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Liverpool’s demolition of Porto “fuelling the belief” of a 7th European Cup

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Liverpool thrashed Porto 5-1 on Tuesday evening and the watching media heaped praise on the Reds, most notably Curtis Jones.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side traded domestic duties for European action, looking to see off Porto in the Champions League once again.

They did exactly that, producing an almost perfect performance to maintain their 100 percent record in Group B, remaining top in the process.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice for Liverpool, while Sadio Mane also got in the act in Portugal.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted to the Reds’ imperious victory.

 

A fantastic team display left many hugely impressed…

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Said Mané (C) celebrates with team-mate Joel Matip (R) after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dominic King of the Daily Mail claimed it was a win that suggests a seventh European Cup can be won this season:

“High up in the corner of the stadium, the visiting fans began chanting an old song, one that has been aired many times down the years.

“This, perhaps, is the earliest that Liverpool fans have started singing about being the team ‘that’s going to win the European Cup’ but there is an unmistakable confidence and swagger about Jurgen Klopp‘s squad that is fuelling the belief of their followers.

“Granted, dismantling a substandard Porto team in the final week of September is not an indication of what might in St Petersburg next May yet it is impossible not to notice the drive about Liverpool and the hunger that these men are showing.”

Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo lauded yet another emphatic outing at the Estadio do Dragao:

“How Klopp must wish he could play every away game in the Champions League here in Portugal.

“The Stadium of Dragons may very well be the English translation, but the sight of the Reds in this arena simply turns Sergio Conceicao’s Porto to mice.

[…]

“This, though, was simply irresistible; a statement performance to make the rest of Europe sit up and take note.

“The Stadium of Dragons? Consider them all slayed. Again.”

The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy revelled in a ruthless Liverpool win:

Jurgen Klopp’s insistence that Liverpool would not dine out on their previous two swashbuckling victories at Porto materialised with his side serving up another carving of the hosts at Estadio do Dragao.

“Sergio Conceicao could be forgiven for waving the white flag at the second this fixture is announced in future, having overseen a sequence of three defeats since 2018 in which 14 goals have been conceded and just two netted.

[…]

Champions League games shouldn’t be this easy, but the Merseysiders somehow always manage to muddle a usually resilient, steely team into a total mess.”

 

Jones was the undoubted star man on the night…

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

TIA‘s Alex Malone thought it was a statement performance from the youngster, who showed his worth to his boyhood club:

“With injuries mounting in midfield, and Curtis Jones seemingly having fallen down the pecking order, these are an important run of games for him to re-establish himself and re-stake his claim.

“After his power-driver at the weekend, it was he who created the opening goal and ended the game with two, possibly even three assists.

“But his performance was much more than that.

“It was close to the complete midfield performance: power, poise, vision, an eye for goal and a pass and didn’t give the Porto midfield a sniff.

“I think it’s fair to say he’s very much staked his claim for one of those coveted three midfield spots. Tremendous display, comfortably his best in a red shirt so far.”

Karl Matchett of the Independent was another who was left enamoured by Jones’ performance:

“Three successive starts for Curtis Jones, all in different competitions – he was a very strong performer here again.

“Klopp had spoken about the need for him to find consistency and, after netting against Brentford at the weekend, this was another showing where he contributed regularly to the performance, had a hand in goals and didn’t look remotely out of place in a high-pressing, ball-winning midfield.

“His second assist was magic for Klopp: tackle, dribble and fantastic pass into a dangerous area.

“It would be a huge vote of confidence in a player who barely featured toward the end of last season if he was to stay in the side for the weekend Premier League game.”

The Mirror‘s Mark Jones said Jones looked liked he belongs on the big Champions League stage:

“There was a show of faith in Curtis Jones after the youngster impressed in the weekend draw at Brentford, where he scored and was then somewhat strangely taken off immediately.

“Perhaps Klopp had this game in mind when he did so though, as the academy graduate was key to the moments which allowed Liverpool to grow into the game and overcome what was a determined start from their hosts.

“Drifting in off the left, Jones showed all his abilities and his now-famed Scouse swagger which has so endeared him to the supporters.

“He was crucial in both of the goals in the first half and then Salah’s in the second, and at a time when there are midfield vacancies he’s certainly making his case.”

 

Others thought Liverpool’s attackers produced a fitting tribute to the late Sir Roger Hunt…

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe hailed Salah, Mane and Firmino’s impeccable timing on a sad day for the club:

“With poignant inevitably, Liverpool’s greatest modern goalscorers led the tributes to the master marksman of the past.

“The eulogies had flowed all day following the death of Roger Hunt. Naturally, Mohamed Salah – one of the rare few whose strike rate eclipses his illustrious predecessor – ensured a most fitting one in his inimitable style, prompting a festival of goals in Porto.

“Salah scored twice as Liverpool embarked on a familiar spree in Estadio do Dragao. So did Roberto Firmino. Sadio Mane was also on target in a ruthless 5-1 rout which would have had Hunt nodding sagely in appreciation at every clinical finish.”

The Guardian‘s Andy Hunter also felt the Reds produced a display that Hunt would have been proud of:

Liverpool wore black armbands in honour of Roger Hunt and paid their departed former striker the finest tribute possible with another ruthless, relentless rout of Porto. Jürgen Klopp’s team are coasting through a supposedly complicated Champions League group.

“Porto gathered en masse in the centre circle after the end of their latest humiliation at the hands of Liverpool but what words of comfort their coach, Sergio Conceicao, could muster are hard to imagine. He has now lost 5-1, 4-1 and 5-0 in his three home meetings with Klopp’s team in the Champions League.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were once again on target as the Premier League leaders took a firm grip on the summit of Group B.”

Roger Hunt, Liverpool, 1970 (Picture by S&G S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

Malone singled out the incredible Salah for special praise, comparing him to Liverpool‘s second-top scorer of all time:

“Earlier in the day, we heard the passing of a true legend, the great ‘Sir’ Roger Hunt.

“Saturday saw Mo Salah overtake Sir Roger’s record of hitting 100 league goals in the fewest games, and I’m sure, like the rest of us, Roger has been thrilled by Salah over the last few years.

“Not only are Mo and Roger the fastest two players to 100 goals in a Liverpool shirt, but Salah continued his scintillating goalscoring form with a tap-in and a trademark left-footer through the keeper’s legs.

“He now has a goal-to-game ratio of 1.6 compared, to Roger’s 1.73. Salah’s numbers are right up there with the great man, and that says it all about his brilliance.”

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