Liverpool v FC Porto: Live matchday blog
Liverpool are through to the last eight of the Champions League after a goalless second-leg draw with FC Porto at Anfield.
Sadio Mane came closest for the Reds on the night as he hit the post in the first half, but the necessary damage was done in Portugal last month when, of course, the Reds ran out 5-0 victors at Estadio do Dragao.
Klopp on the Reds reaching the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2009...
"It feels good, to be honest. It feels really good. I cannot feel what people feel they wait so long for it, but it feels good and I know about it, of course. The last eight is cool. We’re a little bit satisfied and it’s already good. I think it was time we showed up again. Good development in Liverpool in the moment, it’s a nice moment, but if you don’t show up in a competition like the Champions League then nobody really will realise it. I’m happy for all the people involved that we have made that step. So it’s done, it’s good, now let’s carry on."
Jürgen Klopp has arrived for his post-match press conference
"I think the boys did really well, they showed a fantastic attitude and a few pieces of really nice football and we defended very serious. Now the next round," the boss says.
Liverpool advance to the Champions League quarter-finals
As expected after their 5-0 demolition of Porto three weeks ago, it’s the Reds who go through to the last eight after a goalless draw here at Anfield in tonight’s second leg.
Liverpool simply did what they had to this evening. They never really got out of second gear, but would have extended their aggregate advantage further in the first half had Sadio Mane’s low shot found the bottom corner, instead of the inside of the post.
Iker Casillas made an excellent late save in clawing away Danny Ings’ looping header, shortly after Mo Salah had also forced the Porto ‘keeper into action.
All eyes now turn to the draw for the quarter-finals, which takes place on Friday March 16.
Three minutes added on...
Great save from Casillas to deny Ings!
The Liverpool striker climbs high to send Salah's inch-perfect cross looping towards the net, but the Porto stopper palms it away at full stretch.
Porto carve out a chance to grab a consolation from a set-piece, but a combination of Klavan and Lovren manages to block Torres' attempt from close range.
Casillas is again forced to make a save - this time from Salah, who shoots low from a tight angle after latching on to Moreno's pass.
Klopp's third and final sub sees Klavan come on in place of Can.
Moreno intercepts a wayward cross-field pass and surges forward, but his shot takes a big deflection and loops into Casillas' hands.
Then, Salah sends a cross in from the right and Milner glances a header on target that the Porto 'keeper is again equal to.
Salah is on for the final 16 minutes, with Liverpool's top scorer replacing Mane.
The Reds work the ball nicely down the right and Henderson's whipped cross is nodded into the arms of Casillas by Ings.
A first change of the evening for Liverpool, with Ings on for Firmino.
Meanwhile, Sergio Oliveira replaces Andre Andre for the visitors.
Firmino bursts clear and shrugs off Felipe, only for the Porto captain to readjust, slide in and block the No.9's goalbound shot with a superb piece of last-ditch defending.
Henderson then goes into the book for a mistimed tackle on Corona.
Liverpool have begun this half on the front foot, too, with Milner slicing Lallana's cross from the left wide before Karius makes a smart save from Waris at the other end.
And we're back under way.
Iker Casillas received a huge standing ovation from the Kop before kick-off - a fitting tribute to a true legend of the game who is making his 167th Champions League appearance tonight.
It's tradition for visiting goalkeepers to be applauded before they defend the Kop-end net, but that was something else.
Here are the latest match odds, courtesy of Bet Victor...
Liverpool - 4/6
Draw - 19/10
Porto - 7/1
Fancy a flutter? Click here to place a bet now.
Take a look at the Opta stats from that first half below..
That's it for the first half.
Understandably, and almost inevitably, it hasn't been as eventful as the first period in Portugal three weeks ago.
However, it's Liverpool who enjoyed the better of the half, with Mane going within an inch or two of his fourth goal of the tie when he struck the inside of the post with a low shot that had Casillas beaten.
And now Lovren nods Milner's free-kick onto the roof of the net.
Liverpool well and truly in charge here now.
Mane hits the post!
Milner finds the first leg's hat-trick hero with a searching pass after good work down the left by Lallana and Moreno.
The forward takes the ball expertly on his chest then beats Casillas with his low right-footed shot, only for it to cannon back off the inside of the far stick.
Sadio going close...
Now it's Firmino's turn to go close to getting a telling touch on a dangerous delivery, with Lallana supplying the ammunition this time.
The Brazilian is narrowly beaten to the header by Porto skipper Felipe and it remains goalless on the night.
An excellent move from the Reds ends with Gomez standing up a great cross that Mane sends narrowly off target with an acrobatic volley.
Firmino wins the ball back deep in opposition territory - we've heard that before, haven't we? - and Henderson tries to spring Mane free, but his pass rebounds off the No.19's heel and to safety.
