Two scrappy goals, but Liverpool deserve their lead on the balance of play. They’ve been effervescent in attack. Porto meanwhile have defended appallingly, and their attack has been intermittent at best. The home fans aren’t happy at all. Can Porto come out with renewed vigour? We’ll find out soon enough!

45 min: Salah threatens to break into the Porto box from the right, but he’s offside, and Jose Sa comes off his line to claim anyway.

44 min: This is a lot better from Porto. Brahimi zips in from the left and tees up Soares, who unleashes a low fizzer that sails inches wide of the bottom left. So close to a goal that would totally change the mood in the Estadio do Dragao. Van Dijk had deflected that out, in fact, but the home side don’t get the corner.

43 min: Porto attack, but a loose pass in the midfield by Reyes sets Mane and Robertson off on a dangerous counter. Firmino and Salah both arrive on the scene, Porto light at the back, but Liverpool over-elaborate and the chance for a third is wasted.

41 min: Mane has a chance to bomb down the centre, with a view of breaking into the box for a shot. But he inexplicably hesitates, and the chance is gone. Porto are having real trouble getting out of their own half.

40 min: More of the Liverpool ball-hogging. Suddenly Mane breaks down the left and pings the ball inside for Firmino. A rush of blood to the head sees the ball sail several miles above the bar from an ambitious distance out on the wing.

Mane breaks.
Mane breaks. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

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38 min: Liverpool play keep-ball at the back for a couple of minutes. Game management’s rarely been a forte of theirs during the last few years, so this is an interesting development.

36 min: Marega embarks on a power dribble down the right but has his pocket picked by Wijnaldum. Porto are struggling to get things going at present, hit hard by Liverpool’s one-two.

34 min: Otavio tries to make good down the left, and earns a corner off Lovren. Telles takes. Liverpool clear with ease and tear off on the attack. It’s three on three. Robertson plays a poor ball to Mane, slowing the momentum down. Mane tries to find Firmino with a right-to-left cross, but Marcano slides in to intercept. For a second there, Porto were in serious trouble.

32 min: A free kick for Porto deep in Liverpool territory. The normally brilliant Telles sends a dismal ball over everyone in the box and out of play for a goal kick. Porto need to clear their heads quickly.

31 min: Porto had stopped playing when Milner was attacking, having been convinced the Liverpool man had clipped Marega to the ground while contesting a 50-50. It wasn’t a free kick, and the home side’s collective power-down was inexcusable, really. Take nothing away from Milner’s shot and Salah’s juggling act, though.

GOAL! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah 29)

What a finish this is! Astonishing! Milner dawdles in from the left and unleashes a powerful curler towards the top right. It beats Jose Sa but hits the post and comes back out. Salah is there. He flicks the ball over the flapping keeper, sets himself up with a cushioned header, and guides the ball over the line. What juggling skills!

Salah takes the ball around Jose Sa to score.
Salah takes the ball around Jose Sa to score. Photograph: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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27 min: It wasn’t much of a goal, but that might do Mane’s confidence the world of good. Though he’s got no time to enjoy his achievement: he tangles with Ricardo in the midfield and has taken an accidental smack in his special place. He’ll be fine to continue, but he doesn’t look particularly happy at the moment.

GOAL! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane 25)

Firmino releases Mane into the area down the left. Mane should find Wijnaldum in the centre for a tap-in, but messes up the cross. Never mind! Another Liverpool attack is launched immediately, Wijnaldum bustling down the middle. The ball breaks to the left for Mane, who aims for the bottom right. He scuffs his shot straight at Jose Sa, but the keeper makes an awful mistake, letting the ball squirt under his body; it bounces into the net apologetically. That’s a precious away goal for Liverpool!

Mane scores the opener.
Mane scores the opener. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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24 min: Good luck guessing which team will find the opening goal. This is entertaining end-to-end fare. Marega powers with great purpose down the inside-right channel and very nearly breaks into the Liverpool box. Robertson slides in to concede a corner that’s easily dealt with. Then another phase of Porto attack, Reyes curling gently in from a good position on the right. Karius claims easily; that was something of a waste by the home side.

22 min: Liverpool are beginning to show their teeth for the first time in the match. First up, a corner on the left; Lovren eases the pressure on Porto by getting all handsy in the area. Then the visitors come again, Robertson striding down the left and whipping low towards the near post. Firmino bravely dives in the hope of connecting with his head, but Reyes clears the danger.

Firmino goes for the header.
Firmino goes for the header. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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20 min: Porto have looked strong at the back, but there’s no accounting for individual errors. Jose Sa slips as he takes a kick upfield. Firmino takes charge and rolls a pass wide right for Salah, who is free in the box! He’s entitled to shoot, but looks for Firmino in the middle with a low cross. Reyes hooks away from danger.

18 min: Porto captain Herrera stands on Mane’s foot. Late and clumsy, but not malicious. Mane grimaces in pain, but the referee keeps his cards in his pocket. Nobody in Liverpool orange complains too much.

16 min: Brahimi takes on Alexander-Arnold down the left. He nearly escapes into the box, where he’d be one on one with Karius, but Alexander-Arnold shepherds both winger and ball out of play. This is already proving to be a fun duel.

15 min: It’s all gone a bit scrappy. Van Dijk sends a simple clearance straight up in the air, Mohamed Sissoko style. Robertson and Mane assist him in the mopping up.

14 min: Jose Sa takes a goal kick which doesn’t get out of the penalty area. He gets another go. It’s out! We play on.

12 min: Mane bursts down the inside-right channel. He’s got Firmino in the middle, but thinks too long and is forced to check back. Porto make their way upfield, but Brahimi concedes a gift to Firmino, who dribbles towards the box then lays off to Robertson on the left. Robertson hits the teed-up pass first time, the ball meant for the top left but sailing over the crossbar. Full marks for ambition from a player making his European debut.

