James Milner

AP Photo/Luis Vieira

WATCH: We can’t stop watching Mo Salah juggle around Jose Sa

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Mohamed Salah is doing straight Lionel Messi-type stuff these days.

[ RECAP: Porto 0-5 Liverpool ]

Don’t like Leo? Then Ronaldinho. Or Thierry Henry.

Choose your star, but look at this touch and dribble work from Salah in Liverpool’s 5-0 victory over Porto in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

The Egyptian winger collected James Milner‘s rebound off the Porto cross bar and, at full speed, juggled the ball around keeper Jose Sa, softly settled to his feet with his dome, and finished his chance.

Yeah, it was five hours ago. Yeah, it deserves its own post. And yes, if you have seen it already you’re still going to want to watch it.

Porto 0-5 Liverpool: Mane leads rout

AP Photo/Luis Vieira
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Sadio Mane scored a hat trick as Liverpool buried Porto 5-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah also scored (of course) as the Reds took a page from Man City’s book in scooping up four away goals from the first leg.

The second leg hits Anfield on March 6.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Porto had the first two chances of the match, the higher profile opportunity coming when Otavio saw his shot blocked by Dejan Lovren.

Mane’s goal came on the first of a few regrettable moments for goalkeeper Jose Sa, who lost track of a Georginio Wijnaldum blocked attempt as it wriggled under him. The play started when Sa’s thrown clearance was distributed right to the Reds.

Liverpool made it 2-0 on a clever finish from Salah after James Milner cranked a shot off the woodwork.

Sa did not enjoy the third goal, either, parrying a Firmino shot to Mane for the brace.

Firmino added Liverpool’s fourth in the 70th minute, and Mane completed his hat trick in the 85th minute.

Pochettino: No controversy in Spurs PKs, draw at Anfield

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Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has no doubts about the controversial penalty decisions given against Liverpool in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield.

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp reacts ]

Crediting the match as “amazing” — and it was thrilling — Pochettino downplayed any issues with the calls and said his side were far superior to the Reds.

That’s saying something for a game in which the Spurs lone goal in the run of play was a wonder shot and the Londoners never led (Spurs did have most of the ball and a 13-9 advantage in shot attempts). From the BBC:

“It was an amazing game to watch. I was calm, because I think the team plays so well. The feeling is we dropped two points. We were much, much, much better than Liverpool.

“Both were a penalty and nothing to say, it is not controversial – it is nothing. Sometimes people complain about the referee, but when they are right it is good to tell everyone.”

Liverpool’s James Milner didn’t have too many complains with the second, but said the first was offside. Jurgen Klopp was furious and Loris Karius dismissive (“If that’s a penalty then so be it”).

That all makes Pochettino’s certainty a bit more amusing, even if no one’s expecting he claim his side was fortunate in the win. I mean…

Liverpool-Spurs draw ends in… (We need a bigger word than controversy)

  • Salah scores very early
  • Wanyama levels with outrageous hit
  • Kane misses questionably-awarded PK
  • Salah dribble wizardry gives LFC lead
  • Kane makes questionably-awarded PK for 100th PL goal

Harry Kane scored a stoppage time penalty after Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a stoppage time lead as Tottenham Hotspur twice came back in a 2-2 Sunday draw at Anfield which handles the terms controversial and thrilling with kids gloves.

[ MORE: Klopp’s furious reaction ]

Kane had an early penalty saved by Loris Karius, and both opportunities were both delayed as referee Jon Moss and his linesman debated the awards.

Victor Wanyama‘s 80th minute hammer made it 1-1 after Salah scored off an Eric Dier giveaway in the first three minutes.

Liverpool moves third with the point, two points ahead of fifth place Spurs.

Kane’s goal was his 100th in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A horrible giveaway from Eric Dier resembled a perfect through ball for Salah. At this point, a giveaway to anyone else shy of Lionel Messi would feel better, and Salah curled around Hugo Lloris to make it 1-0 in the third minute.

Spurs seemed shaky until the quarter-hour mark, and Virgil Van Dijk made a nice block on Heung-Min Son to keep it 1-0.

James Milner hit a gorgeous shot across goal that was only just deflected by a sliding Davinson Sanchez.

Loris Karius made a nice stop on Mousa Dembele before half, and would neat to repeat the feat on Son after the break.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Christian Eriksen was lively as the second half progressed with Spurs looking the better for the next goal, though Harry Kane and Co. were offside on a number of occasions.

Dele Alli was booked for a dive in the 69th minute.

Liverpool stayed resolute until Emre Can couldn’t get all of his clearance effort, spinning the ball onto the path of Wanyama for an outrageous strike that made it 1-1.

An offside Kane drew a penalty kick following a Liverpool error leading to the striker leaping over a desperate Karius.

After review, the ruling was upheld. Studies have shown delays affect the shooter more than the keeper, and Karius saved Kane’s attempt before the rebound was sliced high and wide.

It was far from over, as Salah’s season-long wizardry continued with a mazy dribble that included an ankle-breaking step past Jan Vertonghen before popping the ball over Lloris.

And then a penalty kick was given against Van Dijk by the linesman. Erik Lamela leapt in front of Van Dijk’s clearing attempt to draw the PK, but only moments after the Reds finished their clearance.

Kane didn’t miss this time.

Take it away with some top class Super Bowl banter, Men in Blazers:

WATCH LIVE: Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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It’s a Top Four tilt on Merseyside, where Sunday sees Tottenham Hotspur visiting Liverpool (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).


Spurs hammered Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 22, and can go third with a win at Anfield.

Dejan Lovren starts next to Virgil Van Dijk in defense, with Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, and James Milner in the midfield.

Nothing surprising in Spurs’ lineup.


Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson, Can, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum, Solanke, Ings.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Aurier, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lamela, Llorente, Winks.