Liverpool v Porto – story of the match

Liverpool eased into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in nine years with no great alarm in a somewhat lifeless goalless draw at home to Porto.

This game was the antithesis of their 5-0 win in the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao but a professional performance, a fifth clean sheet in eight European matches and no apparent injuries represented mission accomplished.

While supporters may have had a justifiable complaint for being short-changed by the Champions League’s top scorers there was absolutely no point in taking any risks – especially with Saturday’s battle to be the Premier League’s best of the rest at Manchester United looming large.

Tweet of the match

Star man – James Milner

James Milner produced a number of decent touches (Tim Goode/PA)
James Milner teed up Sadio Mane when the forward hit the post (Tim Goode/PA)

Milner went into the contest as the competition’s top assist-maker this season, having created seven goals, and he almost added to that tally when his excellent pass found Sadio Mane and the Senegal forward fired against the post. That was among a number of nice touches – both in attack and defence – that the midfielder produced.

View from the bench

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who had seen his side score 28 goals in the eight Champions League games prior to this, would no doubt have liked the Reds to show more attacking thrust than they did here – certainly, the second-half introduction of top scorer Mohamed Salah suggested as much. But with there seemingly being little else for him to complain about, the German will surely be content enough with how the evening played out.

Data point

Porto have never won an away match against English sides in Europe in 18 attempts (15 losses, three draws).

Player ratings

Liverpool: Loris Karius 6, Joe Gomez 6, Joel Matip 6, Dejan Lovren 6,  Alberto Moreno 7, Emre Can 6, Jordan Henderson 6, James Milner 7, Sadio Mane 7, Roberto Firmino 6, Adam Lallana 6. Substitutes: Danny Ings (for Firmino, 61) 7, Mohamed Salah (for Mane, 73) 7, Ragnar Klavan (for Can, 80) 6.

Who’s up next?

Manchester United v Liverpool (Premier League, March 10)

Pacos Ferreira v Porto (Primeira Liga, March 11)

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