Liverpool tore FC Porto apart in the UEFA Champions League with a 5-1 win in Portugal. Here are five things we learned from the game.
Klopp takes a chance
Jurgen Klopp named a nearly unchanged lineup for this one. That comes as a surprise.
The only change was James Milner in for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has a groin problem. It’s a massive risk as Liverpool opted not to rest anyone ahead of Manchester City this weekend.
Will the likes of Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk cope with three intense games in eight days? Can Mohamed Salah continue his great form without rest?
Klopp is willing to bet that they can.
Jones makes things happen
We said that Jones gave Klopp a lot to think about this week and the boss went with the decision to start him in Porto. It was clearly a good decision.
The 20-year-old made the first goal happen, driving into the box and working a shot. Salah got on the end of the rebound for 1-0. Jones was then involved in the build-up for the second but it was the third goal where he really shone.
The Scouser drove forward on the counter, patiently waited for the right pass, and found Salah to score. Jones even made the fourth goal happen with his ball over the top for Roberto Firmino.
And the fifth! Jones’s shot fell to Firmino for no.5.
It was exactly what Liverpool needed to see from their attacking midfielder. Jones made things happen in a big European game – a wonderful moment for the youngster.
As far as Champions League games away in Europe go, this was pretty routine. Liverpool saw out a 5-1 win over Porto without much trouble at all.
There’s that big game against City this weekend, of course, and this ended up being perfect preparation. Liverpool got their confidence back after the Brentford game, had some outstanding performances, and Klopp was able to take off some stars pretty early.
Top of the table
Liverpool moved to the top of the group in style here. There are still four tough games to come but they’ve quickly become very strong favourites to qualify.
Atletico Madrid knocked a last-gasp winner in Italy against AC Milan, leaving Liverpool with a two-point gap over second and a five-point gap over third. Perfect.
Eight goals in eight games with two assists thrown in for good measure. The man is a phenomenon.
Salah grabbed a brace here and while they were his easiest goals of the season, they continue his remarkable form this season. He’ll soon break Steven Gerrard’s European goal record to add another to his collection. What a player.