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Mane fires hat-trick as Liverpool smash five past Porto

Liverpool put on a counterattacking masterclass to thrash Porto 5-0 in their Champions League last-16 first leg in Portugal on Wednesday night.

A hat-trick from Sadio Mane, and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, rounded out a convincing victory that all but seals Liverpool's place in the quarter-finals for the first time in nine years.

In his pre-match comments, Jurgen Klopp reminded the press that Mane shouldn't be forgotten behind Salah and Firmino.

The Senegalese decided to prove exactly what Klopp was talking about by opening the scoring after 25 minutes, firing his shot under Porto 'keeper Jose Sa.

Salah then scored a delightful goal just four minutes later, his 30th of the season.

Mane had his second shortly after half-time by finishing off a typically venomous counter-attack.

Firmino put the game out of reach with 21 minutes remaining when he finished off James Milner's square ball.

Mane rounded off his first hat-trick for the Reds on the 85th minute mark with a rasping long-range strike.

Asked if the win was perfect, Klopp said: "Yes. You could say that of course. It was very professional, very mature in the right moments, very aggressive, good defending, good counter-attacking, keeping the ball, moving them around. In this game it was possible, usually it's not that easy.

"It was hard work but at the end the boys enjoyed the work and that's the most important thing."

The second leg will take place at Anfield on March 6.

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Freddie Taylor

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