PORTO, PORTUGAL.- Liverpool pounded Porto 4-1 here Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie to win 6-1 on aggregate and set up a battle with Barcelona for a spot in the final.
The Reds, anxious for vindication after losing last year’s final to Real Madrid, will face a Barça side looking to hoist the Champions League trophy for the first time since 2015.
Trailing 2-0 after the first leg at Anfield, Porto started brightly in front of 50,000 spectators at Estadio do Dragao and would have halved the deficit in the 1st minute if Jesus Corona’s strike hadn’t gone over the cross-bar.
The hosts enjoyed the edge on possession, yet top striker Moussa Marega struggled to penetrate the Liverpool back line and the other Porto attackers displayed a lack of quality in the final third.
And the mountain Porto had to climb grew even higher in the 26th minute with a goal by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.
Though the goal was initially disallowed for an offside, referee Danny Makkelie reversed the decision after consulting the VAR replay, leaving the home side down 3-0.
Porto had most of the ball for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but the Reds defense was never under any serious pressure and with 25 minutes left in regulation, Mo Salah scored with an assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold to increase Liverpool’s advantage to 4-0.
Eder Militao pulled back a goal for the hosts in the 68th minute with a header off a corner by Alex Telles, only for Roberto Firmino to make it 5-1 on aggregate in the 77th with help from Jordan Henderson.
Defender Virgil van Dijk got his head to a Mane corner in the 84th minute to complete the scoring.
The Reds extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 17. Liverpool haven’t lost since Jan. 7, when they were defeated by reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Porto: Iker Casillas, Eder Militao, Pepe, Felipe, Alex Telles, Octavio (Tiquinho, m.46), Danilo Pereira, Hector Herrera, Jesus Corona (Fernando Santos, m.78), Yacine Brahimi (Bruno Costa, m.81) and Moussa Marega.
Liverpool: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Joe Gomez, m.66), Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson (Jordan Henderson, m.71), Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Divock Origi (Roberto Firmino, m.46), Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.