Liverpool put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals after they brushed aside Porto 2-0 at Anfield on Tuesday evening.
It was the best possible start for Liverpool, as they opened the scoring within five minutes. Naby Keita was on the score sheet for the second consecutive match courtesy of a deflected strike from outside the 18-yard box, leaving Iker Casillas with little chance in the Porto goal.
After a dominant 20 minutes, the Reds looked to have put the game beyond Porto through Roberto Firmino, who finished off a sweeping move with a tap in from close range. The visitors could have had the chance to draw a goal back from the spot shortly before half time when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled the ball in the box, but the appeals were dismissed after a VAR referral.
The second-half was a much quieter affair, with Porto seeming happy to sit back on the two goal deficit. The Reds did push for a third, but they were unable to trouble Casillas any further at the Kop End.
Given their long and illustrious history in Europe, it has been strange to see the Champions League take a back seat for Liverpool this season, such has been the significance of their Premier League title challenge.
The quarter-final draw couldn’t have worked out any better for the Reds and, although they were expected to navigate Porto comfortably, they were mightily impressive on the night. The midfield trio played slick, positive football and Porto seemed it find it impossible to deal with Liverpool’s typically energetic front three, all of which caused a plethora of problems.
The frantic nature of Liverpool’s remaining fixtures means that they won’t be able to savour this victory for too long, but the pressure will be off when the Reds travel to Portugal in a fortnight’s time.