Thiago Alcantara’s stunning long-range strike took Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Porto at Anfield on Wednesday 24, November 2021.
The Reds had already qualified as Group B winners with two matches to spare, so teenager Tyler Morton made his Champions League debut as Jurgen Klopp made changes amidst the Premier League clash in the weekend.
Liverpool maintained their perfect record in Europe this campaign despite being without key men, Thiago scoring his first goal of the season in style with a magnificent second-half finish.
In form forward Mohamed Salah added a second as Porto was made to pay for missed opportunities, leaving them facing a decisive final group match against Atletico Madrid in the battle for a place in the round of 16 along with Liverpool.
Porto should have taken the lead early in the first half when Otavio somehow failed to hit the target with the goal gaping after Luis Diaz showed great pace to burst away and unselfishly set him up.
The Primeira Liga leaders who lost the reverse fixture 5-1 in Portugal had a let-off when goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s poor attempted clearance struck Sadio Mane on the head and fell nicely for Salah, but the prolific forward could not apply the finish.
Porto lost captain and defender Pepe to an injury before Mane had a goal disallowed for offside in a first half that saw Sergio Conceicao’s side pose a threat without having a cutting edge.
Mateus Uribe almost capitalized on slack Reds defending when he spun sharply in the penalty area and drilled a right-foot shot narrowly wide as Porto continued to probe after the break.
Thiago made them pay for their profligacy seven minutes into the second half, firing into the bottom-right corner from 25 yards out with a stunning first-time drive after Porto failed to clear an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free-kick.
Takumi Minamino had a goal ruled out for offside, but Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead when he took a pass from Jordan Henderson and surged inside before finding the bottom-right corner with his left foot to take his tally for the season to 17.
Liverpool will face Serie A leaders AC Milan in match week six of the Champions League at San Siro as the Italians seek all three points to qualify for the round of 16. Porto will also seek maximum points against Atletico Madrid should they proceed to the knockout stages.
The reds however turn their immediate focus to Saturday when they host Southampton at Anfield for a Premier League showdown as they seek to close the gap on leaders Chelsea who face a tougher one against Manchester United on Sunday.