Midfielder Thiago Alcantara kicked off a 14-month disappointment with a swing from his cultured right foot to set Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 win over Porto and a record Champions League group stage point.
That sweet low-half-volley from the Spain midfielder at the start of the second half deserved to win any game and the fact that it came in a dead-rubber that had already qualified for the last 16. The quality of the target should not be diminished.
Mohamed Salah scored against this opposition for the fourth time in three meetings and took his individual Champions League tally to 32, well ahead of Steven Gerrard’s 41st European record.
But while the Egypt international has been shining for the full time he has been at Anfield, it has been a less successful time for Thiago.
However, when it came his target was nothing short of a playmaker whose arrival from Bayern Munich in a £20million deal in the summer of 2020 saw the signing of Jurgen Klopp’s side to the next level. had gone.
He had a mixed start to his Anfield career, contracting Covid-19 soon after arriving and then missing his first Merseyside derby for nearly three months with a knee injury.
It was, however, one of his better days, as he slowly warmed to the occasion when a side showed four outfield changes – including two in the last four – from Saturday’s win at Arsenal to reconcile. fought for.
Thiago began to find his range in the middle of the first half and his fully-weighted pass to select Sadio Mane to shot across Diogo Costa, it seemed, was just offside for VAR. Has had success to rule out the stern. Margin.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s free-kick coaxing a 25-yard shot off Costa after just halfway through was only an appetizer as he saved his best night in front of Cope.
While Thiago, 30, was impressing a fellow midfielder 11 years his junior, he was enjoying a Champions League debut.
Five days after his first Premier League appearance, Academy graduate Tyler Morton slotted in between the Spaniard and Oxlade-Chamberlain and showed he could do with some significant defensive work at this level, including a back-tracking run. Making a cut in the penalty area. A dangerous cross at 0-0.
Klopp’s changes did not help his opening reconciliation and Porto, having played more, immediately seized the initiative, but failed to take advantage due to some poor finishing and good defensive work from Morton and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Mehdi Taremi’s header was widened, but Ottavio must still be wondering how he side-footed when Avenilsson suffered an open goal after breaking clear from the left.
Not much was going well for Liverpool at the other end either when Costa’s hasty Mann Salah returned, unable to find enough power on his shot to upset the goalkeeper.
The loss of veteran defender Pepe, who had already made his competitive debut before Morton was born due to an injury, gave the hosts a start but VAR denied them the lead.
Porto’s carelessness continued into the second half when Matthias Uribe shot wide from a corner and it was the last real sight of the target as it was 52 minutes to reach, it was more than worth the wait.
A volley by Takumi Minamino was dismissed for offside, but there was no denying Salah, who this time cut from the left to score a trademark goal with a shot inside the near post.
It was his sixth match of the group stage, equaling Roberto Firmino’s record for 2017–18 – with one match still to go.
Adding to each other, Liverpool became the first English top-flight side to score two or more goals in 16 consecutive matches in 82 years.
Vijay also amassed 15 points – beating their previous best of 14 sets in 2008–09 – as they are on their way to become the first English team to win all six group games.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport after the match: “It was good. We could have been better, and more calm in goal-scoring situations. But it was busy, which is not unusual for a team.” who haven’t played together much.
“Some would have thought we were going to play an easy game but we weren’t here for that. We won the game with two extraordinary goals – especially Thiago. Wow!
“A lot of good things happened tonight individually and as a team. We had young players playing, players came back from injury and the right players got minutes and the right players got some rest.
“If you’re in our squad you’re a good player, it’s as simple as that. I wouldn’t throw a player into the game if he wasn’t ready. With Tyler (Morton) some people might be surprised before the kick but He did exceptionally well and I’m glad he performed like that.”