Most successful English side in Champions League, Liverpool returned to the European football knockout stage with an emphatic and comprehensive 5-0 victory against Porto after nine years wait.
What makes this more interesting is that the victory was earned not in England but at the home front of the Portuguese side.
This was their first involvement in the knockout stages of the competition since 2009, when they lost 7-5 on aggregate to Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
Senegalese striker, Mane opened the scoring when home goalkeeper Jose Sa who looks like to have dislodged Iker Casillas failed to hold his placed strike.
Mohamed Salah then showed wonderful composure to steer the ball home for Liverpool’s second and his 30th of an incredible debut season at the club.
With two away goals scored, the visitors could have been forgiven for taking a more conservative approach but instead they went for more.
A swift Liverpool counter-attack ended with Sa spilling Roberto Firmino’s shot into Mane’s path and the striker made no mistake, before Firmino scored his 21st of the season, sweeping home James Milner’s cross.
Mane got his third with a driven strike late on to become the first Liverpool player to score a hat-trick away from home in Europe since Michael Owen in 2002, and the second ever.
Porto had lost only two matches in all competitions this season prior to Wednesday’s game but simply could not cope with Liverpool’s unstoppable forward line.
Otavio had the Portuguese side’s best chance towards the end of the first half, placing his shot just wide of the far post after he was put through on goal.
Liverpool will expect to complete the job when they host Porto in the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday, 6 March.
“It was a very good performance. Exactly as good as necessary.
“I think everyone saw in the game all the moments when we were not as compact as we wanted to be and Porto were immediately strong. They had their moments and we scored fantastic goals in the right moment.”
Does he think the tie is over? “No, of course not, why should I? We came here to create the basis for the second leg at Anfield – and that’s what we did, not more, not less. I am too long in the business to think anything is sorted before the final whistle.
“We owe our supporters at Anfield a 100% performance and that’s what we want to deliver. That’s all.” Jurgen Klopp said.