Liverpool v FC Porto: Live matchday blog
First-half goals by Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino earned Liverpool a 2-0 win over FC Porto at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
"AN OUTSTANDING LIVERPOOL GOAL, BOBBY FIRMINO!" 🙌 🔊🆙 for our #LIVPOR match in a minute. 👌 https://t.co/fRWk6BCPIZ— LFC (Liverpool FC) 9th Apr 21:58
Jürgen Klopp's reaction
The boss was satisfied by a job well done post-match - but he also warned that Liverpool will have to overcome a fightback from Porto next week if they're to advance to the semi-finals.
Read a summary of Klopp's press conference here.
Watch the stirring pre-match rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone at Anfield in our video below...
"Overall, we've got to be pleased to take 2-0 over there." Clean sheet ✔️ Two good goals ✔️ Jordan Henderson and… https://t.co/ZBEKgypS50— btsportfootball (Football on BT Sport) 9th Apr 21:13
"We really didn't give anything away." "Pretty much nothing. All good." Jurgen Klopp is a happy man after that re… https://t.co/AKpJEBZK9f— btsportfootball (Football on BT Sport) 9th Apr 21:34
A clean sheet, and a goal each for these two 🙌. Great European night 💪⚽️ #YNWA https://t.co/srZuVvsj4m— SMignolet (Simon Mignolet) 9th Apr 21:05
Good home win. Clean sheet. Half the job done. 🔴 #YNWA https://t.co/MaIQtF6uu3— trentaa98 (Trent Alexander-Arnold) 9th Apr 21:52
Peruse all the stats and facts you need with our selection of Opta widgets below...
Jordan Henderson speaking to BT Sport after the game...
"I think we've got to be pleased with the 2-0. There were some good moments in the game [but] obviously we can do better. 2-0, clean sheet - that's important.
"Obviously we wanted to come out in the second half and score one or two more if we could, but that wasn't the case."
Jürgen Klopp in his post-match press conference...
"It was a good game. In a lot of moments we deserved the win 100 per cent, we scored two wonderful goals. Overall a really good performance. They had a few too many set-pieces, but we defended them well."
Liverpool 2-0 Porto
And that’s that!
The Reds will take a healthy lead into next week’s second leg in Portugal by virtue of first-half goals by Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino at Anfield.
Porto threatened at times, but few would argue that Liverpool deserve their two-goal advantage in this quarter-final tie.
Their cushion could have been even better, too, had a marginal offside call not denied Sadio Mane early in the second half.
But, all in all, that’s a pretty good night’s work from Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Lovely link-up between Milner and Origi down the left earns a corner, which is cleared for another corner that comes to nothing.
Liverpool closing in on a fine first-leg result here.
Sturridge is on for Firmino.
Chance for Porto.
Militao intercepts Henderson's pass to Salah and sprays a great ball over the top to Marega, but his left-footed shot goes over the bar.
A first change for Liverpool sees Origi replace Mane.
Porto have come back into it here, and Marega works Alisson with a low drive from an angle before Mane curls wide at the other end.
Liverpool have been superb in this last five minutes or so, and Alexander-Arnold is a fraction away from getting his shot off after playing an intricate one-two with Salah inside the area.
After a spell of Porto pressure, the Reds turn defence into attack in an instant and Salah gets a shot off after being found by Alexander-Arnold, but it's partially blocked and Casillas gathers.
Mane volleys in Henderson's clipped cross but is adjudged to have been offside.
VAR checks it, but the assistant referee's decision stands.
Jordan Henderson restarts the game.
The Reds, unchanged at the break, are attacking the Kop end in the second half.
Take a look at the story of that first half in stats below...
That 45 minutes flew by!
A great half for Liverpool, who have seized control of the tie thanks to goals in the first half of this first leg from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino.
Keita’s deflected opener arrived with just five minutes on the clock, with Firmino then rounding off a lovely team move in the 26th minute.
