Liverpool makes a powerful European statement to set up a showdown with AC Milan.
With a resounding victory over Porto, Liverpool took possession of their UEFA Youth League fate.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Reds’ under-19 team dominated their Portuguese opponents, winning 4-0 at the Academy in Kirkby.
Liverpool drew level with their opponents on 10 points, but lead Group B with a stronger head-to-head record. Dom Corness, Stefan Bajcetic, Max Woltman, and James Norris all scored.
Because they can no longer finish below both Porto and Atletico Madrid in the standings, Marc Bridge-side Wilkinson’s is guaranteed at least a spot in the play-offs.
With a win at AC Milan in a fortnight, they will go to the knockout stages regardless of other outcomes.
Liverpool got off to a flying start, scoring after only five minutes, despite Kaide Gordon, Owen Beck, and Conor Bradley all working with the first team on Tuesday.
Gordon fed Norris into space inside the area after a fluid play out of midfield, and the ball was then put into the path of Corness, who finished first-time into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Porto, on the other hand, were not putting on a show, and after Beck was booked for a foul that resulted in Vasco Sousa being pulled out early due to injury, the tackles started flying in.
Porto dominated possession for significant stretches of the first half, but were only able to test Liverpool goalkeeper Fabian Mrozek from distance through Jorge Meireles and Umaro Cande.
Indeed, the Reds came near when Woltman’s strike was saved by visiting goalkeeper Ivan Cardoso after a superb play down the left.
In first-half injury time, they increased their lead with a well-worked set-piece, a free-kick on the right side dragged back to the edge of the box by the excellent Corness for the approaching Bajcetic to fire home into the bottom corner.
Gordon’s third goal was denied by a fantastic stop from Cardoso just after halftime, but the winger was pivotal in Liverpool’s next goal on 69 minutes, when his deflected shot fell nicely for Woltman to tuck home from inside the area.
And Norris got the goal he deserved for his efforts. “The summary has come to an end.”