LIVERPOOL took control of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Porto as goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino secured a 2-0 first-leg win at Anfield on Tuesday.
The Reds raced into the lead after just five minutes when the shot of Keita – who had scored his first goal for the club in Friday night’s victory over Southampton – took a wicked deflection off Oliver Torres and nestled in the corner of the net, past Iker Casillas.
Mohamed Salah spurned a wonderful opportunity to double the advantage but then Firmino, creator of Liverpool’s first, got on the score-sheet with a simple tap-in from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s lovely cross.
As potent as Liverpool were in front of goal, they looked vulnerable to Porto’s counter-attack and were fortunate Moussa Marega had an off day in front of goal, the Malian fluffing two clear chances in an action-packed first-half.
The tempo dropped in the second half with Liverpool seemingly content to take a two-goal advantage to the Estadio do Dragao next week, while Porto will be happy to count themselves still in with a chance of qualifying.
The only real talking point after the restart was the decision not to give Salah a straight red card for a high challenge on Otavio. Liverpool’s attentions will swiftly turn to Sunday’s match at home to Chelsea as they continue their fight for the Premier League title.
If Liverpool scores in the return leg in Portugal, Porto will need to score at least four times to advance.
It was obvious in their second-half approach that Jurgen Klopp’s side were content with just the two-goal lead and a clean-sheet. It should prove enough for Liverpool to claim their place in the last four in what is turning out to be a fascinating season for the club. – Eurosport