Sport Liverpool: The Champions League So Far

13:56  14 february  2018
13:56  14 february  2018 Source:   readsport.co

Van Dijk will only get better at Liverpool, says Karius

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Liverpool FC v Spartak Moskva - UEFA Champions League © Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Sport Liverpool FC v Spartak Moskva - UEFA Champions League

Ahead of tonight’s game with Porto, we’ve taken a look back at Livepool’s Champions League campaign so far.

QUALIFICATION

Liverpool were tied with German outfit Hoffenheim, which presented striker Roberto Firmino with a trip back to the side he left to join Liverpool in 2015. A tough tie it seemed.

The Reds got the perfect start as young right back Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a glorious free kick to settle the nerves. An own goal from Hoffenheim’s Havard Nordtveit from James Milner’s cross gave Liverpool an important security net if Hoffenheim were to slice the defecit – which they did. In the 87th minute, Mark Uth scored after lackadaisical marking on Liverpool’s behalf. The result gave Liverpool the confidence to finish the job off back at home and boy we did.

Firmino ready for European stage with Liverpool

  Firmino ready for European stage with Liverpool Roberto Firmino wishes to prove with Liverpool that he can be one of Europe’s deadliest strikers, according to The Independent. The Brazilian striker sees the upcoming tie against FC Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League that he can build from his impressive performances and goalscoring this season in the Premier League and the Champions League. Firmino has been clinical in the Champions League, scoring in the qualifying round against Hoffenheim, as well as scoring six in six in the group stages, making him the joint third highest goalscorer in the competition so far, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. Firmino said in an interview (via The Independent): “Of course I want to be at their (Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo) level but I only focus on playing a good game.” “If I play a good game then the goals will appear. I am trying to give my maximum for the team and trying to be alongside these great players in Europe.” “Porto are an excellent team with good tradition in the Champions League. It is going to be a tough game and we will have to be at our best tomorrow.” The first leg is played tonight in Portugal, where Firmino has the chance to carry on his goalscoring form, along with the other impressive front two of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.

Ian ladyman at anfield: Liverpool 's thrilling attacking force put in one of their most impressive performances so far to send the Reds through to the Champions League knock-outs as group winners.

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Liverpool got off to a flying start with Emre Can scoring a deflected effort after Sadio Mane’s luxurious back heel assist. Mo Salah could not miss from Gini Wijnaldum’s shot that hit off the post to put Liverpool two up and seemingly on their way to the group stages. Can was at the double after he coolly placed Roberto Firmino’s cross into the back of the net after a well worked passing move. Hoffenheim weren’t finished as goalscorer the week before Mark Uth expertly scored passed Loris Karius to put a grain of doubt into Liverpool minds.

This grain was very small as in the 63rd minute, Jordan Henderson robbed the Hoffenheim defence of the ball and squared for Roberto Firmino to cap off an excellent European night. Sandro Wagner added a second for the Germans which highlighted Liverpool’s defensive frailties but no one really cared as Liverpool returned to the big time – the Champions League Group Stage.

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Sahal has enjoyed sensational form for Liverpool in his debut season, scoring nearly 30 times so far (ZNBC). Liverpool ’s Mohamed Salah is enjoying the best form of his career at the moment according to online sportsbook news

The group stage draw was very kind to Liverpool, pitting them with Spanish side Sevilla, Russia’s Spartak Moscow and Slovenian minnows Maribor. It was in our hands, and we had to take the opportunity.

GROUP STAGE: PART 1

In typical Liverpool fashion, The Reds went 1-0 down to Sevilla at Anfield and we all feared the worst. Fortunately, Roberto Firmino equalised after good work from Alberto Moreno down the left and Mo Salah put Liverpool 2-1 up after his effort took a massive ricochet off a Sevilla player. The joy did not last forever as in the 72nd minute, Joaquim levelled for Los Rojiblancos to make it an underwhelming night for the boys in red.

