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5 Things We Learned From Liverpool vs FC Porto

Liverpool went into the Champions League fixture vs FC Porto, having already secured their advancement to the next round. The Portuguese side needed a result, especially if Atlético Madrid could beat AC Milan.

The Reds started a much-changed side, but they still had the best on the field in Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, and Thiago Alcântara.

FC Porto had their best XI out on the field, including Pepe and Luis Diaz but they spurned their early chances and lost 2-0.

Here's what we learned from Liverpool's performance against FC Porto.

Thiago

Tyler Morton Is Ready For A Bigger Test

Morton came on late against Arsenal and comfortably slotted into the team. With some leeway for the match versus Porto, Jürgen Klopp decided to field the young Liverpudlian from the start.

For the first 45 minutes, Porto brought the game to Liverpool. While there were some defensive lapses, Morton held his own and showed tidy and effective passing and adept positioning.

In the second half, Liverpool surged, and the 19-year-old Red flowed with the side. If Arsenal was the first test, and Porto was the second, Morton passed both with superb marks. He’s ready for the next challenge.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) greets Tyler Morton after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League, Group B match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Thiago Masterclass

The Spanish midfielder moved to Liverpool billed as one of the signings of the summer in 2020. He hit the ground running for the Reds but unfortunately suffered a long-term injury against Everton.

Thiago’s performances since coming back from injury weren’t always consistent. The Spaniard’s qualities in the midfield are undeniable, but rumours of a move back to Barcelona raised the question of whether it was best for both parties for Thiago to move back to the Catalan club.

However, Thiago recently expressed his maximum commitment in a pre-match interview for the Porto game. The timing of the interview was followed by one of Thiago’s best performances for the Reds. He bossed the midfield against Porto, especially in the second half.

Thiago’s brilliant performance was capped with a goal that Steven Gerrard would have licked his lips over. If this is the level we can expect from the Spaniard going forward, long may he stay at the club.

Defensive Lapses

The rose-tinted glasses don’t shade over the persistent lapses at the back. In the Premier League, Liverpool has conceded almost double the number of goals that Manchester City has conceded and nearly triple Chelsea’s amount.

Liverpool kept a clean sheet against Porto, but that was more due to lack of composure in the final third from the Portuguese side, brilliant saves from Alisson, and luck.

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In past games, Liverpool’s midfield has been most exposed for the goals they conceded. Against Porto, some carelessness from Alisson and some poor positioning and decisions from the backline were the biggest threats to the Liverpool goal.

Mohamed Salah Jordan Henderson Fabinho Joel Matip West Ham

These moments of negligence must be cut out as Liverpool move into the packed winter fixtures.

Fringe Players Coming Through

In a game where Liverpool didn’t need a result, it might have been a surprise that Klopp made only four changes to the team from the match against Arsenal. However, the four players who’ve been on the fringes of the first team, Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Neco Williams, and Takumi Minamino, all put in fine performances.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has seen an extended run-in with the first team due to injuries in the midfield, but he has shown that he can do a job for the club again. Minamino is another who hasn’t had the best of luck at Liverpool, but he’s showing more and more what he can bring to the team.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Williams started brightly for Liverpool in his first appearances for Liverpool but had a tense period after getting bested by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a Community Shield Match. Williams has shrugged off a string of poor performances for club and country and is putting himself back in the fold through his commitment.

Tsimikas has the odd mishap or two, but he is giving an exciting challenge to Andy Robertson for left-back. The Porto match was another positive showing for the Greek that will give Klopp a tough decision moving forward.

Mohamed Salah is a Cut Above the Rest

The information that Salah is a cut above the rest is nothing new. The Egyptian’s brilliant performances shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore.

In the match against Porto, Salah added another world-class goal to his resume. He continually provides breakthroughs for the Reds, and a goal or assist is almost expected every time his name is on the team sheet.

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool must sort out Salah’s contract as soon as possible. The Egyptian’s contributions to the team are invaluable, and he deserves to be rewarded for his efforts.


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