Liverpool into quarter-finals after Porto stalemate

Liverpool are through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after a goalless home draw with Porto wrapped up a 5-0 aggregate victory.

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Liverpool are into the UEFA Champions League last eight following a rare goalless draw for Jürgen Klopp's side.

The competition's leading scorers with 28 goals, the Reds had already inflicted sufficient damage on Porto with a 5-0 first-leg away win three weeks ago. Up against a starting XI showing ten changes from that side so overwhelmingly beaten last month, the hosts came closest to breaking the deadlock when Sadio Mané – who got a hat-trick in Portugal – struck a low shot against the woodwork.

Danny Ings' looping header caused brief alarm in the second half, but the visitors held firm to salvage a clean sheet on their exit from the competition. Liverpool's momentum may have been temporarily halted, but they can nevertheless look forward to the draw on Friday 16 March.

James Milner was his usual industrious self
James Milner was his usual industrious self©Getty Images

Key player: James Milner (Liverpool)

Milner described himself as "a bit of a workhorse" during Monday's press conference, and he lived up to his reputation here. The 31-year-old was at his industrious best, throwing himself into tackles and nearly registering a record-equalling eighth assist in the competition this season. He could have got on the scoresheet, too, but scuffed an effort wide in the opening minutes of the second period.

Reporter talking points

Matthew Howarth, Liverpool: It was a case of job done for Liverpool, who lacked the cutting edge to penetrate the visitors' defence often enough to earn themselves a second-leg victory. The hosts were far from their best and Klopp cut a frustrated figure at times, but his side can now turn their attentions to a first quarter-final since 2008/09.

Liverpool applaud the Anfield faithful
Liverpool applaud the Anfield faithful©Getty Images

Paul Bryan, Porto: Stung by that overwhelming first-leg defeat, Porto arrived looking to win back some pride. All the new faces performed admirably to keep one of Europe's most potent attacks at bay. Porto's European challenge now over, they will look to return to the UEFA Champions League as Portuguese champions next season.

Key stats

  • Liverpool have hit the woodwork four times in the #UCL this season, second only to Manchester United (5)
  • This was only the fifth time in 42 games this season that Liverpool failed to score
  • Milner needs one more assist to equal the single-season assist record held by Neymar and Wayne Rooney
  • This was only Porto's second clean sheet in their last ten #UCL fixtures