Match ends, FC Porto 1, Liverpool 4.
FC Porto 1-4 Liverpool: Comfortable win sets up Barcelona showdown
Liverpool swept aside Porto with a thumping 6-1 aggregate victory to set up a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final tie with Spanish champions Barcelona.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Anfield, goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk underscored an accomplished performance by Jurgen Klopp's side.
The Reds had been forced to survive an early bombardment in the saturated Estadio do Dragao, before Mane opened the scoring with a sliding effort - from Salah's scuffed shot - which was confirmed by VAR.
Salah stroked in a second after the break from a superb counter-attack before Real Madrid-bound defender Eder Militao pulled a goal back for the hosts.
Liverpool reasserted their authority though with close-range headers from Firmino and Van Dijk sealing an impressive victory.
Remarkably Porto had looked capable of capitalising on a sluggish Liverpool start until Mane's goal swung the momentum of the second leg back in the visitors' favour.
Until then Liverpool were the beneficiaries of errant finishing from the home side - with Moussa Marega notably failing to convert any of his five chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Liverpool will face Barca - who beat Manchester United in the last eight - in the first leg of their semi-final at the Nou Camp on Wednesday 1 May (20:00 BST).
Liverpool excel in defence and attack
Mane, Salah and Firmino were all scorers when Liverpool thrashed Porto 5-0 in their last-16 tie at this venue in February 2018.
And like in that game, the Reds' attacking triumvirate were again on the mark in another emphatic win that was underpinned by the clinical nature of their finishing.
Senegalese forward Mane's anticipation brought Liverpool's opener, with his 22nd goal of the season ensuring he is already two goals better off than his tally in 2017-18.
Mane and Salah's goals arrived with the Reds' first two efforts on target - with Salah's strike in particular highlighting the threat Klopp's side pose when they break with speed.
Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both involved before Salah took a touch to control the full-back's pass and then dispatched a left-foot shot past three-time Champions League winner Iker Casillas.
While Liverpool impressed in attack with Firmino heading home the third, the strides they have made in defence were also key against relentless opponents.
Klopp paid out over £140m on Netherlands defender Van Dijk and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson to strengthen the spine of his team, and the duo again proved their worth.
Van Dijk excelled, making nine clearances - more than any other player - before his late goal, while Alisson's positioning enabled him to gather several Porto attempts on goal with the minimum fuss.
While Porto delivered a display brimming with intensity and application, they ultimately lacked the firepower to turn the tie into a meaningful contest.
There was plenty of intent, signalled by Jesus Corona's whipped effort inside 40 seconds, but when Porto did work openings they lacked the accuracy and power to breach the Liverpool defence.
Those final-third troubles were exemplified by Marega who had 10 shots across both legs of the quarter-final without scoring.
The Mali forward had registered goals in six consecutive Champions League appearances before coming up against opposition operating on a different level.
He twice hurried efforts when well placed when more composure was required with the scoreline at 0-0 on the night.
His first, a half-volley from 12-yards, was snatched at and ricocheted wide off his left shin and he then was unable to add enough power to a right-foot shot on the turn that was well saved by Alisson.
Militao's header from a corner did provide a consolation goal but it did not prevent Porto from relinquishing their 100% home record in the competition this season.
Man of the match - Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
'It was always going to be a whirlwind' - what they said
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to BT Sport: "We played better this season. It was always going to be a whirlwind here and that was what it was. In the second half, the energy level dropped for Porto and we could control the game and score the goals.
"We are more experienced, that is clear. We had difficult away games and we knew it would be the same as at City and Roma last year. It is all good. A difficult game but we go to the semi-finals.
"It is first time for me to play Barcelona, apart from in friendlies. I am looking forward to that."
Porto coach Sergio Conceicao: "Liverpool only had four shots on goal and scored four goals, which demonstrates the quality of their team.
"At first we did well at all levels. The one time our opponents entered our penalty area, it was a goal. We deserved more, the public deserved more, but we gave a very positive image of Portuguese football. Our Champions League was fantastic - we can not forget the campaign. Liverpool is a very strong team."
Porto's English woes - the stats
- Liverpool are the first English side to qualify for back-to-back Champions League semi-finals since both Chelsea and Manchester United did so in three campaigns between 2006-07 and 2008-09.
- Alongside fellow Portuguese side Benfica, Porto have been eliminated from six European Cup/Champions League knockout ties against English opposition, more than any other team (excluding finals).
- Liverpool are now unbeaten in their four European trips to Porto (W2 D2); the Reds have only visited Barcelona as many times in all European competition without suffering defeat.
- Porto have now been eliminated from six of their last seven quarter-final appearances in the European Cup/Champions League, including each of the last three in 2008-09 (Man Utd), 2014-15 (Bayern Munich) and 2018-19 (Liverpool).
- Each of the 18 Champions League goals Liverpool have scored and the 15 that Porto have conceded in the competition this season have come from inside the area.
- Porto's Moussa Marega had 10 shots across this quarter-final tie with Liverpool without scoring, this after striking in six straight appearances in the competition leading up to the first leg (15 shots, 6 goals).
- Only Steven Gerrard (21) has scored more European Cup/Champions League goals for Liverpool than Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, who have all moved level with Ian Rush on 14 goals each.
Liverpool travel to Cardiff in the Premier League on Sunday 21 April (16:00 BST).
- 33PepeBooked at 36mins
- 25OtávioSubstituted forFrancisco Soaresat 45'minutes
- 8BrahimiSubstituted forAlmeida Costaat 81'minutes
- 17JM CoronaSubstituted forAndrade dos Santosat 78'minutes
- 6Almeida Costa
- 29Francisco Soares
- 37Andrade dos Santos
- 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forGomezat 66'minutes
- 4van Dijk
- 26RobertsonSubstituted forHendersonat 71'minutes
- 10ManéBooked at 32mins
- 27OrigiSubstituted forFirminoat 45'minutes
- Danny Makkelie
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, FC Porto 1, Liverpool 4.
Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Alex Telles.
Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
Foul by Fernando (FC Porto).
James Milner (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.
Foul by Danilo Pereira (FC Porto).
Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto).
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! FC Porto 1, Liverpool 4. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sadio Mané with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Fernando.
Foul by Danilo Pereira (FC Porto).
Fabinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Tiquinho Soares (FC Porto) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Substitution, FC Porto. Bruno Costa replaces Yacine Brahimi.
Foul by Danilo Pereira (FC Porto).
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, FC Porto. Fernando replaces Jesús Manuel Corona.
Goal! FC Porto 1, Liverpool 3. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.
Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.
Foul by Moussa Marega (FC Porto).
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a through ball following a fast break.
Felipe (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).
Substitution, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson replaces Andrew Robertson.
Foul by Héctor Herrera (FC Porto).
Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! FC Porto 1, Liverpool 2. Eder Militão (FC Porto) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross following a corner.
Corner, FC Porto. Conceded by Joel Matip.
Pepe (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).
Substitution, Liverpool. Joseph Gomez replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Goal! FC Porto 0, Liverpool 2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a through ball following a fast break.
Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).