Liverpool advance to quarterfinals of Champions League after draw vs. Porto
Liverpool 0 - 0 Porto

Liverpool advance to quarterfinals of Champions League after draw vs. Porto

06/03/2018

Liverpool eased into the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in nine years with no great alarm in a lifeless goalless draw at home to Porto.

This game was the antithesis of their 5-0 win in the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao, but a professional performance, a fifth clean sheet in eight European matches and no apparent injuries represented mission accomplished.

While supporters may have had a justifiable complaint for being short-changed by the Champions League's top scorers, from Jurgen Klopp's point of view there was no point in taking any risks -- especially with Saturday lunchtime's match at Manchester United looming large.

Manager Klopp made five changes -- two more than he had suggested prematch -- with the most significant being a rest for 32-goal forward Mohamed Salah and a first start in two months for Adam Lallana.

Whether alterations, the five-goal cushion from the first leg or the imminent visit to Old Trafford affected the occasion is open to debate, but the game was played at a much lower intensity that what is considered the norm.

It was reflected in the first-half statistics which showed Liverpool failed to have a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes for only the second time this season and the first time since the 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea in November.

Sadio Mane, having volleyed over a good chance from Joe Gomez's cross, came closest on the half-hour when he chested down James Milner's diagonal ball and shot past Iker Casillas, making his 167th Champions League appearance, but saw the ball rebound off the post.

Lovren flicked a header onto the roof of the net from a free-kick by Milner, who with better finishing from his team-mates would have added to his competition-leading seven assists.

The former England midfielder took matters into his own hands early in the second half but sliced horribly wide from Lallana's cross.

Porto's response was to force the first save of the night from either goalkeeper with Loris Karius tipping wide Majeed Waris' strike from distance, while Roberto Firmino's run through on goal was halted by the visitors' captain Felipe.

Firmino, no doubt with Saturday's match against Jose Mourinho's side in mind, was spared the final 30 minutes as Danny Ings made his first Champions League appearance at Anfield and, with time ticking away, Salah was given a 20-minute run-out.

The in-form Egypt international had one angled shot easily saved as his run of scoring in successive matches ended at seven but, with a 24th European quarterfinal in the bag (14 in this competition), his talents will be required for a more important occasion.

Casillas, who emerged for the second half to a rousing ovation from the Kop, gave Anfield a reminder of his quality on potentially his final Champions League appearance by clawing away Ings' looping header late on.

Related news

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Mo Salah is likely to miss the World Cup after leaving the Champions League final injured in the first half.

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Gareth Bale said he wants to be playing every week -- which "has not happened this season" -- after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League trophy in Saturday's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo cast doubt over his future with Real Madrid after they won the Champions League for the third consecutive season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win the Champions League for a third successive season thanks to a spectacular two-goal substitute appearance from Gareth Bale and a performance to forget for Loris Karius.

Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot

Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot

Liverpool set up a repeat of their 1981 meeting against Real Madrid despite a first Champions League defeat of the season at the Stadio Olimpico.

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Two goals from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid advance to their third straight Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate after a scintillating 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-four clash on Tuesday.

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid will be firm favourites to reach another Champions League final after winning 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinal.

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool scored five but conceded two late goals as Roma gave themselves a glimmer of hope in a 5-2 defeat at Anfield after the home side had swept into a huge lead.

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool will face Roma in the semifinals of the Champions League later this month as they continue their attempt to win it for the first time since 2005.

RELATED NEWS

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Mo Salah is likely to miss the World Cup after leaving the Champions League final injured in the first half.

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Gareth Bale said he wants to be playing every week -- which "has not happened this season" -- after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League trophy in Saturday's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo cast doubt over his future with Real Madrid after they won the Champions League for the third consecutive season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win the Champions League for a third successive season thanks to a spectacular two-goal substitute appearance from Gareth Bale and a performance to forget for Loris Karius.

Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot
Roma 4 - 2 (6-7) Liverpool

Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot

Liverpool set up a repeat of their 1981 meeting against Real Madrid despite a first Champions League defeat of the season at the Stadio Olimpico.

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final
Real Madrid 2 - 2 (4-3) Bayern Munich

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Two goals from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid advance to their third straight Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate after a scintillating 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-four clash on Tuesday.

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner
Bayern Munich 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid will be firm favourites to reach another Champions League final after winning 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinal.

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope
Liverpool 5 - 2 Roma

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool scored five but conceded two late goals as Roma gave themselves a glimmer of hope in a 5-2 defeat at Anfield after the home side had swept into a huge lead.

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern
Champions League Draw

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool will face Roma in the semifinals of the Champions League later this month as they continue their attempt to win it for the first time since 2005.