Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest slideshow

In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Why the quadruple remains English football's impossible dream
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Why the quadruple remains English football's impossible dream
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Why the quadruple remains English football's impossible dream
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Why the quadruple remains English football's impossible dream
In December, Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season as "impossible", and this week's events have proven him right. While the Premier League title is as good as wrapped up and only one Sunday's final separates them from a Carabao Cup win, a shock defeat in the FA Cup at Wigan put to bed any remaining possibility of glory on four fronts. The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. Here, we remember the teams that came closest to winning all four competitions, with a look at where - and when - their quadruple bid ended. Leeds United - 1969/70 The ultimate 'nearly' season. Don Revie's great side came desperately close to winning three of four available trophies, finishing as Division One runners-up (albeit by a nine-point margin) to Everton, losing FA Cup finalists (they were beaten by Chelsea in a replay in a famous bad-tempered encounter) and being beaten in the European Cup semi-finals by Celtic. A great team that ended the season empty-handed Credit: Getty images Nottingham Forest, 1978/79 Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest won two of the four trophies on offer in the 1978-79 season, and were fighting on four fronts until the end of February, when they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. They went on to lift the European Cup for the first time in the club's history in 1979 - they would win it again the following year - but were pipped to the First Division title by Liverpool. Liverpool, 1983/84 Joe Fagan's first season in charge of Liverpool saw them become the first English club to record a treble after winning the First Division, European Cup and League Cup. Ian Rush led the way with 32 goals, but hopes of a quadruple had been derailed at the end of January after a 2-0 loss away at Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round. Liverpool won a treble but could not add the FA Cup Credit: Getty images Manchester United, 1998/99 After finishing the previous season trophyless, Manchester United made amends by pipping Arsenal to the Premier League title, lifting the FA Cup and famously defeating Bayern Munich in injury time to win the European Cup, all in the space of 11 days in May. However, their quadruple hopes had been scuppered reasonably early - courtesy of a defeat in the League Cup quarter-finals to Tottenham. Manchester United, 2002/03 United harboured hopes of four major honours until a disastrous four-week spell ended their hopes in three of them: they were beaten in the FA Cup fifth round by Arsenal, the League Cup final by Liverpool and in the Champions League by Real Madrid. Their 'consolation' was winning the Premier League title by five points from Arsenal, who had led for most of the campaign until a late-season collapse. Quadruple nearly men Arsenal, 2003/04 Arsene Wenger's side may have been invincible in the league but they fell just short in the other major competitions. Their quadruple challenge was ended in the League Cup semi-finals by Middlesbrough on Feb 5, while they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and the Champions League by Chelsea. Chelsea, 2006/07 The nearest any English club has come to a quadruple, with Jose Mourinho's side having genuine hopes of succcess in all four competitions until May 1, when they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. A run of draws then demolished their hopes of a third straight league title, although they did win a League Cup and FA Cup double, with Didier Drogba ending the season with 33 goals. Chelsea came painfully close to winning all four competitions Credit: getty images Manchester United, 2008/09 Unitedwon the Premier League for the third consecutive year and beat Tottenham on penalties to add the League Cup to their trophy cabinet. Though they lost to Everton by the same means in the FA Cup semi-final and lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final, denying them a quadruple. Manchester City, 2013/14 City looked ominously strong under Manuel Pellegrini, keeping pace at the top of the Premier League and winning the League Cup final in early March. But Barcelona ultimately quashed their hopes with a dominant performance in the Champions League last 16 tie, while Wigan - yes, them again - sent them crashing out of the FA Cup quarter-finals.
