Liverweb Match Report
Follow on Twitter : @Liverweb
FC Porto 1 Liverpool 1The Reds claimed a valuable point away in Porto despite putting in a very poor and slow performance. They were also forced to play the last half an hour of the game with ten men after Jermaine Pennant stupidly got himself sent off for two bookings.
Porto got the game underway at the Dragao and were straight in to their stride. The Reds seemed half asleep and were nearly behind after just two minutes. Finnan dithered in clearing a ball which cannoned across the area past Carragher. However after a poor first touch by the Porto striker his shot was saved somehow by Reina although quite what stopped the ball I don't know.
Porto were giving the Reds no time on the ball at any point of the pitch and it unsettled the Reds. Quaresma impressed a lot with his play although his theatrics leave a lot to be desired at times.
After just seven minutes Porto were given a penalty. A reverse ball behind Hyypia sent Sektioui in to the area. Reina flew out but brought the player down and a stone waller was given. Lucho Gonzalez stepped up and smashed the penalty straight down the middle to confirm the home sides early promise.
The Reds managed to slowly get in to the game and on seventeen minutes were given a huge lifeline from Dirk Kuyt. Finnan put a free kick to the back of the box were Hyypia headed across the goal and Dirk Kuyt rose well to head home past a helpless keeper.
The goal gave the Reds more hope and they slowly started to settle down a bit. The downside was their lack of ability to string more than two passes together.
Pennant picked up a booking on twenty five minutes for a tackle on Quaresma. Pennant had been warned as early as the first couple of minutes about his going to ground. The resulting free kick nearly resulted in a goal but Porto somehow managed to head wide of the goal under no pressure.
The half slowed down as time went on which suited the Reds far more than the home side and it allowed the Reds to hold Porto at bay. Neither keeper had anything to do but the Reds were the ones who needed half time more - if only to sit down and remember how to pass the ball.
The second half started with no changes on either side and the Reds started better it has to be said. They had a penalty shout on fifty six minutes when Kuyt went down in the area but the ref played on.
On fifty eight minutes a ball down the right channel was played. Pennant chased it down but the defender blocked him off to allow the ball to run out. Pennant though decided at the bye line to take a swipe at the ball and just proceeded to take the player down. Now I personally thought it was harsh when the ref then produced a second yellow for Pennant and thus sending him off. What Pennant needs to learn though is actually it was a lost cause and you just can't fly in like that.
It meant the Reds had ten men and Dirk Kuyt was moved to right midfield leaving Torres up front on his own.
Three minutes later and Reina put in a sloppy punch which fell to Quaresma. He moved around him before shooting to the empty net only for Hyypia to half clear. All kinds of a mess came now with the Reds half clearing every time.
The Reds were working really hard now with ten men to contain Porto whilst trying to score if the chance arose. Torres and then Kuyt picked up bookings for their efforts.
Andriy Voronin arrived for Torres with fourteen minutes remaining on the clock. With just five minutes left Fabio Aurelio came on for Ryan Babel for his first appearance since April.
However time ticked down and the Reds fans broke in to You'll Never Walk Alone and a point was achieved. Before travelling to Porto the Reds would have taken a point. Having played so poorly they were made up with the point.
MotM : Dirk Kuyt - worked incredibly hard all day up front and out wide after Pennant went off and also scored the crucial goal.
Opposition form summary coming in to the match
Match number 8 of the season
European Match number 3 of the season
European Match number 277 of all time
Champions League Match number 69 of all time
European Cup/Champions League Match number 146 of all time
Match number 5042 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)
Match number 3 against FC Porto
Away Match number 2 against FC Porto
Cup Match number 3 against FC Porto
Away Cup Match number 2 against FC Porto