FC Porto – Liverpool: Liverpool Easily Progress After Surviving Fifteen First Half Shots (1-4)
Fighting for their last chance at a semi-final berth, Porto put up a genuine fight in the opening half hour, constantly playing in and around Liverpool’s penalty area. Their fighting spirit and tactical plan were both commendable, but this was an uphill battle from the kick-off – one Liverpool managed to win easily in the end.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
The first match at Anfield ended in an easy 2-0 win for Liverpool. That Porto had not managed to score an away goal meant that they would have to close a two-goal deficit. It also meant that they would have to attack and play with forty to fifty yards of space behind them. That is always risky – even more so when you are playing against Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.
However, as it would turn out, Porto were not scared of the task at hand and would start the match with bravery and a very high work rate. Their nominal 4-4-2 formation had some surprises in store, as Jesús Corona was partnered with Moussa Marega up top.
Outside midfielders Brahimi and Otávio were given license to come inside a lot, which is always the case in Porto’s 4-4-2 shape. Real Madrid signee Éder Militão functioned as a right back, whereas Alex Telles was fit enough to act play as a left back. Good old Iker Casillas was in goal, protected by a central duo consisting of Pepe – yeah, the Real . . .