Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised Thiago Alcantara’s “Thunderball” goal, which helped the Reds to a 2-0 win over Porto and their fifth Champions League victory in a row

With a stunning low, first-time, 25-yard half-volley, the Spain international broke the score, which was later added to by Mohamed Salah’s sixth European goal of the season.

It was just Thiago’s second goal in a tumultuous 14 months since having to join in a £20 million transfer from Bayern Munich, but it was a strike well worth the wait.

He said of the midfielder’s 52nd-minute opener, “We had bigger chances in the game, but we scored in that situation.”

Ignoring the fact that Liverpool had already qualified for the last 16 and had nothing to lose, Klopp chose a stronger-than-expected lineup with only four changes from Saturday’s win over Arsenal.

However, the night worked out brilliantly since he was able to manage his team in addition to keeping their flawless record on the group stage.

“We had a lot of things to think about: who came back from injury, who played a lot of games, who needed rest,” he added.

No one felt like they needed rest for this game; it’s just that there are so many games coming up that we need to keep them all in a rhythm, which is why the lineup made perfect sense.

“It worked out especially well because no one got injured, so everything is great.”

Liverpool has made a mockery of their so-called ‘Group of Death” with a 15-point haul that is a club record for the group stage, but Klopp said that now was not the time to determine their performances.

“We could have lost this game tonight, we gave chances away when they could have scored so we should not make too much of it as we were lucky in moments,” he said.

To be honest, we had moments when we were not cool to play against; I didn’t expect that tonight because we changed decisive things.

“We didn’t expect the boys to be a pressing machine immediately but to grow into the game and that’s what happened.

A lot of good things happened tonight, but I’m not sure we should make the mistake of saying we are this or that again.

We will know at the end of the season, but we are in a good moment and we should try everything to keep that going.”

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao was left to rue a number of missed chances.

“I think it was an unfortunate game for us for what we prepared the players for,” he said.

“We created more than enough opportunities to win in the first half; we had three or four with which we should have been more efficient.”


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