Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed a perfect performance as his Liverpool thumped Porto 5-0 on Wednesday night.
Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick and Mohamed Salah continued his phenomenal run with a 30th of the season as Liverpool won on away soil to virtually assure their place in the last eight of the Champions League.
Mane was in the right place at the right time to score twice in the first half before rifling home his hat-trick just before the end, to overshadow the exploits of Salah, whose brilliant individual effort made him the second fastest to the 30-goal landmark in the club’s history and the quickest for 122 years.
Roberto Firmino also had an outstanding game and his goal – his seventh in Europe this season, with only Cristiano Ronaldo scoring more – was just reward for the Brazilian.
It ensured a comfortable night in the Estadio do Dragao as the Reds’ first knockout encounter in nine years at this level passed without major incident.
Was it a perfect game from Liverpool? Klopp believes so.
“Yes. You could say that of course,” the German told BT Sport.
“It was very professional, very mature in the right moments, very aggressive, good defending, good counter-attacking, keeping the ball, moving them around. In this game it was possible, usually it’s not that easy.
“It was hard work but at the end the boys enjoyed the work and that’s the most important thing.
“At half-time I said, ‘the situation of the first half even when we were 2-0 up was when Mo Salah won the ball back in the centre of the park’. That’s what you need in a game like this, a competition like this.
“I saw a lot of fantastic performances tonight, a result like this is only possible if they are all spot on. I think [Andrew] Robertson played an outstanding game, finally he found his crosses, I thought they were in Scotland or somewhere which was good to see. Of course Sadio [Mane] is man of the match but Roberto Firmino’s work rate was outstanding again.”