There is a fair chance that Ian Henderson is the only player in the fifth round of the FA Cup who has been asked to smear himself in the blood of a ritually slaughtered goat at the start of the first training session of a football season. It is certainly not the kind of thing Harry Kane would ever have been confronted with. Even when he was on loan at Leyton Orient. But it happened to Rochdale FC’s captain when was playing for the Turkish side Ankaragucu at the time. “That was one interesting experience,” he says, after a shooting session at the club’s base at Manchester City’s former training ground. “They’ve slaughtered the goat on the pitch, hung it up to bleed out and then rubbed blood on people’s heads. They asked me to come over but I wasn’t doing that. Another tradition they had on birthdays was they’d smack you on the head with an egg. Happy birthday, have that. Luckily I wasn’t there long enough to celebrate my birthday.” He does not believe his team-mates need to resort to superstition even when the League One side are about to take on Kane’s high-flying Tottenham. “As players and as a football club we have nothing to fear about playing Tottenham,” he says. “We know we are the underdogs and just have to give ourselves the best opportunity by playing well and at a high tempo, as the manager wants us to play.” Henderson has no worries about facing Spurs Credit: AFP Henderson is more than aware of the club’s capabilities. He has been at Rochdale for the past five seasons, making 181 appearances as, under the shrewd guidance of the manager Keith Hill, they have recently defeated more elevated sides like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Millwall in the FA Cup. After an unfortunate experience in Turkey (it wasn’t so much the goat or the eggs as the fact he wasn’t paid for six months that made him decide to come home) the former Norwich, Northampton, Luton and Colchester forward was considering a significant career change. “I was humming and hawing about whether to continue playing football or go to university to study dentistry,” he says. “I wanted to be an orthodontist. I didn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing teeth as a kid and I was intrigued by the whole process.” But he went for a trial at Rochdale, just to see if he really should pack in the game. After being impressed by the way Hill operates, he decided to forego a life looking into people’s mouths and give football another go. He said: “I wish I’d met the manager earlier in my career because you try to work with people who understand you as a person and let you perform how you want to perform.”
Rochdale's Ian Henderson could be pulling teeth rather than taking on Harry Kane and co
There is a fair chance that Ian Henderson is the only player in the fifth round of the FA Cup who has been asked to smear himself in the blood of a ritually slaughtered goat at the start of the first training session of a football season. It is certainly not the kind of thing Harry Kane would ever have been confronted with. Even when he was on loan at Leyton Orient. But it happened to Rochdale FC’s captain when was playing for the Turkish side Ankaragucu at the time. “That was one interesting experience,” he says, after a shooting session at the club’s base at Manchester City’s former training ground. “They’ve slaughtered the goat on the pitch, hung it up to bleed out and then rubbed blood on people’s heads. They asked me to come over but I wasn’t doing that. Another tradition they had on birthdays was they’d smack you on the head with an egg. Happy birthday, have that. Luckily I wasn’t there long enough to celebrate my birthday.” He does not believe his team-mates need to resort to superstition even when the League One side are about to take on Kane’s high-flying Tottenham. “As players and as a football club we have nothing to fear about playing Tottenham,” he says. “We know we are the underdogs and just have to give ourselves the best opportunity by playing well and at a high tempo, as the manager wants us to play.” Henderson has no worries about facing Spurs Credit: AFP Henderson is more than aware of the club’s capabilities. He has been at Rochdale for the past five seasons, making 181 appearances as, under the shrewd guidance of the manager Keith Hill, they have recently defeated more elevated sides like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Millwall in the FA Cup. After an unfortunate experience in Turkey (it wasn’t so much the goat or the eggs as the fact he wasn’t paid for six months that made him decide to come home) the former Norwich, Northampton, Luton and Colchester forward was considering a significant career change. “I was humming and hawing about whether to continue playing football or go to university to study dentistry,” he says. “I wanted to be an orthodontist. I didn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing teeth as a kid and I was intrigued by the whole process.” But he went for a trial at Rochdale, just to see if he really should pack in the game. After being impressed by the way Hill operates, he decided to forego a life looking into people’s mouths and give football another go. He said: “I wish I’d met the manager earlier in my career because you try to work with people who understand you as a person and let you perform how you want to perform.”
There is a fair chance that Ian Henderson is the only player in the fifth round of the FA Cup who has been asked to smear himself in the blood of a ritually slaughtered goat at the start of the first training session of a football season. It is certainly not the kind of thing Harry Kane would ever have been confronted with. Even when he was on loan at Leyton Orient. But it happened to Rochdale FC’s captain when was playing for the Turkish side Ankaragucu at the time. “That was one interesting experience,” he says, after a shooting session at the club’s base at Manchester City’s former training ground. “They’ve slaughtered the goat on the pitch, hung it up to bleed out and then rubbed blood on people’s heads. They asked me to come over but I wasn’t doing that. Another tradition they had on birthdays was they’d smack you on the head with an egg. Happy birthday, have that. Luckily I wasn’t there long enough to celebrate my birthday.” He does not believe his team-mates need to resort to superstition even when the League One side are about to take on Kane’s high-flying Tottenham. “As players and as a football club we have nothing to fear about playing Tottenham,” he says. “We know we are the underdogs and just have to give ourselves the best opportunity by playing well and at a high tempo, as the manager wants us to play.” Henderson has no worries about facing Spurs Credit: AFP Henderson is more than aware of the club’s capabilities. He has been at Rochdale for the past five seasons, making 181 appearances as, under the shrewd guidance of the manager Keith Hill, they have recently defeated more elevated sides like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Millwall in the FA Cup. After an unfortunate experience in Turkey (it wasn’t so much the goat or the eggs as the fact he wasn’t paid for six months that made him decide to come home) the former Norwich, Northampton, Luton and Colchester forward was considering a significant career change. “I was humming and hawing about whether to continue playing football or go to university to study dentistry,” he says. “I wanted to be an orthodontist. I didn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing teeth as a kid and I was intrigued by the whole process.” But he went for a trial at Rochdale, just to see if he really should pack in the game. After being impressed by the way Hill operates, he decided to forego a life looking into people’s mouths and give football another go. He said: “I wish I’d met the manager earlier in my career because you try to work with people who understand you as a person and let you perform how you want to perform.”
