Liverpool had plenty margin for error after a 5-0 win over Porto in the first leg, but it didn't use any of it after a 0-0 draw in the second leg saw the Reds through.

By Avi Creditor
March 06, 2018

Liverpool left no doubt in the opening leg of its Champions League last-16 clash vs. Porto, and it took care of business to put away the Portuguese power at Anfield on Tuesday.

Liverpool won 5-0 at the daunting Estadio do Dragão, with a Sadio Mane hat trick and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino securing the result. Simply put, it would have taken a collapse of historic proportions for Liverpool to not go through, and it never came. Liverpool controlled the tempo and saw out the series with a 0-0 draw to advance to the quarterfinals.

Klopp, having a large margin for error, benched Salah, though he didn't go with a completely secondary XI. And with the result largely in hand, the opening section of the match was quite tame, with Liverpool content to possess and be patient.

Mane nearly struck for his fourth goal of the series, and Liverpool's first of the day, in the 18th minute, as he tried to redirect Joe Gomez's cross from the right with a flying kick on the doorstep, only to put his chance just over Iker Casillas's crossbar.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren had the game's next good chance in the 35th minute, when he was able to get his head to James Milner's free kick in the center of the box, only to also put the chance over the bar.

Porto hardly threatened Loris Karius's goal the rest of the way, while Liverpool saw out the tie, and the Reds, who had Salah come on in the 74th minute, nearly struck in the dying stages, when Danny Ings forced Casillas into a difficult, acrobatic save on his 88th minute leaping header.

Here were the starting lineups for both teams:

The quarterfinal draw for the Champions League is set for March 16, with no restrictions on which teams can be paired together.

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