REVEIEW: Five Talking Points From Porto 0-5 Liverpool… As Sadio Mane Bags Hat-Trick

REVEIEW: Five Talking Points From Porto 0-5 Liverpool… As Sadio Mane Bags Hat-Trick

- in Sports
@Sir. steve

The Reds were rampant in Portugal as they breezed past Porto with all three of their front men getting on the scoresheet

Liverpool all but secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as Sadio Mane bagged a hat-trick.

Mane’s treble came alongside Mo Salah’s 30th goal of the season and a Roberto Firmino strike, as Liverpool sent a statement of intent to their European rivals.

In-form Mane was the beneficiary of a goalkeeping blunder to open the scoring, before cool-headed Salah juggled the ball home for number two.

Mane tapped into an empty net for his second of the night after the break, before Firmino struck to turn the game into a rout.

And as the game filtered out to a conclusion, there was still time for Mane to wrap up his hat-trick with a thumping strike from the edge of the area.

1. Liverpool get glimpse of life without Can

Emre Can appears to be on his way out of the door at Anfield this summer, with his contract set to expire.

Liverpool were given a glimpse into life without the German on Wednesday night, with him suspended from the first leg of the fixture.

Klopp opted for a midfield three of Gigi Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and James Milner – and didn’t once look like they could have done with Can.

Wijnaldum was everywhere, Henderson was a rock and Milner looked five years younger.

And with the dynamic trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino in front of them, Liverpool are certainly looking good.

You still have Naby Keita to add into the equation as well…

2. Klopp still undecided on Van Dijk’s partner

Since his £75million move last month, Jurgen Klopp has been undecided on who he should play alongside Virgil van Dijk.

The boss has chopped and changed between Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip – and it has got to the point where he will probably never settle with either of them.

It was Lovren who got the nod in Porto and after mopping up the pressure the hosts offered in the first 20 minutes, only boosted his chances of taking the second centre-half berth permanently.

He’s cut some of the errors he was making out of his game and with his old friend alongside him, could really start to thrive.

Lovren even played a big role in the first goal of the game, winning the ball before playing in Georginio Wijnaldum, setting Liverpool free.

3. Salah’s close control is ridiculous

Salah getting on the scoresheet is not news. He does that. A lot.

But his sheer audacity when he scored Liverpool’s second of the night is well worth fawning over.

Reacting to Milner’s effort which cannoned off the post, Salah was the most composed man in the Estadio do Dragao when the ball flicked up towards him.

With the goalkeeper onrushing, he juggled the ball around him, teed himself up with a cushioned header and turned the ball home with a defender stretching towards him.

Every single week, Salah is getting better and better.

He’s just unlucky he’s playing at the same time that Kevin De Bruyne is right now, otherwise he’d be a shoe in for PFA Player of the Year.

4. Mane is back in business

After a few indifferent months, Mane is well ans truly back.

What a performance from the pint-sized forward, who was absolutely everything in Porto.

Either he has become jealous of Salah and Firmino’s headlines, or he has been holding it all in for a big European night, but regardless it was a sterling performance from him.

His decision making was spot on and his finishing was top notch.

Sadio’s back!

5. Liverpool can win the Champions League

Alright, alright, stop chewing my ear off.

But it’s true, they can. Liverpool are a team for one off performances – and they can certainly cause any top team problems. Just look at what they did to Manchester City in the league earlier this year.

Porto are a decent outfit and Liverpool picked them off like they were a lower league opponent in the FA Cup. And they did it on their patch.

Similar performances, playing with such intensity, would create concerns for the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

In one-off games, Liverpool can turn on the heat – and it’s a quality you need if you are going to win a cup competition.

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