Liverpool – Porto: Porto’s frenetic midfield make for a chaotic encounter (2-0)
In this frantic affair, Liverpool unsurprisingly displayed the most composure. FC Porto’s seemingly-uncontrolled and direct approach – while giving themselves more than a few problems – exploited some shared vulnerabilities, but after a quick two goal lead, a home win was never really in doubt.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Seen as a favorable pairing for Jürgen Klopp’s side, Porto posed an interesting challenge to the Liverpool FC battering ram. With last season’s 0-5 win still fresh in mind, tt may well seem a relatively kind draw, but it was not one to be taken lightly.
With so much at stake, few changes were made by Klopp from the team fielded at St. Mary’s on Friday night. Andrew Robertson, out through suspension, was replaced by James Milner, while Dejan Lovren came in for Joël Matip and Jordan Henderson stepped in for Georginio Wijnaldum.
Sérgio Conceição made four changes to the eleven that beat Boavista 2-0 on Friday also. Pepe and Héctor Herrera were busy serving suspensions while Wilson Manafa and Yaçine Brahimi also made way. As opposed to Klopp, who kept his shape consistent in their familiar 4-3-3 system, Conceição opted for a tactical change towards a back-three, specifically a 3-4-3 formation
Liverpool's 4-3-3 formation against Porto's 5-2-3 shape out of possession.
Liverpool's width exploits Porto’s experimental setup
To begin with, Liverpool had managed some calm, early spells of possession. Here, we got a clearer picture of how both sides wanted to function.
In a flat . . .