Liverpool see off Porto to reach Champions League last eight

Adam Lallana

Liverpool are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2009 after a 0-0 second-leg draw at Anfield gave them a 5-0 aggregate win over Porto in their last-16 tie.

Sadio Mane acrobatically fired an effort over the bar and hit the post in a generally tame first half that also saw Dejan Lovren head narrowly wide.

Majeed Waris’ strike in the second half was Porto’s only shot on target.

The Reds took a 5-0 lead into the game.

It was always likely this might be a quiet affair with Liverpool having already done the damage in Portugal on Valentines Day.

Jurgen Klopp used the opportunity to rest players for Liverpool’s Premier League match against Manchester United on Saturday (12:30 GMT), making five changes to the starting line-up.

Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were named among the substitutes but the Egyptian did have a cameo in the second half as Mane was given a breather.

There was also a chance for Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana to gain further fitness following returns from injury – while Danny Ings enjoyed some rare game-time as a second-half substitute.

Liverpool will discover their quarter-final opponents when the draw is made on 16 March (11:00 GMT). The ties will be played in the first and second weeks of April.

Liverpool back in Europe’s elite

Liverpool celebrating in 2005

It is almost 11 years since Liverpool faced AC Milan in the Champions League final, losing 2-1 in Athens.

Back then they were hitting the heights in European football pretty regularly – the most successful English club in the competition’s history, it was just two years since they had beaten the same opponents to lift their fifth trophy on a famous night in Istanbul.

But since being knocked out at the group stage in 2009, Liverpool have only featured in the Champions League twice.

It was a dejected-looking Reds side who trudged off the field in December 2014, a 1-1 draw with Basel confirming their elimination from the competition after a wretched campaign.

It would be Steven Gerrard’s last game in the Champions League – a Liverpool legend bowing out with a goal but unable to reproduce the heroics he had done against Olympiakos a decade before en route to Istanbul.

After five years of waiting, it wasn’t the way Liverpool had dreamt their comeback would go.

Four more years on, Liverpool are back. And this time they look more than worthy members of Europe’s elite.

They have cantered into the quarter-finals – barely hitting second gear – and now they eye the prize of a place in the last four.

Farewell to a European great?

Iker Casillas

Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas may have played his final Champions League game tonight – if so, he leaves the competition with a record number of appearances.

The 36-year-old, who played his 167th game on Tuesday, is expected to leave Porto at the end of the season and it is unclear where his future lies.

But this was not the fairytale ending the three-time European champion might have hoped for. Despite a decent save from Ings late in the second half, it was largely a forgettable evening.

A quiet evening in attack – best of the stats

  • Liverpool progress to the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2008-09 (when they were eventually knocked out by Chelsea).
  • Liverpool remain unbeaten against Porto in their six meetings in all competitions (W3 D3).
  • Iker Casillas made his 167th appearance in the Champions League, 16 more than any other player in the history of the Champions League/European Cup (Xavi is next on 151).
  • This was the first Champions League game this season with no first-half shots on target, and the first since 14 February last year – Benfica v Borussia Dortmund.
  • Liverpool also failed to direct a single shot on target in the first half of a game for only the second time this season in any competition (also v Chelsea on 25 November in the Premier League)
  • The Merseysiders failed to score at Anfield for the first time in their past nine games in all competitions, since a 0-0 draw against West Brom in December.
  • Liverpool have kept five clean sheets in their past six games in the Champions League, only conceding against Sevilla in November (3-3).
  • The Reds secured their biggest aggregate margin in European competition (five) since beating Real Madrid 1-0 and 4-0 in the last 16 of the Champions League in 2009.

‘It is rare to have a game like this’ – what the boss said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaking to BT Sport: “We did the job and that was it tonight.

“It wasn’t the most exciting game but we controlled it, had a few chances, got a clean sheet and gave some boys some minutes. I am pretty sure it is rare to have a game like this in the knockout stages!

“We needed to be serious and we were, so all good. Of course, we want to win two games at this stage. When you watch the game you always think ‘oh come on, a little bit more here or there’ but they did well and it is all good. The attitude was outstanding.”

On potentially drawing an English team in the quarter-final: “I don’t mind to be honest. I don’t care. We take it how it comes. We don’t wish for anybody. We play whoever we get. That is how it is. There are five English teams in and at one point we will play them so we will see when it comes.”

What’s next?

Liverpool prepare for a blockbuster fixture on Saturday as they travel to Old Trafford to take on Premier League rivals Manchester United (12:30 GMT) with second place in the table up for grabs.

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Karius
  • 12Gomez
  • 32Matip
  • 6Lovren
  • 18Moreno
  • 23CanSubstituted forKlavanat 80′minutes
  • 14HendersonBooked at 59mins
  • 7Milner
  • 19ManéSubstituted forSalahat 74′minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forIngsat 62′minutes
  • 20Lallana

Substitutes

  • 4van Dijk
  • 11Salah
  • 17Klavan
  • 21Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 22Mignolet
  • 28Ings
  • 66Alexander-Arnold

FC Porto

  • 1Casillas
  • 2Maxi Pereira
  • 28de Almeida Monteiro
  • 23Reyes
  • 30Dalot TeixeiraBooked at 90mins
  • 17Corona
  • 20Brás AndréBooked at 34minsSubstituted forRelvas de Oliveiraat 62′minutes
  • 10Óliver
  • 18WarisSubstituted forBarbosa Pereiraat 68′minutes
  • 87Almeida Costa
  • 9AboubakarSubstituted forMendes Paciênciaat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Brahimi
  • 12Malheiro de Sá
  • 14Mendes Paciência
  • 21Barbosa Pereira
  • 25da Silva Monteiro
  • 27Relvas de Oliveira
  • 55Machado Mata
Referee:
Felix Zwayer
Attendance:
48,768

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamFC Porto
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home12
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 0, FC Porto 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 0, FC Porto 0.

Booking

Diogo Dalot (FC Porto) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Danny Ings (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Diogo Dalot (FC Porto).

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Felipe (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Óliver Torres (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joel Matip (Liverpool).

Gonçalo Paciência (FC Porto) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Diogo Dalot.

Attempt saved. Danny Ings (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

Attempt missed. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Óliver Torres (FC Porto) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sérgio Oliveira with a cross.

Foul by Ragnar Klavan (Liverpool).

Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Felipe (FC Porto) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sérgio Oliveira with a cross following a corner.

Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Ragnar Klavan.

Attempt blocked. Sérgio Oliveira (FC Porto) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Óliver Torres.

Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alberto Moreno.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Ragnar Klavan replaces Emre Can because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Porto. Gonçalo Paciência replaces Vincent Aboubakar.

Attempt missed. Jesús Manuel Corona (FC Porto) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bruno Costa.

Attempt saved. James Milner (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah with a cross.

Attempt saved. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Mohamed Salah replaces Sadio Mané.

Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Joel Matip.

Foul by Joel Matip (Liverpool).

Vincent Aboubakar (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto).

Substitution

Substitution, FC Porto. Ricardo Pereira replaces Majeed Waris.

Offside, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson tries a through ball, but Danny Ings is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Danny Ings (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Porto. Sérgio Oliveira replaces André André.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Danny Ings replaces Roberto Firmino.

Booking

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

goal

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