11 min: Liverpool betray their defensive nerves. Alexander-Arnold and Lovren both fail to clear a ball on the edge of their box. It allows Otavio to snatch possession and make a little room for a snapshot. He shoots, but the ball is deflected over Karius and the crossbar by the outstretched leg of Lovren, atoning for earlier errors. The corner comes to nought. Porto are looking very dangerous.

9 min: Brahimi looks lively this evening. He romps down the left and very nearly gets the better of Alexander-Arnold. But the young full back sticks to his man well.

8 min: Mane dribbles down the left. He’s got the chance to cross, or slip Milner away on his outside. He delivers a hospital ball to Milner, and the attack is over. Mane’s been out of sorts for a while, to the point where the simple things have become difficult. He could do with a confidence boosting match.

6 min: Porto attack with purpose again, Soares bursting down the left, play spread out to the other wing. A throw’s launched long into the mixer. Van Dijk heads powerfully clear. Porto come straight back at Liverpool, Marega winning an aerial duel in the midfield with van Dijk ... but unfairly so. A free kick, and the early pressure on Liverpool is released.

4 min: Telles hits it long. Lovren’s attempt at a clearing header isn’t all that. Telles gets another go, but as he whips it in, several of his team-mates have wandered offside. Telles gets some curl on the ball.

3 min: Brahimi goes on a marvellous touchline-hugging sprint down the left. He earns a corner off Alexander-Arnold. An early chance for Alex Telles to showcase his set-piece skills.

2 min: Van Dijk, playing in his first Champions League game since his Celtic days, thinks about romping up the inside-left channel, but he’s dragged back by Otavio. Mane then has a gander down the left, but he runs out of road. Goal kick. A quiet start, especially by the home side, who have barely had a touch yet.

And we’re off! Liverpool get the ball rolling on a miserably wet night. It’s hammering down. They launch long. Porto dispatch it back upfield. A chance for everyone at the back to get a touch on this greasy surface.

The teams are out! It’s been pelting down in Porto, but the atmosphere is red hot, as you’d expect for a last-16 game in the Champions League. Porto sport their storied blue-and-white-striped shirts, while Liverpool’s tops have been made equally famous over the years. By the Dutch national team, that is: they’re playing in third-choice orange. We’re a few handshakes and one butchering of Zadok the Priest away from kick-off!

While we wait, Peter Oh has been staring at the teamsheets in lieu of action: “I noticed that Porto fittingly have a player named Paciencia (patience in Portuguese) among the substitutes, waiting for his chance. In contrast, the visitors’ bench features a goalkeeper presumably low on paciencia after losing his starting role.” Poor Simon! Ah well. He’ll always have Stoke at home in 2013.

Klopp speaks! “It is normal that you respect an opponent when you play in the last 16 of the Champions League. They are very experienced in European competition, and very successful in the Portuguese league. So that’s how it is. We have to be as strong as possible in both departments, defence and attack. We need to be really spot on from the first second. We need the right attitude, we need to be ready for the fight, it will be a very physical game. I am always optimistic, I am happy to be here with my boys, the mood is good, so let’s play football!”

The weather: Thoroughly Lancastrian. It’s been raining non-stop for a couple of days.

Welcome to Portugal.
Welcome to Portugal. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The teams

Porto: Jose Sa, Ricardo Pereira, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Sergio Oliveira, Herrera, Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Tiquinho Soares.
Subs: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris.

Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings, Matip.

Referee: Daniele Orsato (Montecchio).

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Porto make three changes to the side sent out at Chaves last Sunday. Ricardo and Iván Marcano replace Maxi Pereira and the suspended Felipe in the defence, while Yacine Brahimi comes in for Jesús Corona up front. Leading scorer Vincent Aboubakar is out injured.

Liverpool make three changes to the team named at Southampton last weekend. Dejan Lovren takes the place of the out-of-sorts Joël Matip, James Milner comes in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and captain Jordan Henderson replaces the suspended Emre Can. Loris Karius keeps hold of the goalkeeper’s gloves, with Jürgen Klopp’s early-season policy of league-and-cup rotation seemingly ditched.

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Preamble

Liverpool have a fine record against Porto. The five-time European champions have met the two-time winners on four occasions in continental competition, and are yet to lose a game. Gerard Houllier’s side beat them in the quarter finals on the way to the 2001 Uefa Cup, Danny Murphy and Michael Owen with the goals in a 2-0 win at Anfield, after a 0-0 draw in Portugal. Then in the 2007/08 Champions League group stage, Rafael Benitez’s side managed a 1-1 draw in Oporto, Dirk Kuyt getting on the scoresheet, then ran up a 4-1 win at home, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch doing the business there.

That’s the good news. On the flip side, Porto have done for the last three English sides to visit their manor in the Champions League. Arsenal went down 2-1 in 2010; Chelsea were defeated 2-1 in 2015; and Leicester were walloped 5-0 last season. Historically, it’s a mixed bag.

As for this season: well, we all know Liverpool’s story. Porto are rather less predictably unpredictable, though. They’re unbeaten in the Portuguese league this season, and haven’t lost in 24 games since going down 3-2 at Leipzig on matchday three in the Champions League groups. While the Reds were winning 2-0 at Southampton on Sunday, Porto were strolling 4-0 at Chaves. And Mo Salah (28) and Bob Firmino (19) aren’t the only players in the goals this season; Moussa Marega has scored 16 while Vincent Aboubakar has 20.

This is a delicately poised tie between two attack-minded, hard-pressing teams. It should be a cracker. It’s on!

Kick off: 7.45pm at the Estádio do Dragão.

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