No away goals

Only double figures would make for the perfect score, but ask any knowlegeable kopite and they’d have told you that, in a home CL tie, a clean sheet comes first.
Two-nil might not seem out of the ordinary, but any Liverpool away goal in the 2nd leg will require Porto to score four! And I’ll always have faith in this Liverpool side scoring in any game.
Last night was hardly a thrilling spectacle after the first twenty minutes, but the distinct feeling was that Porto tired progressively as the game went on.
Furthermore, it was clear that in the second half, the Reds were under instructions to protect against any concession The impression was that they could have stepped things up at any time, but 2-0 was always a better scoreline than 3-1!
Liverpool were in cruise control once they led and again Hendo was immense with his slide-rule pass leading to the second goal pure Alonsoesque!
The Kop acclaimed Keita at the end but while it’s true his gradual acclimatisation is there to see, nevertheless, my personal feeling is that the player needs to muscle-up somewhat. He and Mane are very similar in build, but Sadio is a much more physical individual that when he first arrived – and a more effective player as a consequence.
Last night we realised in his absence, the immense presence that is Andy Robertson. Milner did well, but the Scot has emerged as a world-class left-back and, certainly early on, there were plenty of doubts about play in that area, so that van Dijk seemed forever having to keep a close eye on both his own play and Milner’s as well.
Still, all in all a good night’s work. Now all we need is an early away goal in Portugal and the  tie will be effectively over.
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There were three examples of VAR referencing last night. (or didn’t you know that?) Nothing was made clear by an experienced Spanish referee and the crowd had to rely on PA George Sephton to keep them informed.
There was laughter in the crowd when George almost dismissively announced, before the referee had even signalled, that Trent’s inadvertent handball was not a penalty. Still, that and the disallowed Mane goal were appropriate uses of the facility. What was not came midway through the second half when Milner was delayed in taking a throw-in before an announcement came: ‘VAR decision- no penalty!’
What was that about? We all thought the delay concerned a Porto player tying his boot laces!!!
There’s something radically wrong with the system, as in the other CL tie at Tottenham, when both sides are happily acquiescing to facing a corner. At which point some bored and pompous official looking at his array of screens in an attic somewhere in London, feels the need to interfere and a crucial penalty ensues.
I wonder who it was? Names like Dean and Moss and Mason immediately come to mind. Crazy. It’s just not right that the paying customer is being sidelined in this way.
Mike Hopper

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