Jurgen Klopp saluted Liverpool’s understudies after they dented Porto’s bid to qualify for the Champions League final 16 as Thiago Alcantara’s first objective since Might impressed a 2-0 win on Wednesday.
Klopp’s facet had already booked its place within the knockout phases as Group B winners, but it surely didn’t relaxation on its laurels at Anfield.
Thiago has endured a tough time with Liverpool, struggling to recapture the shape that made him a Champions League winner at Bayern Munich.
The Spanish midfielder gave a glimpse of his expertise with a composed show capped by a blistering long-range strike to place Liverpool forward within the second half.
Mohamed Salah sealed Liverpool’s fifth successive group victory together with his seventeenth objective this season.
Porto is second within the group, one level forward of Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, leaving Sergio Conceicao’s staff needing to beat the Spanish champions of their final match on December 7 to advance alongside Liverpool.
The Reds should not have an empty midweek left in 2021 and face 9 video games in all competitions in December, so Klopp rested a number of stars together with Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“It was good. Some folks might need thought we might play a straightforward recreation however we weren’t right here for that. We gained the sport with two distinctive objectives, particularly Thiago’s. Wow!” Klopp mentioned.
“It was hectic, which isn’t uncommon for a staff that has not performed collectively lots. However so many good issues occurred, each individually and as a staff.
“We had younger gamers taking part in, gamers again from damage and the best gamers received minutes and the best gamers received some relaxation.”
Liverpool’s 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Morton made his Champions League debut, with Neco Williams, Ibrahima Konate and Takumi Minamino additionally coming in.
Morton made his first Premier League look as a late substitute in opposition to Arsenal on the weekend, however he didn’t look misplaced on the large stage.
“In case you are in our squad you’re a good participant, it’s so simple as that. I might not throw a participant right into a recreation if he was not prepared,” Klopp mentioned.
“With Tyler some might need been stunned earlier than kick off however he did exceptionally effectively and I’m happy he put in a efficiency like this.”
teamwork 😍 pic.twitter.com/NtvxlgNcB9
— Thiago Alcantara (@Thiago6) November 24, 2021
Porto was inches away from taking the lead when Otavio robbed Kostas Tsimikas and whipped a cross in direction of Mehdi Taremi, whose header hit Joel Matip and deflected simply huge.
Moments later, Luis Diaz’s deft move picked out Otavio’s run into the Liverpool space, however Tsimikas made a lunging last-ditch sort out that pressured the midfielder to poke huge.
Sadio Mane thought he had scored within the thirty seventh minute when he ran onto Thiago’s move and slotted residence, however a VAR verify confirmed the Senegal ahead was marginally offside.
When Mateus Uribe swivelled to fireside simply huge quickly after half-time, it appeared Porto was starting to take management.
However it was Klopp’s males who made the breakthrough because of Thiago’s second of magic within the 52nd minute.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s free-kick was headed out to Thiago and he drilled an excellent 25-yard drive previous Diogo Costa.
Oxlade-Chamberlain went shut with a long-range rocket earlier than Thiago was substituted to a standing ovation from the Kop.
Thiago’s alternative Jordan Henderson arrange Liverpool’s second objective within the seventieth minute, choosing out Salah, who shimmied inside earlier than planting a low strike into the underside nook from 12 yards.
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