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A perfect night: 5 things we learned as Liverpool beat Porto 2-0

Liverpool beat Porto 2-0 on Wednesday evening the Champions League. Here are five things we learned from a pretty perfect night.

Klopp goes strong

We all saw it coming but Jurgen Klopp did indeed go with a strong XI here – despite nothing riding on the game for Liverpool. We saw Thiago, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane all start.

We thought either one of Salah or Mane would get the nod. Both feels like a risk, though, at a time when Liverpool didn’t really need to take one.

As for Thiago, his injury record makes us cautious to play him for even a minute where he isn’t needed. Klopp clearly felt otherwise, however.

Tyler Morton

There was one area where Klopp took a real chance, though – he started Tyler Morton for his Champions League debut. The 19-year-old, who didn’t have too big a reputation before this season, continues to get chances.

He played well here, too. Morton won two tackles, made an interception, won two headers and completed 88% of his passes at the base of midfield.

No, he wasn’t a star on the pitch but Morton looks more and more at home with the senior level. We’re excited for where he could be by May.

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Liverpool’s defence

It’s increasingly clear that Liverpool have fantastic defensive options right now. Porto came to win here but the Reds’ back four largely kept them at bay despite sweeping changes.

This was, effectively, the backup left-back, the backup right-back, the no.2 centre-back and the no.4 centre-back. They did a good job, though, and no one looked out of place.

That’s something to shout about. While we can question the depth elsewhere, things look incredibly solid at the back.

Superstars

Have to give a mention to Salah here, who did very little all game but score a wonderful goal. The Egyptian worked it well with Jordan Henderson on the right flank, finding some space in the box.

There he feigned a shot to put a defender on his back before firing inside the near post. It was all brilliantly done – as we’ve come to expect from Salah.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

That’s now 17 goals for the season already – a truly sensational tally.

And, of course, there was Thiago’s goal. It was somehow even better as the Spaniard caught the ball about as well as you possibly can.

It swept into the bottom corner from 25 yards to cap off a magnificent display from Thiago.

Perfection

As we say, Klopp took risks here. He put players out there he didn’t need to, opting against rest and putting injury concerns at the forefront.

Now as far as we can see, there were no issues in the end. In fact, Liverpool come away with a good 2-0 win over a decent Porto side – that’s momentum building.

It was always the other side of the coin here. Yes, Liverpool could lose players with injury but they could also build extra confidence with a strong performance.

That’s what we got in the end. No injury worries in a confidence-building display – you can’t ask for more.

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