Home Sorry, Real & PSG, but Liverpool have the Champions League’s deadliest trio

Sorry, Real & PSG, but Liverpool have the Champions League’s deadliest trio

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Liverpool scorched Porto 5-0 in their Champions League clash, courtesy of their stellar front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino

Surpreendente! As the rain cascaded down over the Estadio do Dragao, the genius of Mohamed Salah ensured the adjectives ran dry. Are there any words left to describe the Egypt international’s never-ending excellence in the final third, after another masterclass in Liverpool’s 5-0 first-leg rout of Porto?

And so, short of inventing superlatives, the Portuguese expression for ‘amazing’ has been recruited on loan. Even that doesn’t feel remotely strong enough to fully articulate the exploits of the Liverpool forward, who recorded his 30th goal of the season on Tuesday night.

On the elite stage, and on Valentine’s Day, Salah delivered an eternal kind of romance: you can remember just how the 25-year-old made you felt when he flicked the ball over Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa, before setting himself up with a cushioned header and coolly putting Liverpool 2-0 up in the Champions League Last 16 by simply watching the magnificent choreography again. And again.

As the heartbeats in the away end escalated, the hosts – blessed with explosive attackers of their own – could only shrug. How could they stop such a force? In this kind of form, with this kind of greed and guts in the opposition box?

If Salah wasn’t enough of a conundrum for Sergio Conceicao’s side to solve, there was also the menace and mastery of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to contend with. The former fired in a hat-trick, with the Brazilian finishing Porto off.

For all that has been said about the Senegal star not being at his apex, he has contributed 12 goals this season – one short of his haul in the previous campaign. He has more assists (eight) than he managed in 2016-17 (five). Mane remains devastating, instrumental and a differential.

The cocktail of intelligence, effectiveness and effervescence of Liverpool’s No.9, meanwhile, cannot sufficiently be applauded.

Jurgen Klopp has refused to think beyond this round on the continent, but with this front three and the tie effectively dusted, he’d be forgiven for sketching much greater designs.

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In a city famed for architecture, the Merseysiders ruthlessly unveiled their plans to punch heavy in the knockout stages.

Their tally of 28 goals in the Champions League so far this season has not been bettered by any other team and it’s easy to see the benchmark being further elevated given the aggressive brilliance of their in-sync trio, who have now struck 19 times between them, making them the tournament’s most prolific forward line.

They may not boast a catchy acronym like Real Madrid’s BBC or Paris Saint-Germain’s MEN but they clearly now belong on the game’s grandest stage. And they will be instructive to Liverpool remaining in the spotlight.

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