Rochdale's Ian Henderson could be pulling teeth rather than taking on Harry Kane and co
There is a fair chance that Ian Henderson is the only player in the fifth round of the FA Cup who has been asked to smear himself in the blood of a ritually slaughtered goat at the start of the first training session of a football season. It is certainly not the kind of thing Harry Kane would ever have been confronted with. Even when he was on loan at Leyton Orient. But it happened to Rochdale FC’s captain when was playing for the Turkish side Ankaragucu at the time. “That was one interesting experience,” he says, after a shooting session at the club’s base at Manchester City’s former training ground. “They’ve slaughtered the goat on the pitch, hung it up to bleed out and then rubbed blood on people’s heads. They asked me to come over but I wasn’t doing that. Another tradition they had on birthdays was they’d smack you on the head with an egg. Happy birthday, have that. Luckily I wasn’t there long enough to celebrate my birthday.” He does not believe his team-mates need to resort to superstition even when the League One side are about to take on Kane’s high-flying Tottenham. “As players and as a football club we have nothing to fear about playing Tottenham,” he says. “We know we are the underdogs and just have to give ourselves the best opportunity by playing well and at a high tempo, as the manager wants us to play.” Henderson has no worries about facing Spurs Credit: AFP Henderson is more than aware of the club’s capabilities. He has been at Rochdale for the past five seasons, making 181 appearances as, under the shrewd guidance of the manager Keith Hill, they have recently defeated more elevated sides like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Millwall in the FA Cup. After an unfortunate experience in Turkey (it wasn’t so much the goat or the eggs as the fact he wasn’t paid for six months that made him decide to come home) the former Norwich, Northampton, Luton and Colchester forward was considering a significant career change. “I was humming and hawing about whether to continue playing football or go to university to study dentistry,” he says. “I wanted to be an orthodontist. I didn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing teeth as a kid and I was intrigued by the whole process.” But he went for a trial at Rochdale, just to see if he really should pack in the game. After being impressed by the way Hill operates, he decided to forego a life looking into people’s mouths and give football another go. He said: “I wish I’d met the manager earlier in my career because you try to work with people who understand you as a person and let you perform how you want to perform.”
