Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino earned Liverpool a 2-0 win in the first leg over Porto on Tuesday as Jurgen Klopp's side took a giant step in their Champions League quarter-final tie.
The Reds got the perfect start in the fifth minute when James Milner swung out a ball to Sadio Mane on the left. He found Roberto Firmino in support and he teed up Keita, for a shot which was deflected in by the sliding Oliver Torres.
The Merseyside team had more chances to score, as Mohamed Salah wasted the best of them after pouncing on an errant back-pass but pushing his shot wide.
Firmino doubled the advantage in the 26th minute, as Jordan Henderson split the Porto defence with a superb pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose low cross was tapped in from close range by the Brazilian.
Porto did create chances but striker Moussa Marega failed to convert meaning his side leave Merseyside without what could have been a crucial away goal.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson produced an excellent block with his feet to deny him in the 30th minute and moments later the Mali international failed to connect fully with a volley from eight yards.
Maraga had two further chances in the second half but Alisson was first able to comfortably save at his near post and later watch on as the Porto striker blazed over the bar.
The visitors also felt they should have had a penalty when the ball struck Alexander-Arnold's arm as he shepherded it out but after a VAR review the appeal was rejected.
Sadio Mane had an effort ruled out for offside three minutes after the interval, but apart from another Marega chance in the 69th minute there were few clear-cut opportunities in the second half.
The Portuguese side fought well to stay in the game in an over-all scrappy affair to give themselves a chance of a comeback at home in next week's second leg.
After the match Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, "We are happy, it is the first leg and it will be an intense second game. We scored two goals and controlled the ball most of the time."
"We lost a little bit of direction in the second half, but there's nothing to criticise, 2-0 is a very, very good result.
"We knew we had to play the second game and we cannot decide the tie tonight, so now we have to go there and fight again," he added.
Liverpool extended their unbeaten home run across all European competitions to 21 games. The Reds have kept 12 clean sheets in this run, conceding just 15 goals.
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.