The disappointment continued in Russia as a Fernando free kick got the better of Loris Karius and made a Rodgers 14/15 Europe campaign seem more and more likely but for Klopp’s men. Although, Philippe Coutinho has become a much better player since Rodgers left and he got the draw in Moscow, scoring an emphatic shot from close range.

Daniel Agger is confident Van Dijk will inspire confidence

  Daniel Agger is confident Van Dijk will inspire confidence Former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger is confident he has seen enough of Virgil van Dijk to be sure he will spread confidence in the Liverpool defence. Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes in the Reds’ most recent game against Porto in the Champions League, where the Premier League outfit comfortably one 5-0. Sadio Mané hit a hat-trick at the Estádio do Dragã on Wednesday night, while Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino also added one each. At the other end of the field, Van Dijk was part of a resolute backline that kept their second successive clean sheet, giving Liverpool a huge advantage of progressing to the next round going into the second leg. Talking to Liverpoolfc.com, Agger said; “I watched him play before and he is a really strong player. Taking the step from Southampton to Liverpool is not always easy, but it’s impressive how he’s started.” “He looks like he’s going in and looks like he is in charge. As a defender, as a team, it’s important to have a man like that. It’s still early, but I hope he can bring the best out of those around him at the back.” “I briefly caught up with most of the lads, but most of them I haven’t really played with. There are a few still around – I had a good chat with Hendo and it’s always nice to see him.” Agger was also enthused by the comprehensive nature of Liverpool’s Champions League victory, as was the squad involved. Agger continued; “It was a big pleasure to watch it.

Guido Pizarro of Sevilla FC celebrates his last gasp equaliser with Head Coach Eduardo Berizzo during the UEFA Champions League group E match against Liverpool . Aitor Alcalde (Getty Images). As Liverpool dropped further back

Sahal has enjoyed sensational form for Liverpool in his debut season, scoring nearly 30 times so far (ZNBC). Liverpool ’s Mohamed Salah is enjoying the best form of his career at the moment according to online sportsbook news

A win in Slovenia was vital for Liverpool and they delivered. Firmino scored inside 4 minutes and Coutinho, Salah twice added before half time to put Liverpool in a healthy position. Firmino scored again before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got his first Liverpool goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold deflected strike resulted in a 7-0 thrashing of Maribor. A statement of intent, regardless of the opposition.

GROUP STAGE: PART 2

The return leg in Anfield provided less entertainment as Maribor channelled their inner Manchester United and parked the bus but the doors stayed closed for 49 minutes before Mo Salah flicked an Alexander-Arnold cross in. Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge added a second and third in a comfortable win on Merseyside.

Anger. Anger is the word that sums up this Sevilla match. Liverpool were in dreamland in Sevilla was they raced into a 3-0 lead in 30 minutes, Roberto Firmino scoring twice and Sadio Mane heading in. Liverpool then went on to somehow bottle a three goal lead. Wissam Ben Yedder rose highest to head in and nine minutes later he added a second from the penalty spot and the memes were being readied. The Sevilla comeback was complete when Guido Pizarro scored from a corner in the 93rd minute, showing Liverpool’s defensive issues needed addressing – not for the first time.

Back on home soil, Liverpool needed to win to be sure of finishing 1st in the group and under the lights at Anfield, The Reds put on a show. A penalty from captain on the night Philippe Coutinho settled the nerves before he added a calmly slotted second a Roberto Firmino a third. The 4th smashed in from Sadio Mane, number 5 by Coutinho’s deflected shot and the 6th courtesy of Sadio Mane once more. Mo Salah continued his scintillating form to add a 7th so Liverpool were through to the knockout stages.

PORTO

Following the 2-0 defeat of Southampton, I fully expect Liverpool to advance to the quarter-final over Porto. Azuis e brancos recorded a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Chaves so, should be feeling confident but Liverpool should prove too much for them, especially if Salah and Firmino perform like they did on Sunday.

Settled Salah demands Champions League qualification for Liverpool .
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