PORTO, Portugal (AP) — Two goals from Mohamed Salah. A double as well from Roberto Firmino. All with 20-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones playing a part for Liverpool.
The only Liverpool goal without a direct role for Jones came from Sadio Mane in a 5-1 victory at Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The six-time European champions benefited from poor goalkeeping from Diogo Costa to make it two wins out of two in Group B, which they lead by two points from Atlético Madrid after the Spanish champions won 2-1 at AC Milan.
The goals started flowing in Porto in the 18th minute after Jones cut in on his right foot to fire in a low shot which Costa weakly parried into Zaidu Sanusi and Salah pounced from close range.
The goalkeeping was even more questionable just before halftime.
A sweeping move from left wing to right allowed James Milner to whip a low cross into the penalty area where Costa inexplicably put his arms behind his back to allow the ball to run to Mane, who gratefully accepted a fifth goal in five matches against the Portuguese side.
Costa denied Diogo Jota’s fierce drive early in the second half before Salah showed him how it should be done as Jones’ driving run from deep teed up the Egypt striker, who took one touch before firing past Costa on the hour.
Jota hit the side netting before Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp afforded himself the luxury of resting Salah, Mane and Milner for Sunday’s game against Manchester City in the Premier League.
Mehdi Taremi pulled one back in the 74th minute with a diving header but there was still time for more Costa eccentrics as he raced out of his goal for a ball he was never going to get.
Receiving a high ball from Jones, Firmino rolled a shot past Costa from 30 yards (meters) and, despite the goalkeeper’s despairing run and dive, it crept over the line.
Firmino benefited from a deflected shot from Jones to slot home a second in the 81st.