Liverpool 0, Porto 0 (agg: 5-0): Jurgen Klopp revels in Reds reaching Champions League quarter-finals for first time since 2009

Ross McLean
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Jurgen Klopp insists he is indifferent to whether Liverpool face a fellow Premier League side in the last eight (Source: Getty)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp declared himself satisfied after his side cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals following an uninspiring stalemate against a wounded Porto outfit.

The damage had already been done in the first leg, from which the Reds emerged with an all but unassailable 5-0 lead, and there was little chance of even the slightest of scares as goalmouth action was at a premium.

Klopp insisted in the aftermath that he was indifferent to whether Liverpool were drawn against a fellow Premier League side in the draw on 16 March, preferring instead to simply revel in the Merseysiders reaching the last-eight stage for the first time since 2009.

The immediate priority is Saturday’s showdown with Manchester Untied at Old Trafford, and the German was in the luxurious position of being able to rest and rotate players accordingly. Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez, for instance, were both afforded 90 minutes.

“We did the job and that was it tonight,” said Klopp. “It wasn’t the most exciting game but we controlled it, had a few chances, got a clean sheet and gave some boys some minutes. I am pretty sure it is rare to have a game like this in the knockout stages.

“We needed to be serious and we were, so all good. Of course, we wanted to win two games at this stage. When you watch the game you always think ‘oh come on, a little bit more here and there’ but they did well and it is all good. The attitude was outstanding.”

The omens for Porto were not good: they had not beaten Liverpool in five attempts, the Reds had never lost by two clear goals in a home Champions League knockout clash, while Porto had failed to win on English soil in a Uefa competition in 17 attempts.

For their part, Porto made eight changes to the side which beat rivals Sporting Lisbon in a Primeira Liga clash on Friday, which perhaps reflected an approach of resignation towards the tie.

Liverpool, too, were a shadow of their free-flowing best, but struck the woodwork shortly after the half hour mark as Sadio Mane clattered an effort onto the post after being picked out by James Milner, the tournament’s leading assist-maker this season.

Despite both sides averaging well over two goals per game this season, the opening shot on target did not arrive until the 52nd minute as Majeed Waris forced Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius into a smart low save.

Klopp threw on goal-machine Mohamed Salah for the final 16 minutes, but to no avail, although the Egyptian did cross for fellow substitute Danny Ings, only for his header to be clawed away by Porto stopper Iker Casillas.

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