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Olivier Giroud off the mark for Blues as striker bags his first goal in FA Cup stroll
It will be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and others at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday but for the warm-up act it was a struggling Hull City from the Championship fielding a makeshift team in an FA Cup fifth-round tie that was over within half an hour for Antonio Conte’s team. This was not a great night for the Cup, especially when Nigel Adkins made seven changes from his previous Championship team and a side already suffering around 12 injuries and ineligible players were taken apart with four Chelsea goals in the first half. You only need to know that two of Adkins’ regular back four are Chelsea loanees Michael Hector and Ola Aina, both unable to play in this tie, and a third Chelsea man Fiyako Tomori was also absent for the same reason. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – including a goal within 106 seconds of the kick-off. Willian scored twice before half-time and there was another from Pedro, with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of west London with the minimum of embarrassment. Conte gave a debut to his other January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma, and later he brought on another debutant, Kyle Scott, a 20 year-old from the academy who has largely been making up the numbers in the first-team training sessions. There were two 17 year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half, with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. Nathan Ampadu gives a confident performance in defence Credit: Getty Images Willian’s performance has given Conte reason to consider his line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 first leg, with the Chelsea manager admitting. “I'm very happy. Before an important game, against Barcelona, tonight I go to my house with many doubts in my mind, which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona. But it's right to be so. We must take the right time to make the best decision to pick the best XI to start that game.” A very different Hull team had unexpectedly beaten Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday but with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting on Tuesday, Adkins was a manager with a lot of injuries to deal with and priorities elsewhere. He was without his top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen who, Adkins said later, might miss Tuesday’s game with a damaged hamstring. “We came with a game-plan,” Adkins said, and admitted that the plan did not make it to the end of the second minute, although his team managed to get through the second half without conceding. “Everyone knew our situation – and within a couple of minutes it goes out of the window. We gifted them the opportunities to score some goals in the first half. “But, wow, Chelsea have got some good players and counter-attack so quickly. In the second half, fair credit to them [Hull], they gave it a go and we did what we had hoped to do initially.” Willian celebrates his first goal Credit: AFP The 2014 FA Cup finalists are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together. They missed a second-half penalty taken by David Meyler who had been one of those Hull players suffering in their attempts to put a challenge in on Willian in the first half. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moments of great quality, a flick with the instep, and two goals dispatched – one with his left foot and one with his right. For his first, Willian hit a brilliant shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third, was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson on the left and Giroud clipped a near-post shot in from the cross for his first Chelsea goal. There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20 year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder, and eventually had to go off as a consequence, although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who got the rebound too. Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts from the pair in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The Chelsea manager confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be back for that tie. “I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world,” Conte said later. “On one side, you must be a bit sad to play against them. But, on the other hand, you must be excited. You have to try and compete with them at this level. It won't be easy, for sure, but we must have the right confidence and then we'll see what happens.” 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
The old cup magic was in short supply in a Friday night annihilation that only required the biggest names in Antonio Conte’s team to exert themselves briefly to wipe the floor with poor old Hull City who have much bigger worries than an FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – not that many of those from that era have hung around. Chelsea are into the quarter-finals next month with the minimum of fuss, although the visit of Lionel Messi and the rest of Barcelona next week will be a very different experience. This was not a great night for the FA Cup with Hull manager Nigel Adkins fielding just four players who might arguably be in his usual first team, amid injuries and others who were ineligible to play. Chelsea were four goals up by half-time, with two from Willian, and two more from Pedro and Giroud with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of West London with the minimum of embarrassment. There was a debut for the other Chelsea January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma and later Conte brought on Kyle Scott, a 20-year-old from the academy who has largely been making up numbers in the first team training sessions. There were two 17-year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. There were seven changes to the Hull team that unexpectedly beat Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday and with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting them on Tuesday it was not hard to tell that Nigel Adkins’ priorities were elsewhere. Nathan Ampadu gave a confident performance in defense Credit: Getty Images Hull City, the 2014 FA Cup finalists, are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together from loanees. Unhappily for Adkins three of his four loanees are from Chelsea and as a result, Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fiyako Tomori were ineligible to play. Hector and Aina were both part of the team that beat Forest and Tomori has played enough this season to have justified a place in a second string side. The loan convention stands regardless and without the three of them, Hull were even weaker than the Championship strugglers they already are. They were four goals behind by half-time. Not so much a Cup tie, more a question of damage limitation. