- Liverpool will take a 2-0 lead into Wednesday’s second leg of their UCL QF vs Porto
- Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino scored first-half goals in the win
- Liverpool owns the largest goal-differential of any UCL QF match
Liverpool is well-positioned to book a place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. The Reds carry a 2-0 lead into Wednesday’s away leg against Porto at 3:00pm EST.
The Merseysiders opened this quarterfinal with a solid performance. A pair of first-half goals gave Liverpool control of the match. They were able to cruise through the second half and save their legs for the second leg.
Liverpool vs Porto Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread||Total||Odds to Advance at BetOnline|
|Porto||+230||-0.5 (-125)||O 2.5 (+102)||+1400|
|Liverpool||+109||+0.5 (-107)||U 2.5 (-109)||-4000|
*All odds taken on April 14, 2019
BetOnline has established Liverpool as solid favorites to win at Porto and complete a sweep of both legs.
A Good Start
The victory over Porto in the first leg improved Liverpool’s record at Anfield during Champions League play this season to 4-0-1.
Liverpool and Porto met last year in the UCL round of 16 and played to a scoreless draw at Anfield. Since that match, Liverpool is 24-1-4 at home in all competitions.
Naby Keita’s goal in the fifth minute was the match winner. It was his second goal in a week after he’d gone over a year without a goal.
Roberto Firmino registered the second goal after 25 minutes. He was rewarded for his performance with the UEFA Champions League player of the week award.
Liverpool’s home record across all competitions since Porto’s visit to Anfield last season:
Chelsea are the only team to have beaten them in over a year. 😳 pic.twitter.com/TXkToz5ikm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 9, 2019
Liverpool were also fortunate that Mohamed Salah wasn’t issued a red card for a dangerous-looking tackle on Danilo late in the game.
The Reds have surrendered just one goal during the knockout phase of the UCL. Since 2017, Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker has kept nine clean sheets in UCL competition, the most of any goalie.
Porto Proved Rewarding Before
When Liverpool headed to Porto last year for their away leg of the UCL round of 16 match, the Reds routed the Portuguese club 5-0.
Sadio Mane netted a hat-trick, with Salah and Firmino netting singles.
Why Not Both?
Liverpool continue to lead the English Premier League by two points over Manchester City. The Reds haven’t copped the league title since 1989-90.
Only two teams have kept 18+ clean sheets in Europe's top five divisions this season:
⚪️ Atletico Madrid
Only one of those teams is top of their league. 😏 pic.twitter.com/Hbf7cPNaUI
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 14, 2019
They lost last year’s UEFA Champions League final 3-1 to Real Madrid, the third time they’ve been runners up since their last UCL title in 2004-05.
Manchester United was the last side to win the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles in the same season. They did so in 2007-08.
Casillas Questions Officials
After the first-leg loss, Porto’s Iker Casillas created some controversy on social media.
Soy 100 por 100 optimista!! Teniendo en cuenta los resultados de octavos de @ChampionsLeague no podemos pensar que la eliminatoria está perdida. Falta el juego en Dragao y vamos a luchar por pasar a las semifinales. Gracias a todos los portistas por el apoyo en Liverpool!! pic.twitter.com/3w1xst6ULP
— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) April 9, 2019
The veteran goalkeeper for Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning side tweeted photos of Salah’s high challenge on Danilo and an alleged handball by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. Both incidents underwent video review and no calls were made.
Liverpool star Mo Salah 'fortunate' to escape red card for horror tackle on Porto's Danilo during first-leg victory, says Mark Clattenburg pic.twitter.com/eCXF8gMk7o
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) April 10, 2019
Casillas wondered if things would be evened up during Porto’s home leg of the tie at Estádio do Dragão.
Marega the Man of the Match?
Porto faces an uphill battle in the second leg. One positive they possess is the presense of striker Mouassa Marega. That at least gives them a chance.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 9, 2019
He came close to scoring a couple of times at Anfield. Marega has 18 goals in 41 matches this season, but he’s been clinical in the UCL, where he’s netted six goals in eight matches. He’s fifth this season in the UCL scoring race.
Plenty for Liverpool to think about, though, before the second leg. Had Moussa Marega been able to finish, the complexion of this tie would look very different 🔴
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) April 9, 2019
Porto and Benfica are currently level atop the Portuguese League standings, each with 72 points.
Reds Alert for Porto
Liverpool are the only side to carry more than a one-goal lead into the second leg of the UCL quarterfinals. You’ve got to go back to 2001-02 to find a UCL knockout stage tie when Liverpool squandered a first-leg lead. The Reds led Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 after the first-leg of their quarterfinal but lost 4-3 on aggregate.
Liverpool vs Porto Leg 1 Stats
|3||Shots On Target||3|
That doesn’t seem likely to happen here. All Liverpool need to do is knock in one goal and because of the away goals rule, Porto would need to score four times to win the tie.
Liverpool is in the driver’s seat and will drive on to the semifinals. Play the Reds to win, to cover the spread and bet the over.