Porto have shown glimpses of their attacking quality, particularly when Alisson had to save from Marega, but the Reds are in charge.
A rapid breakaway, started by Alisson's throw, ends with Keita just over-hitting an attempted throughball to Mane, allowing Casillas to gather.
Firmino volleys over!
Another good move from the hosts ends with Henderson crossing to our No.9, but his shot narrowly clears the bar.
Great save, Alisson!
Nearly an immediate response from Porto, but the Brazilian denies Marega.
There's then a VAR check for a potential penalty for handball by Alexander-Arnold, but no spot-kick is awarded.
Wonderful, wonderful football from the Reds!
Henderson picks out a beauty of a slide-rule pass into Alexander-Arnold's path, and the right-back picks out Firmino free inside the six-yard box to roll it home.
Salah so close to a second!
Mo reads an under-hit back-pass, rides a tackle and is one-on-one with Casillas.
He tries to place the ball beyond the 'keeper and does so, but his shot rolls just wide.
Salah, who looks very much in the mood tonight, earns the applause of Klopp, his teammates and the home support for a brilliant piece of tracking back that thwarted a potential Porto counter.
Van Dijk then gets a crucial foot in to block Marega's shot from close range, before Salah tests Casillas from range with a well-struck volley at the other end.
Liverpool, lifted by Keita's goal, have been in complete control here, save for the frst couple of minutes or so.
The Reds are pushing and probing, but Porto are standing firm at the moment.
Get in, Naby!
Keita's second goal in as many games opens the scoring. Mane gets in down the left and finds Firmino, who tees up our No.8.
His shot takes a big deflection off Torres, which sees Casillas wrong-footed as the ball loops into the top corner.
What a start!
Marega has the first attempt of the game after a bright start by Porto.
The visitors' No.11's half-volley is miscued wide from around 12 yards out.
And we're off!
Porto, attacking the Kop end, get us under way.
'You'll Never Walk Alone' always sounds that little bit extra special on European nights at Anfield, doesn't it?
Kick-off is just a few minutes away now...
He already knows😎⚽️ #lfc https://t.co/Jtv0gb4ceA— DanielAgger (Daniel Agger) 9th Apr 18:48
Preparations for #LIVPOR are nearly complete. 👊 #UCL https://t.co/TBVBKbUAdD— LFC (Liverpool FC) 9th Apr 18:43
Time to warm-up, Reds. 💪🔴 #LIVPOR #UCL https://t.co/nL8BbhIkRa— LFC (Liverpool FC) 9th Apr 18:33
Reds arrive at Anfield
A look inside our dressing room, ahead of tonight's clash. 🙌 #LIVPOR #UCL https://t.co/7oXHjGAlT9— LFC (Liverpool FC) 9th Apr 18:24
Thank you to @StanChart for giving local fans the incredible opportunity to attend their first @ChampionsLeague gam… https://t.co/1G42Cmqde3— Red_Neighbours (Red Neighbours) 9th Apr 18:17
6 - Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in six previous encounters (W3 D3 L0). Domination.… https://t.co/EYtvHvjwrD— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 9th Apr 18:21
Klopp explains team selection
Jürgen Klopp has explained how Dejan Lovren is ready to return to Liverpool's starting line-up as the centre-half makes his first appearance since January.
Joe Gomez is also part of a Liverpool matchday squad for the first time in 2019 after recovering from a lower leg fracture.
“Dejan has been training for about three or four weeks already," the Reds boss said. "Joel [Matip] played so many games, so it’s just to use fresh legs and the energy of Dejan. That’s pretty much all we changed.
“Joe actually should have played a couple of minutes today in an internal friendly game behind closed doors, but Alberto [Moreno] was not ready for the bench and we don’t have a lot of left-back options left, so that’s why Joe is in.”
Behind closed doors
It's 4-3-3 for the Reds and 4-4-2 for the visitors tonight, Opta reckon...
