Jurgen Klopp Purrs Over 'Perfect' Liverpool After Thumping Win

Liverpool took a giant stride toward the final eight of the Champions League on Wednesday night (February 14) with a 5-0 win over Porto that Jurgen Klopp described as "perfect."

Sadio Mane took the matchball home after scoring Liverpool's first hat-trick in Europe since Michael Owen in 2002, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino completing the scoring.

Salah's strike at the Estadio Dragao was his 30th of the season, leaving Klopp purring at the performance and feeling compelled to describe it as "perfect."

"Yes you can say that," he said. "It was very professional and very mature in the right moments, very aggressive, good defending, good counter-attacking and keeping the ball.

"In the end it was a high result but I think everyone saw in the game, in all the moments where we were not as compact as we wanted to be, Porto were strong and had their moments. We scored fantastic goals in the right moment."

"That's important. We scored the goals they didn't score. We had much more chances, more in first half because we defended well most of the time."

Mane's hat-trick saw him take his tally to 14 for the season, but Salah's stunning start to life in Liverpool has seen some quarters of Merseyside claim the Senegalese forward has been in a small slump. Not Klopp, though.

He said: "I said to him after the last game 'finally, you are back.' After the game we met on the pitch and tonight he showed it again. He was always important, he was always fantastic for us even in his 'not that good' moments. That's real quality."

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp at the Estadio Dragao, Porto, Portugal, February 14. Klopp's team thumped Porto with a 5-0 win in the first leg. FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty

And it was not only in the dugout that praise was being given to the team's performance. John W. Henry, the club's owner, expressed his delight via his Twitter account.

"Tremendous effort in 5-0 win tonight away from home in the Champions League," Henry wrote. "A lot of talent displaying selfless, smart play we all can be proud of. Huge, satisfying step toward final eight."

Liverpool will welcome Porto at Anfield for the second leg on March 6. Elsewhere in the last-16, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a 3-1 win for Real Madrid over Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabeu Stadium.