UCL: Keita, Firmino give Liverpool 2-0 victory over FC Porto
Goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino earned Liverpool a 2-0 win over Porto on Tuesday in their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg match.
Juergen Klopp’s side took the upper hand in the tie but without killing off their Portuguese opponents.
There remains plenty of work to do for the Premier League leaders, who will be disappointed they were unable to gain a bigger advantage for next week’s second leg.
On a bitterly cold night at Anfield, Liverpool were well below their best and Porto deserve credit for a determined performance after going two goals down in 26 minutes.
The visitors fired an early warning shot with Moussa Marega blasting narrowly wide in the second minute.
However, the home side took the lead three minutes later through a Keita shot which deflected off Porto midfielder Oliver Torres and beat the helpless Iker Casillas.
Mohamed Salah then forced Casillas into a low save with a sharp shot on the turn.
But the Egyptian should have done better in the 22nd minute when he placed the ball wide when through on goal, after being played in by a sloppy Porto pass.
Liverpool had their second four minutes later — Jordan Henderson split the Porto defence with a superb pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose low cross was tapped in from close range by Firmino.
The Brazilian should have added to his tally, but blasted over after a good cross from Henderson.
The dangerous Marega then had a low drive well saved by the legs of Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker as Porto showed they were not about to roll over.
Sadio Mane had an effort ruled out for offside three minutes after the interval, but apart from another Marega effort in the 69th minute there were few clear-cut chances in the second half.
The Portuguese side fought well to stay in the game in a scrappy second half to give themselves a chance of a comeback at home in next week’s second leg.