Money well spent; is it time for a Liverpool Champions League title?

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Leg 2 UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals

Liverpool hold a two-goal lead over the Portuguese challengers, FC Porto, after a 2-0 victory at Anfield. The challengers will have one opporunitiy left to prove the quality this team has, but it’s going to be an uphill battle.

The perpetual underdogs, hold that title — yet again

Porto has been the perpetual underdog this season, yet they’ve continued to find a way on to the next round time after time. They are done big in this one heading back to their home stadium, and will need to bring the game to Liverpool. Porto had a pretty poor showing overall in the first leg and might even be lucky to only be down two goals.

Last Champions League game:

Highs:

  • There’s still an opportunity to overcome the deficit, but it’s going to require a vastly improved performance.
  • FC Porto won more corners than their opponents, though they were unable to convert that advantage into anything on the board.
  • FC Porto had the advantage in most defensive statistics including tackles attempted, successful tackles, interceptions, etc.
  • Despite giving up two goals inside 30 minutes, the team fought back and didn’t allow anything additional.

Lows:

  • Poor game all around at Anfield.
  • FC Porto yielded 2 goals on 3 shots on goal, with only one save made.
  • Despite their advantage in the defensive statistics, they were badly beaten.
  • Porto were broken down inside the first 6′ and then again in the 26′.

Liverpool’s big money expenditures put lots of pressure, which they are dealing with so far

Liverpool at a very solid home game against Porto. So far, it’s looking like the vast amount of money spent by this side in the last transfer window is paying off. In particular, they haven’t been plagued with the comedic goalkeeping errors that have accompanied this team in the past. Alisson was very solid in Leg 1, and I’d expect him to build on it for the 2nd.

Last Champions League game:

There are some highs and some lows that accompany the first leg against Porto. Their two goal advantage might have been substantially more on a different day, now they get to travel to Porto.

Highs:

  • Alisson made three saves on the three shots on goal Porto was able to generate.
  • Roberto Firminho had a fantastic game with an assist and a goal towards the Liverpool cause.
  • 2 of our 3 players to watch took the field: Alexander-Arnold had a great showing, Mane was somewhat less impressive.
  • The Man of the Match performance went to Naby Keita, and rightly so, he had a fantastic performance all around and capped it with a goal.
  • Milner played well in his first game as a left-back giving Robertson some time off to prep for the Chelsea match that could determine Liverpool’s finishing place in the Premier League.

Lows: 

  • They had eight shots blocked of the fifteen they attempted, meaning that they had to settle for only 3 shots on goal.
  • Mo Salah and Mane had very mediocre games, although, luckily the rest of the team was able to carry the team through.
  • Liverpool rather fell off after the 2nd goal, they seemed to have less focus (or interest) in trying to put away a Porto side that had been carved open twice inside of the first half-hour.
  • They were outplayed in many of the defensive statistical areas, but I think a lot of this comes from the massive differential in possession. However, it can also be indicative of work rate, so I’d like to see them play better (and if they did, it might have been absolute decimation, rather than mere domination).

What to expect in this Champions League game:

Porto will have to come out firing for this game. They have a multigoal deficit against a solid Liverpool side, and will be reliant on the home atmosphere to push themselves through. Unfortunately for Porto fans, I think their run comes to an end here, as Liverpool can be incredibly lethal on the counter — and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put

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Last Updated: April 17, 2019

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