Little to report here so far.
Liverpool are enjoying the lion's share of the ball in the early stages, but neither goalkeeper has been called into action yet.
Liverpool get us under way.
The Reds are attacking the Anfield Road end in this first half.
A reminder of the line-ups...
Klopp on his team selection tonight
Here's what the boss had to say on the LFC line-up...
"We can talk about Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has played four games in a row, quite intense, and played really well. But Joe Gomez is fit and a fantastic player. That's not 'rotating', it's only bringing in Joe in a good shape and at the highest motivation level.
"It is exactly the same for Alberto Moreno. Adam Lallana, it was clear that at one point we needed to use him. Milner was not injured but he got a knock in the game before the last one. That's the only reason. Joel Matip is back; the same with Virgil van Dijk, he played four games in a row as well.
"We want to use the whole quality of the squad."
The dressing room...
Confirmed team news – five changes for LFC
The Reds make five changes tonight, with Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno among those brought into the side.
Liverpool XI: Karius, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Milner, Can, Lallana, Mane, Firmino.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Van Dijk, Salah, Klavan, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings, Alexander-Arnold.
The last time...
...Porto came to Anfield was back in November 2007 - and Liverpool ran out 4-1 winners in the Champions League group-stage encounter.
Watch the best of it in our video below.
FC Porto 6/1
That's how BETVICTOR see tonight's game going - click here to take advantage of those odds.
+++ WEATHER UPDATE +++
It's finally here - your pre-match briefing on the conditions at Anfield.
The good news is it's looking unlikely we'll see rain, though temperatures of around six degrees celsius come kick-off mean you should wrap up.
This Is Anfield
And if you're aiming to buy a programme this evening, this is what you'll need to look out for.
No complacency, Henderson insists
Interesting stuff in the captain's programme notes this evening - he wants to make sure every LFC fan in attendance is treated to a performance to be proud of.
He writes: "Before the game begins, everyone should look up at the scoreboard – because that will tell us everything we need to know about the mentality required for this contest. The scoreboard will read 0-0 – and that’s where all our heads have to be. It’s a brand new game, one where we have no lead or advantage and we have to go out there and win the individual and collective battles all over again, and try to win another really tough football match."
Five minutes with Gary Mac
Today sees the launch of a new regular feature on Liverpoolfc.com - a column with former Reds midfielder and all-round good guy Gary McAllister.
First up, the Scot talks James Milner, LFC's Champions League credentials and the weekend clash with Manchester United.
A few pre-match facts from club statistician Ged Rea to whet your appetite for tonight's game...
- Liverpool have never been eliminated from European competition after winning the first leg away from home, in 33 ties.
- Qualification tonight will see the Reds reach their 24th European quarter-final and their 14th in Europe's premier club competition.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 games in the Champions League - winning six and drawing five.
'Salah one of the best I've played with'
James Milner joined the gaffer at the top table yesterday evening and had some kind words for Mohamed Salah.
“I’ve been lucky to play with some very good players throughout my career and he’s up there as well,” he said.
“I know he’s played in England before, but changing club and changing league again - there’s a big difference between England and Italy - settling down as fast as he has and hitting the ground running, scoring the goals and being as ruthless as he has… he’s a top player and that’s credit to the players around him but also the club for helping him settle as fast as possible.
Klopp's media briefing
Missed the manager's pre-match press conference? You can watch him go through the big talking points with the world's media free of charge below.
Away from the Champions League for a brief moment, the referee for the Reds' big Premier League game this weekend has been confirmed.
Craig Pawson will take charge of the meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Van Dijk a warrior - Klopp
The boss also used his pre-match interview with Liverpoolfc.com to lavish praise upon January signing Virgil van Dijk, who has been imperious at the back of late.
Klopp said: “His body language is brilliant, to be honest. He looks like a leader, like a warrior, already like a Liverpool player – that’s good news.
“Of course he has helped us, that’s why we brought him in.”
'These are the moments of greatest danger'
Jürgen Klopp expects to learn plenty about his players' mentality as they go into tonight's game with a comfortable aggregate lead.
He wrote in This Is Anfield: "This is a fantastic test for us, a big challenge, because it doesn’t just test our ability, our skill, our fitness; it will test the most critical attribute of any side that wants to be successful – our mentality.
"How all of us – players, staff and supporters – approach tonight will tell me more about where we are in our development than any Premier League game against a Manchester City, United, Spurs and so on. We are in a positive way in this moment, but these are the moments of greatest danger."
And we're off
Liverpool return to Champions League action this evening as they host Porto in the second leg of the sides' last-16 tie looking to build on the 5-0 aggregate lead they carved out in Portugal.
As ever we'll be bringing you the best coverage from Anfield in our matchday blog - don't go anywhere!