Liverpool’s 5-0 win away to Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash has sent out a warning to the rest of Europe, with the Reds now all but guaranteed a quarter-final berth.
Their swashbuckling attacking play was frightening to watch at times with all the usual customers – Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah – playing a part in what was a devastating performance.
Currently in Marbella for a warm weather training camp, the Reds have two Premier League clashes before they inevitably finish the job at home to Porto on March 6.
Although still technically only halfway to the last eight of the Champions League, speaking to The Guardian this week defender Dejan Lovren’s comments perhaps sum up the level of confidence Jurgen Klopp’s men are exuding at present.
Asked if the English giants could go all the way in the competition they’ve won five times previously, the Croatia international was unequivocal.
“Of course we can win it.”
Going on to discuss the Reds’ performance against the Portuguese giants specifically, Lovren feels that Liverpool’s display away from home illustrated they can ‘beat everyone’ when on form.
“We showed quality and character and from everyone it was brilliant.
“We have so much quality that we can beat everyone if we are on our top level – simple as that.”
With Manchester City and Real Madrid having one foot in the next round also – and with the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Barcelona still to play their last 16 matches – it’s going to be a far from easy task for Liverpool to make it into the semi-finals.
Their Achilles heel all season has been their defence, but if they’re drawn away from home first in their quarter-final and load up on goals in the manner they did against Porto it could become difficult to peg them back over two legs.
The Merseysiders are in confident mood at the moment and it’s easy to see why.
On this week’s episode of The Mixer, we pay tribute to Liam Miller, preview the upcoming League of Ireland season and chat with Ronan Finn, Shane Keegan, Ollie Horgan and Liam Buckley.