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Liverpool 0, FC Porto 0 (5-0 agg): First Thoughts

Porto arrive at Anfield for the second half of the Round of 16 in the Champions League, looking to avoid another embarrassment.

Liverpool 0
FC Porto 0

  • Pre-Match Thought: Klopp did indeed ring the changes, with Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah both on the bench, assumedly in preparation for the meeting with Manchester United this weekend. He has still fielded a strong lineup, with Jordan Henderson captaining and Emre Can returning to the lineup after serving his one match ban for yellow cards. Fight that complacency, Liverpool!
  • The day starts with a moment of silence for Firoentina’s Davide Astori, who passed away suddenly at the team’s hotel over the weekend.
  • And we’re off! Adam Lallana taking over Salah’s position is probably most notable, we’ll see how that turns out.
  • Liverpool with ALL the possession in these first five minutes, looking very much in control.
  • “In some ways, this is an IMPROVED team without Coutinho.” YOU SAID IT, COMMENTATOR GUY.
  • First decent chance of the game comes with a ball from Joe Gomez to Sadio Mane in the six yard box at 17 minutes in. Mane heads it just over the box, unluckily.
  • Porto looking particularly vulnerable on their outer channels, but getting the ball to a place where we can actually score from there is proving difficult. Slow, though, everything is moving very slowly.
  • There’s a lot of beautiful passing and movement in tight spaces here, by both teams, but Liverpool are gently gently pushing everything up.
  • Please, Liverpool, just get one before the break. Just get one!
  • Halftime: Not a whole lot to write home about from that one, but Liverpool have been unsurprisingly dominant and able to keep Porto from going too far forward. Even without van Dijk, our defense has been incredibly strong. Look for maybe one or two when Porto starts to tire out.
  • And we’re back out! No changes from either side, and Liverpool attacking towards the Kop in this second half.
  • This match is so boring that the commentators just analyzed how the teams came out from the tunnel after halftime. Apparently since Liverpool all came out as a group that means something!!!!
  • Porto have had a couple chances here and there since coming back but really it just looks like it’s just to make sure Karius is awake.
  • Oh look, Hendo got a yellow card. There’s that anger during a particularly nasty tackle by him.
  • Klopp makes a change at 60 minutes in, taking off Roberto Firmino for Danny Ings!!!!! Definitely giving Bobby a rest before the weekend, hopefully Klopp makes another two before too long.
  • And that’s all the excitement for this match. This thing is going to end 0-0 isn’t it. Wouldn’t it be great to see Ingsy get a goal, though??
  • There’s still twenty minutes left? Oh my stars.
  • But with those twenty minutes left, Mane comes off for Salah and things are probably about to get a little more exciting.
  • Nevermind.
  • ALMOST! That camera angle was the devil’s work but Casillas just saved an almost sure thing from Ingsy.
  • Final Whistle: And that’s it! Liverpool are through to the next round, moving on from Porto. This game didn’t even have to be played to be honest, and yet it was a good cardio workout before Manchester United on the weekend.

We’ll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today’s game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven’t already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we’ll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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