Liverpool crush Porto to set-up semi-final Champions League clash against Barcelona
Liverpool win Champions League quarter-final tie 6-1 on aggregate
Liverpool returned to the semi-finals of the Champions League after comfortably beating Porto 4-1 on Wednesday, with the attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino grabbing a goal each.
Virgil van Dijk also scored for Liverpool, who advanced 6-1 on aggregate after winning the first leg 2-0 at home.
Porto started well and showed signs that they might be able to reverse the first-leg deficit, but Liverpool took control after Mane scored in the 26th minute, which was confirmed by video review after being initially disallowed for offside.
Salah added to the lead in the 65th and Eder Militao scored for Porto in the 69th, but Firmino ended any doubts in the 77th and Van Dijk closed the scoring in the 84th at the Estadio do Dragao.
Liverpool, who lost in the final last season, will now face Barcelona, who eliminated Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate on Tuesday.
Liverpool had barely gotten close to Iker Casillas's goal when Salah picked up a pass inside the area and sent a low pass to Mane, who came sliding in behind the defenders near the far post to open the scoring.
Mane looked offside at first and few Liverpool players complained when the flag went up, but video review showed he was in legal position before making his run to the ball to score his 14th goal in 21 Champions League appearances.
The goal hurt Porto's morale and they struggled to keep pushing forward.
The pace slowed significantly and Liverpool took advantage, with Salah finding the net from inside the area after a pass by Trent Alexander-Arnold on a quick counter-attack.
Firmino, who came off the bench after halftime, and Van Dijk added to the lead with late headers. Porto's lone goal also came through a header by Militao, the defender who is joining Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Mane could have scored his second goal of the game in the 73rd but he missed an open net after dribbling past Casillas on a breakaway.
Porto, who eliminated Roma in the round of 16, won all of their four home games in the Champions League this season, outscoring opponents 11-3.
It was the second consecutive elimination for the Portuguese champions against Liverpool.
Porto, in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2014-15, were trying to reach the semi-finals for the first time since they won the tournament in 2004 under Jose Mourinho.
Updated: April 18, 2019 10:13 AM