Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool sent out a message to their European rivals with a ruthless performance that showed how quickly they are learning.
Liverpool are all but in the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a 5-0 first leg victory over Porto.
They are the heaviest scorers in the competition and their tally, which includes the qualifying game against Hoffenheim, now stands at 34.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson believes their 5-0 win at Porto on Wednesday night has sent out a warning message to their European rivals
Liverpool’s deadly front three of Mohamed Salah (left), Roberto Firmino (middle) and Sadio Mane pictured during Wednesday night’s 5-0 thrashing of Porto in the Champions League
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was thrilled as his side romped to victory in Portugal
What stood out about the performance in Portugal, though, was the defensive resolution Liverpool displayed and Henderson was quick to explain how they have moved on from a game in Seville last November to show much more maturity.
After racing into a three goal lead that evening, Liverpool eased up and were eventually pegged back. In the last two Champions League games against Spartak Moscow and Porto, however, they have looked to score more and more.
‘We knew after half-time they would have a go so it was about staying calm and keep playing football,’ said Henderson, whose role was crucial in helping Liverpool gain the upper hand.
‘We knew we would create more chances if we could find the space and we managed to do that. It was a great performance and a good result.
Henderson celebrates with Roberto Firmino during Wednesday night’s resounding victory
Mane was the star of the show against Porto, scoring three times in the 5-0 victory
‘I thought we started the game really well, very aggressive, very brave. We pressed up high to get the ball back. We defended well the while game and with the quality we have going forward, we were clinical as well. It was the complete performance.
‘We have to do that more often. I thought the lads, the whole team, were brilliant from start to finish. That should be normal for us.
‘You have to keep that going in the Premier League and in this competition. There is another leg at Anfield to finish the job off so there is a lot we need to do to improve but tonight was a good step.’
This was certainly a scoreline that will make potential opponents in the last eight wary of coming up against Liverpool but it was also a performance that showed, again, how well they have recovered from losing Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona last month.
Salah took his goal tally to 30 for the season by scoring Liverpool’s second goal in Portugal
Mane celebrates after completing his hat-trick with a long-range strike at Porto
Roberto Firmino gets a hug from his manager Jurgen Klopp after being substituted off
The front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino is as formidable as anything in Europe.
‘I think before this game, I am not sure how many teams would have wanted to play us anyway because when we are on it, we are very hard to play but that has to be our norm and we have to be consistent with the performances and to get results like this,’ said Henderson.
We still have a lot of quality players like Salah, mane and Firmino who created chances. We knew we would create chances like tonight and going forward but it was about the team.
‘It was a team performance. We defended really well from start to finish from throughout the whole team and created some good chances. It was a good performance and a good result but that is it. We need to move on.’