Mane scores hat trick as Liverpool routs Porto 5-0February 14, 2018 10:36pm

PORTO, Portugal (AP) — Liverpool put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a 5-0 away rout of Porto in the first leg of their last-16 match on Wednesday.

Sadio Mane scored a hat trick and Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino provided the other two goals to give the Premier League side a huge advantage ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 6.

"It was hard work, but in the end the boys enjoyed it," Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said after the club's first appearance in the knockout stage of the Champions League for almost nine years.

"I saw a lot of fantastic performances tonight and a result like this is only possible if everyone is really at the top of their game," Klopp said. "They did it well and that's the only way to be successful."

Liverpool is the top-scoring side in the competition with 28 goals.

"We knew we were facing a great team but we weren't expecting this," said Porto defender Alex Telles, whose team was without injured midfielders Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre. Striker Vincent Aboubakar was also out with a muscle problem.

A mistake from Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa allowed Mane's shot to squirm under his body after a slow start from the visitors, and Salah displayed all his class to make it 2-0 four minutes later inside the first half-hour.

James Milner hit the post but Salah was well-placed to take the rebound, lift it with his left foot and then head it past Sa before slotting into the empty net without letting it touch the ground.

It was the African player of the year's sixth goal in the competition, and his ninth in eight games across all competitions.

The home side showed promise after the break but was caught on a counterattack when Sa saved Firmino's effort, only to push the ball toward Mane's feet. The Senegal striker needed no second invitation for his second goal.

Sa was playing in place of Iker Casillas, dropped earlier this season after falling out of favor with Porto coach Sergio Conceicao, who must have been reconsidering his decision after a shaky performance from the 24-year-old Sa.

At the other end, Virgil van Dijk marshaled Liverpool's defense on his Champions League debut for the club following his winter switch from Southampton.

Firmino got the goal his performance deserved with a simple finish inside the left post from Milner's cross with 20 minutes remaining, and Mane took advantage of some lax defending to seal the win with a fine strike from distance late on.

"We needed to play as a team and that's what we did," Mane said after his first hat trick for Liverpool. "We played great football, created great chances and scored five goals. I enjoyed the fifth goal the most."

Casillas' former side, Real Madrid, came from behind to beat visiting Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the other Champions League game on Wednesday.

___

More AP Champions League coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/ChampionsLeague

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Leganes at the Butarque stadium in Leganes, outside Madrid, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Real Madrid won 3-1.  (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
European soccer weekend: What to watch in main competitions
Ostersunds players applaud the fans after the Europa League Round of 32, second leg soccer match between Arsenal and Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium in London, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Ostersunds won the match 1-2 but lost on aggregate. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Napoli out of Europa League; police officer dies in Spain
FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 file photo, Manchester City coach Josep Guardiola looks on during their Champions League group F soccer match against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The English Football Association on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 has charged Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for promoting a political message by wearing a ribbon to support of imprisoned and ousted pro-independence Catalan politicians. Guardiola was born in Catalonia and is revered in the region because of his links with Barcelona's soccer team, as both a player and coach.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, file)
English FA charges Guardiola for political Catalonia ribbon
Villarreal suspends Semedo without pay after his arrestSpanish club Villarreal says it has suspended defender Ruben Semedo without pay after he was charged with attempted murder
Strasbourg and Montpellier draw 0-0 in French leagueMontpellier's solid defense holds out again in a 0-0 draw at Strasbourg in the French league
Bundesliga relegation rivals Mainz and Wolfsburg draw 1-1Wolfsburg's new coach Bruno Labbadia has been unable to force an improvement as his side is held at relegation rival Mainz to 1-1 in the Bundesliga
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices