Jurgen Klopp will be thoroughly impressed with a number of his Liverpool stars after Tuesday’s dominant win over Porto in the Champions League group stages. Goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino sealed an impressive result for the visitors, who will now switch their focus to the highly-anticipated clash with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Klopp was forced into making a single change from the Liverpool side that drew at Brentford on Saturday, with James Milner selected to start at right-back in place of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Salah gave the Reds an early lead with 18 minutes played, with the Egyptian forward tapping home from close range after Curtis Jones’ attempt was fumbled into his path by Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
Mane doubled Liverpool’s advantage with the easiest of finishes as half-time approached before Salah added another on the hour mark.
The Reds were at their brilliant best from the very first whistle and the result against Porto will provide a valuable injection of self-belief ahead of Sunday’s titanic clash with City at Anfield.
JUST IN: Everton ‘going crazy’ as Benitez pushes for double Real Madrid swoop
However, it remains to be seen whether Klopp will decide to tinker with his side for the upcoming visit of the Premier League champions.
A number of Liverpool players stood out above the rest against Porto and will have the right to be aggrieved if they are dropped to the bench for the club’s next outing.
Jones will undoubtedly be pushing for another Premier League start after his magnificent showing in the middle of the park.
The 20-year-old was clearly high on confidence after his stunning goal against Brentford and was a lively presence in the final third for the Reds.
He played a huge role in setting up Liverpool’s first goal, cutting in from the left-hand side and getting his shot away before Salah gobbled up the rebound.
Jones went on to find his Egyptian team-mate once again with an inch-perfect pass on the hour mark for Liverpool’s third of the evening.
It seems as though Jones could emerge as a real asset for Klopp this season and has surely done enough to warrant a starting berth against City based on the evidence of his last two games.
Milner will also be hopeful of keeping his spot in the side if Alexander-Arnold is made available for selection before kick-off on Sunday afternoon.
The 35-year-old was quite obviously targeted by Porto in the early stages but managed to do enough to keep the hosts at bay.
It was a tough ask for Milner to keep Luis Diaz quiet on the right-hand side but he mostly succeeded, although the Porto winger did not have much of a sniff once the game had settled thanks to Liverpool’s dominance.
FOLLOW OUR NEW DAILY EXPRESS SPORT INSTAGRAM PAGE
Milner also made a valuable contribution with the ball, providing a delicious cross for Mane to score his side’s second goal before the interval.
The veteran utility man can almost always be counted on to produce a solid performance regardless of where Klopp chooses to deploy him, and the German boss could be inclined to give him the nod against City and name Alexander-Arnold on the bench.
However, it remains to be seen whether the latter will even be fit enough to participate as he continues his recovery from an adductor injury picked up in training.
Liverpool could not have hoped for a better showing against Porto ahead of Sunday’s tantalising clash, with Klopp’s side utterly dominant for the vast majority of proceedings.
However, the Reds will undoubtedly face a greater test against City as they look to extend their slender advantage at the top of the Premier League table.