How good is it to see these two back involved tonight?
Porto team: Casillas, Maxi, Felipe, Militao, Alex Telles, Corona, Danilo, Oliver, Otavio, Marega, Soares.
Subs: Vana, Hernani, Brahimi, Andre Pereira, Fernando Andrade, Diogo Leite, Bruno Costa.
There are three changes for Liverpool against Porto tonight as Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren and James Milner return to the starting XI at Anfield.
Joel Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum drop to the bench, while Andy Robertson is suspended. Joe Gomez is on the bench.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Milner, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Wijnaldum, Gomez, Sturridge, Shaqiri, Origi, Matip.
Ready. #LFC #ChampionsLeague https://t.co/0BMXLv5sU4— MCATEER4 (Jason Mcateer) 9th Apr 17:05
Enjoy another @ChampionsLeague night with Matchday Live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO. 📺 ⌚️ 19:00 BST: Build-Up ⌚️ 20:00… https://t.co/jH487FwDIp— LFCTV (LFCTV) 9th Apr 16:12
A Joel Matip interview features in this evening's matchday programme.
The centre-half is currently loving life as a permanent fixture in Jürgen Klopp's line-up, having started the last 13 matches in all competitions.
It's a particularly pleasing run for the defender after he suffered a broken collarbone in December.
"Of course injuries belong to the life of a football player and you are always happy if you are fit and you are able to play," he says. "I hope it stays like this.
"I had to wait for my chance earlier in the season and, of course, it is a shame that Joe [Gomez] and Dejan [Lovren] were injured but, as I say, I have had my own problems with injuries and this is part of the game."
Tickets for tonight's match are now completely sold out. Please do not travel to Anfield if you are not in possession of a ticket.
What are the odds?
Fear not, here are BetVictor to provide the answer...
FC Porto: 21/2
To place a bet, or view BetVictor's match specials, click here.
Mohamed Salah comes into tonight's game having become the fastest player to reach 50 Premier League goals for Liverpool in the club's history.
You can enjoy every single one of his top-flight half-century in our video below.
Reds v Casillas
The Porto goalkeeper is in line to face Liverpool for the sixth time in his career tonight. Casillas has experienced two wins, two defeats and one draw - in the last-16 second leg of 2018 - against the Reds so far.
After the reception he was given by the Kop last year, he commented: "I would like to thank the Liverpool fans for that lovely detail. Applauding a player from the opposite team does not happen very often."
Van Dijk's warning
Everyone inside the Liverpool camp has been at pains to stress that last season's 5-0 aggregate win over Porto will bear little - if any - relevance to their rematch over the next eight days.
And Van Dijk was no different when he sat down for a pre-match interview with us at Anfield yesterday.
"They obviously don't want the same as what happened last year," insisted the No.4.
"They're in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and that's not for no reason. They deserve to be where they are right now so it's going to be unbelievably tough to beat them."
A big game requires a big weather update, as regular matchday blog followers will know well.
And we're only too happy to oblige here on Liverpoolfc.com.
It's a warm and sunny day in Liverpool, perfect build-up conditions for tonight's tie. Our experts predict the temperature will drop quite sharply before kick-off, however, so we're calling that 'jacket weather'.
'My football dream'
We've just caught up with some more Porto supporters in the city centre and it's fair to say they're relishing the opportunity to visit Liverpool for this tie.
"It was my football dream to come to Anfield and see Porto v Liverpool," they told us.
"I think we can win but it's very, very tough. We are missing some key players. It will be very tough but we will see."
Three key battles
We've taken a look at where this game could be decided on an individual duel basis - featuring Firmino, Henderson and Van Dijk up against Felipe, Danilo and Moussa Marega.
Click here to read the preview.
Pep's Porto reunion
"Porto made an impact on me as a coach, but even more as a person."
Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders learned a large part of his trade as a coach for tonight's opponents during a seven-year stay in Portugal.
