After several changes including a first Champions League appearance for young midfielder Tyler Morton, it was perhaps no surprise that Porto sprang out the traps with more attacking intent.
Luis Diaz and Mehdi Taremi were constant threats but a killer touch was lacking for a team engulfed in a fight for second place with Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, who beat Diego Simeone’s side in Spain.
Their best chance saw Diaz race clear and lay in Otavio, but with most of the goal gaping he placed his shot wide.
Liverpool were a bit disjointed although the presence of Salah and Sadio Mane up front served regular reminders of their potential to break the deadlock. The latter did with a calm finish from Thiago’s incisive through ball – only to be called back by VAR for an offside.
Mateus Uribe drilled a shot inches wide from a goalmouth scramble early in the second period before Liverpool’s quality broke upon the deadlock.
Thiago showcased his impeccable technique after 52 minutes with a delightful shot from 20 yards out, his low drive beating a crowd of bodies to perfectly nestle in the bottom corner and give the Reds the lead.
As with seemingly any game he plays these days, Salah then got on the scoresheet with a trademark strike. Played in down the right flank, the Egyptian cut in on his left foot and belted his effort home, for goal number 17 in his 17th appearance of the season.