There was only one club in the last eight that wanted us and that was Porto. All the others in the last eight wanted to avoid us, but Porto will love the chance to go again against us. I know it because of their mentality. Sérgio Conceição is a motivational coach and he will use that. Motivate is not the right word. It is revenge. They want to set something right.
- Liverpool assistant manager, Pepijn Lijnders
European nights return to Anfield on Tuesday when Liverpool come up against Sérgio Conceição’s FC Porto for the second year in a row in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds. This time round the two sides will meet in the first leg of the quarter-finals, with the second leg taking place on 17 April, 2019, at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.
The two clubs have played each other a total of six times. The first and second matches were over the two legs of the 2000-01 UEFA Cup quarterfinals in which Gérard Houiller’s side drew 0 – 0 in Portugal during the first leg and subsequently – thanks to goals from Danny Murphy and Michael Owen – secured victory at Anfield in the second leg. Liverpool would go on to win the UEFA Cup that season, beating Spanish side Deportivo Alavés 5 – 4 in the final.
The second set of matches took place during the 2007-08 UCL group stages with Liverpool managing to draw 1 – 1 against Jesualdo Ferreira’s Porto, despite having to play the majority of the second half with ten men after Jermaine Pennant received a red card in the 58th minute of the match. Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool side would go on to win 4 – 1 at Anfield with two goals from Fernando Torres, a penalty from Steven Gerrard at 84 minutes and an 87th minute strike from Peter Crouch.
Finally, Sadio Mané’s hattrick along with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah’s strikes saw Liverpool bulldoze Porto by five goals to nil at the Estádio do Dragão in March last year in the first leg of the last 16 of the UCL. The second leg at Anfield ended in a goalless draw.
European Cup Competition Form Guide
The Reds have won 10 of their last 14 European Cup quarter-final matches. This season Liverpool have won five successive UEFA Champions League fixtures at home beating Paris Saint-Germain 3 - 2, Crvena zvezda 4 - 0, and Napoli 1 - 0, before drawing 0 - 0 against Bayern in the round of 16 first leg. Since losing by three goals to nil to Real Madrid on 22 October, 2014, Liverpool are unbeaten in 20 European matches at Anfield, with 14 wins and six draws.
Porto’s record in European Cup quarter-final matches is less staggering as they have only won two and lost five and are seeking their first semi-final appearance since 2003-04 when the won the UCL trophy under José Mourinho. In seven matches, their only two quarter-final victories were in the same season that they would go on to lift the trophy. Their draw against Liverpool at Anfield last season saw an end to their five-match losing streak in away games against Premier League sides. They have not scored in their last six matches in England and have conceded 13 goals. In this season’s group stage they opened with a 1 - 1 draw at Schalke, before recording victories at Lokomotiv Moskva (3 -1) and Galatasaray (3 - 2). They suffered a 2 - 1 loss away to Roma in the round of 16 first leg and managed to turn the tie with a 3 - 1 victory in Portugal. Their points tally of 16 is the highest of any club in this season’s group stage.
Iker Casillas was in the Real Madrid side when the Reds smashed Los Blancos 5 – 0 on aggregate in 2008-09’s round of 16 and he also played in the Madrid side which handed Liverpool their last UCL loss at Anfield in the 2014-15 group stage.
Alberto Moreno & Iker Casillas (Spain)
Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker, Fabinho & Alex Telles, Éder Militão, Felipe (Brazil)
Alberto Moreno & Óliver Torres (Spain Under-21s)
Have played together
Fabinho & Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, 2012/13)
Alisson Becker & Otávio (Internacional, 2013–14)
May the Reds repeat their first leg shenanigans from last season against Porto this Tuesday and here’s to another incredible European night under the Anfield lights!