Liverpool made it five wins from five group games in the Champions League, comfortably seeing off Porto at Anfield thanks to goals from Thiago and Mo Salah.
Liverpool 2-0 Porto
Champions League Group B (5), Anfield
November 24, 2021
Salah 70′ (assist: Henderson)
Having already secured progress to the knockout stages and top place in the group, Jurgen Klopp made four changes to the Liverpool side, among them teenager Tyler Morton for his Champions League debut.
Klopp, though, resisted any temptation to completely rotate his side, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane alongside Taki Minamino up front, and Thiago and Oxlade-Chamberlain continuing in midfield.
With nothing really riding on the game for Liverpool, the match felt more like a training game at times, lacking intensity or passion.
Porto, meanwhile, who went into the game second in the group and needing a result to strengthen their chances of progress, should have scored when Otavio put wide early on after Ibrahima Konate lost possession in midfield.
Liverpool had the ball in the net late in the first half when Thiago played in Sadio Mane and he finished in clinical fashion, but a VAR check ruled the goal out for offside.
Half time: Liverpool 0-0 Porto
Instead, the deadlock was broken in glorious style shortly after the break when Thiago met a ball being cleared from a free-kick with a delicious half-volley from 25 yards. The technique was exquisite, arrowing into the bottom corner of the Kop net.
Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson came on for the last half-hour, continuing their respective returns from injury.
The Reds’ lead was doubled when Salah played a return pass with Henderson, sat down a Porto defender and finished into the bottom corner in typical Salah fashion. The Egyptian made it look easy.
That’s now 16 games in a row scoring two or more goals and an ideal night for Klopp’s side; cruising to victory, giving some fringe players more playing time, getting injured players back on the pitch, and no new injuries picked up.
The win puts Liverpool on 15 points from their Champions League group, their highest group stage tally (previous best being 14 in 2008/09).
A win in the final matchday at AC Milan would see the Reds become the first English side to win all six Champions League group stage games.
TIA Man of the Match: Thiago
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Liverpool: Alisson; Williams, Konate, Matip, Tsimikas (Robertson 63′); Morton, Thiago (Henderson 63′), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Milner 82′); Salah (Fabinho 71′), Mane (Origi 71′), Minamino
Subs not used: Adrian, Kelleher, Van Dijk, Jota, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold
Porto: Costa; Mario, Pepe (Cardoso 25′), Mbemba, Zaidu; Otavio, Uribe (Grujic 77′), Oliveira (Vitinha 63′), Diaz; Taremi (Conceicao 63′), Evanilson (Martinez 77′)
Subs not used: Marchesin, Pepe, Corona, Manafa, Wendell, Costa, Vieira
Next match: Southampton (H) – Premier League – Saturday, November 27, 3pm (GMT)