And he opened up to Liverpoolfc.com about his time with Porto and the lessons he brought to Merseyside from the Portuguese club in this fascinating interview.
Last time out
There was quite the finale to Liverpool's last match, with late goals from Salah and Jordan Henderson securing a crucial 3-1 victory at Southampton on Friday night. Relive the drama of that one below...
How the last eight looks
It's a busy midweek across the Champions League, of course, with three other ties scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The winners of the meeting between Liverpool and Porto will progress to take on either FC Barcelona or Manchester United.
Impress your mates with these facts ahead of the game...
- Klopp has won all nine of the previous two-legged ties he has overseen as Liverpool boss - and 16 out of 20 in his overall managerial career
- Only Alisson Becker has played every minute of the Reds' European campaign so far this season
- Porto are the first team from mainland Europe to face the Reds at this stage of the Champions League since PSV Eindhoven in 2007. Liverpool have met Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in the last eight since then.
- The Reds have lost just once in their past 25 European home matches and none of the last 20
- Only Steven Gerrard (30) has scored more European Cup goals for Liverpool than Mohamed Salah (14)
We've spotted some FC Porto fans in and around Liverpool this afternoon, soaking up what the city has to offer ahead of the 8pm BST kick-off at Anfield...
The front page of tonight's matchday programme is a beauty. Pick up your copy at Anfield or subscribe online here.
This Means More
Ahead of another big night for the Reds, a new, emotional video as part of the club's This Means More campaign sees supporters old and young, players past and present, paint a picture of why LFC is unique...
Klopp's message to the supporters
Liverpool's last-minute winner against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield not only earned three valuable points - it taught the manager a new phrase.
And Klopp has asked for a similar atmosphere for this evening's first leg, in his absorbing matchday programme notes.
"I've mentioned before that the supporters were a key factor in our win against Spurs and there is no doubt we need them all at their best for this game," he writes.
"Our fans are knowledgeable and will know Porto have experience and quality in abundance and that Anfield needs to be on its toes for the entire 90 minutes to give us that added energy that can be our X-factor.
"I heard, after the Spurs game, the phrase that the Kop 'sucked the ball over the line'... There isn't really a German translation for this but I know the sentiment is based on willing the goal. I love this – really love this.
"It is true that the supporters can make the difference and even though I would love it to have been credited to Mo I am comfortable with it being chalked down as one for the Kop against Tottenham.
"The same passion tonight is what we need and I'm sure what we will get."
The Reds trained on Monday evening as they continued to fine-tune preparations for facing Porto. Check out 41 of the best snaps from the session below...
Meeting the media
Klopp and Virgil van Dijk took up press conference duties on Monday afternoon, discussing the clash with Porto, Liverpool's Champions League credentials and much more with the media.
See everything the boss and the centre-back had to say below...
So, what do we know about the possible selections tonight?
Andy Robertson is suspended for the Reds, while Porto are without Hector Herrera and Pepe for the same reason.
Jürgen Klopp has no fresh injury concerns to consider, though Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez are not in line to feature.
The visitors will make a late check on the fitness of key left-back Alex Telles.
Speaking of that victory in Munich, it's well worth reliving Liverpool's 3-1 triumph at the Allianz Arena with our story of the trip below...
Tale of the tape
Take a look at all the stats behind these sides' run to the last eight with the handy interactive Opta tool below.
Liverpool battled through a tough group featuring Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade, of course, before a special night in Munich saw them eliminate Bayern.
Porto, meanwhile, took 16 points from group games against Schalke, Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow, and then defeated AS Roma 4-3 on aggregate in the last round.
We go again, then.
It's back to Champions League business for Liverpool tonight, with FC Porto the visitors to Anfield in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.
Can the Reds keep their European ambitions on course? Stick with us throughout the day to find out as we bring you the best build-up, live match coverage and reaction - and probably the odd bad joke or two.