FC Porto and Liverpool will go head to head when the Reds visit the Estadio do Dragao in the second gameweek of the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool put in a very strong performance against AC Milan last week where they won 3-2 against the Italian giants.
Liverpool thought they were in full control of the match in the first half after forcing an own goal and winning a penalty within the first 15 minutes of the match. But Mohamed Salah’s penalty was saved by AC Milan keeper Maignan. Liverpool defence then collapsed towards the end of the half as AC Milan scored two quick goals to turn the game around. Since the start of the second half, it was visible that Liverpool wanted to score an early goal to flip the game around. Salah scored in the third minute of the second half. Captain Jordan Henderson’s goal then helped Liverpool gain back their lead after a scored a sweet half volley into the bottom corner.
Liverpool dominated the game from the start in terms of attacking the opposition goal. They recorded a higher xT than their opponents and had a total of 22 attempts on goal, of which eight attempts were on target. Mo Salah was the danger man for Liverpool as he had three shots on target and also scored the goal that brought Liverpool back into the game. He had the highest xG of any other player on the pitch. The xT timeline indicates that Liverpool started the second half strong and were determined to score an early goal.
Liverpool were much better when defending in the second half as they only allowed AC Milan players to attempt two shots in the second half and their xG timeline indicates they were not able to create any significant chances.
Liverpool were the most dangerous while attacking from the right flank and created more opportunities from this side of the pitch. The passes made to Mohamed Salah on the right flank had the highest xT and most of Liverpool’s goals were scored from the right. Divock Origi only made two passes to Salah but provided the assist to him for the equaliser.
FC Porto faced Atletico Madrid for their first match of the Champions League this season and were unlucky to have a goal disallowed after being rechecked by VAR. Both teams are known to have a more defensive approach and focus on attacking the opposition goal with counterattacks.
FC Porto are defensively very strong and have only conceded three goals in the Primera Liga. In their game against Atletico, they won most of the aerial duels they attempted and rarely made any mistakes at the back. They will make it tough for the Liverpool attackers to win the crosses made into the box by their full-backs.
Liverpool will line up a similar team against Porto for their clash but the only change in the team might be Virgil Van Dijk at the back. Liverpool looked defensively weak at certain instances in the game which is why Klopp might add his captain back into the starting line-up. Liverpool will want to secure their second win in what is said to be the toughest group in the Champions League this season and maintain their position at the top of Group B.