On a bitterly cold evening the Champions League quarter-final first-leg was just two minutes old when FC Porto could have taken the lead as Moussa Marega blasted narrowly wide.
Three minutes later and the home side took control as Naby Keita’s shot deflected off Porto midfielder Oliver Torres and beat the wrong footed Iker Casillas.
Mohamed Salah then forced Casillas into a low save with a sharp shot on the turn, but the Egypt international should have done better midway through the half when he placed the ball wide after picking up a sloppy Porto pass.
The Reds went two goals up shortly afterwards as Jordan Henderson split the Porto defence with a superb pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose low cross was tapped in from close range by Firmino.
The dangerous Moussa Marega then had a low drive well saved by the legs of Liverpool keeper Alisson as Porto showed they were not about to roll over.
FC Porto shouts for handball by Alexander-Arnold came to nothing after a video review following Alisson’s save from Marega.
Sadio Mane had an effort ruled out for offside three minutes after the interval.
Apart from another Marega effort, with twenty minutes to go, there were few clear-cut chances in the second-half as Liverpool eased off the gas in preparation for their Premier League clash with Chelsea this weekend.
The Dragons will need to raise their game in the second-leg at home on Wednesday (17 April) if they are not to be eliminated by Liverpool for the second consecutive season.
Interestingly, since his Champions League debut in September 2017, Liverpool’s Brazilian international Alisson has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the competition; all nine have come in home matches; five at the Olimpico Stadium with Roma and four at Anfield with Liverpool.
On the domestic front in the Primeira Liga, the three top teams - Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting - all won.
Benfica and FC Porto are level on sixty-nine points with Sporting trailing eight behind in third. The game of the weekend was at relegation threatened Tondela where Portimonense took a two goal lead into the interval thanks to goals from Jadson (20’) and Paulinho deep into first-half stoppage time. Tondela reduced the arrears through Tomané (62’) and Pité levelled the scoreline ten minutes later. Tondela completed a remarkable turnaround when Costa scored the winner five minutes from time to record the team’s first victory since early February.