Sadio Mané hat-trick inspires Liverpool stroll against Porto

<!–[if IE 9]><![endif]–>Sadio Mané celebrates scoring Liverpool’s third goal against Porto.

Sadio Mané celebrates scoring Liverpool’s third goal against Porto.
Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

How Liverpool’s forward line would cope without the creative industry of Philippe Coutinho remained a legitimate question on their return to the Champions League stage. By taking it in turns to inflict the heaviest home defeat on Porto in their rich European history was the emphatic answer. The highest scoring team in Europe’s premier competition will be one to avoid in the quarter-finals that beckon.

Sadio Mané struck a hat-trick, Roberto Firmino polished an immaculate display with a goal and Mohamed Salah claimed his 30th of the season as Jürgen Klopp’s side demolished the Portuguese league leaders. Salah became the second-fastest player in Liverpool’s history to reach the 30-goal milestone, only George Allan got there quicker than his 36 games, as the visitors also became the second highest goalscorers away from home in any Champions League campaign. Porto were simply steam-rollered.

Klopp dispensed with his usual touchline habit of patrolling the technical area and spent most of the first half sitting in the dugout. If it was a show of confidence in his side, and the Liverpool manager was brimming with it during his pre-match press confidence, it was accurately placed and well-rewarded.

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