Jurgen Klopp gestures to his Liverpool team during the Champions League Group B match against FC Porto at Anfield. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
A quick glance at the 2-0 scoreline would raise no questions.
The Liverpool juggernaut rumbling on with a fifth successive Champions League group stage victory this season.
But wasteful Portuguese Primieria Liga leaders Porto will be left wondering how they came away from Anfield without at least a goal to show for their efforts.
Liverpool’s first-half showing in particular left a lot to be desired.
Changes to the Liverpool team
The Reds were without defensive big-hitters Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk, along with midfield anchorman Fabinho and livewire front man Diogo Jota, who all started on the bench.
With Champions League qualification already secured, it was a chance for manager Jurgen Klopp to shuffle his pack and an opportunity for those on the fringes of the team to impress.
But is was Porto who provided the early thrills at Anfield as they cut through the home side seemingly at will.
Midfield and defence overrun
Teenager Tyler Morton - handed his first Champions League start for the club he has represented from the age of seven - was given the tough task of sitting as the deepest of Liverpool’s midfield three, with the experience of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantra either side of him.
But the trio struggled to find the right balance at times and struggled to snuff out Porto’s threat.
At the back, Porto’s direct attacks repeatedly caused problems for centre-half Ibrahima Konate. The £36 million summer signing was making just his fifth start of the season and appeared over eager to make an impression.
On his flank, deputy left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas was guilty of being caught out of position and giving away possession.
Porto winger Otavio twice spurned golden opportunities to score after quick counter-attacks had bypassed the Liverpool midfield and easily got in behind the defence.
However, despite Porto’s pressure, it remained goalless at the break and a slight tweak for the second-half reaped its reward.
Tactical changes from Klopp
The technically-gifted Thiago slotted in to sit in front of Liverpool’s back four, with 19-year-old Morton having more of an impact and looking more at ease on the right side of the midfield three.
And it was Spaniard Thiago, sitting in his deep midfield role, who pounced to pick up the loose ball and thunder home from 30 yards to score the breakthrough goal after Porto had failed to properly clear a freekick.
With the Reds 1-0, Tsimikas was substituted and replaced by flying full-back Robertson shortly after the hour mark and captain Henderson replaced goalscorer Thiago.
Seven minutes after his introduction, Henderson played a critical part in the second and final goal.
The skipper exchanged passes with Mo Salah on the right flank and then clipped a perfect pass into the path of the Egyptian, who beat two defenders in the area and slotted home in the bottom corner of the net.
With 20 minutes to go, the game was won.
So, no surprises in the final scoreline, but it took a tactical tweak and a wondergoal to break Porto’s stern resistance.