Porto coach Sergio Conceicao was left to rue moments of magic from Thiago Alcantara and Mo Salah following their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League group-stages, speaking to A Bola.
The Primeira Liga giants will just be glad to see the back of Jurgen Klopp’s rampant, ruthless, relentless Reds.
Porto and Liverpool have gone head-to-head in Europe’s premiere club competition six times since the 2017/18 season. An, as you might have guessed given an aggregate score of Liverpool 18-2 Porto, Klopp appears to have Conceicao’s number.
Wednesday’s group-stage clash at Anfield wasn’t quite as one-sided as in previous meetings between the two sides, however.
Porto arguably created the better openings before Thiago’s wondrous opener on 52 minutes; a stunning, mind-bending shot which appeared to break the laws of physics before nestling in the back of the visitors’ net.
Klopp described Thiago’s strike as a ‘thunderball’. And, hey, if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the lottery.
The irrepressible Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead late on, netting his 17th goal in 17 games while leaving Mateus Uribe sprawling on the turf – a moment reminiscent of Jerome Boateng’s own ‘Timber!’-style collapse up against Lionel Messi all those years ago.
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“First, the lack of offensive effectiveness. Then, the individual quality of the opponent,” Conceicao said when asked what went wrong for his team on Merseyside.
“It was perhaps the best first-half we’ve played against Liverpool and we’ve played them a few times. We created three or four chances to score.
“Liverpool’s goal came with a fantastic shot by Thiago. And then we saw the quality of Salah for the second.”
Liverpool have won every one of their five Champions League games so far this season and have become the first English side in 82 years to score more than twice in 16 consecutive games in all competitions.
Alongside the masterful Thiago, there was also a European debut for Tyler Morton, Klopp labelling the 19-year-old ‘exceptional’ after a composed and cultured performance in the Fabinho role.