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moment that were a brutal reminder to the opposition. There was a flick with the instep, and there was a sprint past David Meyler that had the Irishman trying so hard to keep up he looked like a sprinter dipping for the line. But Meyler was not the only Hull man struggling with Willian who dispatched a brilliant left-footed shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson and Giroud clipped a near post shot in for his first Chelsea goal. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20-year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder and eventually had to go off as a consequence although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero. The Argentine got up to save the rebound too. There was time in the second half for Stamford Bridge to sing Conte’s name and he responded with applause for the supporters who have stood by him through his battles with the club that will surely end with the Italian’s departure his summer. Hull put up a better fight in the second half but by then Chelsea were simply seeing out time. Willian should have scored his hat-trick goal when the Brazilian, Hudson-Odoi and Davide Zappacosta broke on Hull but they took too long to bury the chance Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts with in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The FA Cup may yet provide Conte with his best chance of a trophy if things go badly against Barcelona. After that they play Manchester United and then Manchester City away from home and once those games are over there will be a much clearer picture of where Chelsea’s season is heading. 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Forceful Willian fires Blues to FA Cup quarter-final
The old cup magic was in short supply in a Friday night annihilation that only required the biggest names in Antonio Conte’s team to exert themselves briefly to wipe the floor with poor old Hull City who have much bigger worries than an FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge. There was a first Chelsea goal for Olivier Giroud since his arrival from Arsenal last month, and there were moments when the Brazilian Willian gave Hull a reminder of what the quality was like in the Premier League – not that many of those from that era have hung around. Chelsea are into the quarter-finals next month with the minimum of fuss, although the visit of Lionel Messi and the rest of Barcelona next week will be a very different experience. This was not a great night for the FA Cup with Hull manager Nigel Adkins fielding just four players who might arguably be in his usual first team, amid injuries and others who were ineligible to play. Chelsea were four goals up by half-time, with two from Willian, and two more from Pedro and Giroud with Hull looking every inch a team who were trying to get in and out of West London with the minimum of embarrassment. There was a debut for the other Chelsea January signing, the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma and later Conte brought on Kyle Scott, a 20-year-old from the academy who has largely been making up numbers in the first team training sessions. There were two 17-year-olds on the pitch for Chelsea in the second half with Ethan Ampadu starting the game at the centre of a three-man defence and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the academy’s latest hot prospect, a replacement for Pedro. There were seven changes to the Hull team that unexpectedly beat Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the previous Saturday and with a Championship game against Middlesbrough awaiting them on Tuesday it was not hard to tell that Nigel Adkins’ priorities were elsewhere. Nathan Ampadu gave a confident performance in defense Credit: Getty Images Hull City, the 2014 FA Cup finalists, are toppling badly, a point outside the Championship relegation zone and suffering all the familiar symptoms of a club in crisis: an owner desperate to sell, a fanbase in rebellion and a squad patched together from loanees. Unhappily for Adkins three of his four loanees are from Chelsea and as a result, Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fiyako Tomori were ineligible to play. Hector and Aina were both part of the team that beat Forest and Tomori has played enough this season to have justified a place in a second string side. The loan convention stands regardless and without the three of them, Hull were even weaker than the Championship strugglers they already are. They were four goals behind by half-time. Not so much a Cup tie, more a question of damage limitation. It was a brutal first half for Kevin Stewart, previously of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool who was guilty of losing possession to Giroud twice for the first and third goals, both scored by Willian. The Brazilian is clearly a cut above anyone on the Hull team and he punctuated the first half with a few moment that were a brutal reminder to the opposition. There was a flick with the instep, and there was a sprint past David Meyler that had the Irishman trying so hard to keep up he looked like a sprinter dipping for the line. But Meyler was not the only Hull man struggling with Willian who dispatched a brilliant left-footed shot past David Marshall after Stewart had turned into trouble in midfield. His second goal, and Chelsea’s third was hit with his right, shaped inside the post after Stewart had again been dispossessed by Giroud. Between times there was a ball flighted over the top of Hull’s defence by Cesc Fabregas which Pedro took with an immaculate first touch with his right and beat Marshall with his left. The fourth came just before half-time when Meyler had the ball put through his legs by Emerson and Giroud clipped a near post shot in for his first Chelsea goal. Willy Caballero saves David Meyler's penalty Credit: Getty Images There was a penalty for Hull in the second half, conceded without complaint by Fabregas who was far too slow getting across to challenge Harry Wilson, on loan at Hull from Liverpool. The 20-year-old landed awkwardly on his shoulder and eventually had to go off as a consequence although not before he had seen Meyler’s penalty saved by Willy Caballero. The Argentine got up to save the rebound too. There was time in the second half for Stamford Bridge to sing Conte’s name and he responded with applause for the supporters who have stood by him through his battles with the club that will surely end with the Italian’s departure his summer. Hull put up a better fight in the second half but by then Chelsea were simply seeing out time. Willian should have scored his hat-trick goal when the Brazilian, Hudson-Odoi and Davide Zappacosta broke on Hull but they took too long to bury the chance Alvaro Morata came off the bench to replace Giroud and it will be interesting to see who Conte starts with in the Champions League tie on Tuesday. The FA Cup may yet provide Conte with his best chance of a trophy if things go badly against Barcelona. After that they play Manchester United and then Manchester City away from home and once those games are over there will be a much clearer picture of where Chelsea’s season is heading. 9:56PM FULL-TIME! 4-0 And it's all over at Stamford Bridge officially, although it felt over at half-time with the Blues four goals ahead. Chelsea may have been the heavy favourites but they didn't take that for granted and clearly took their opponents as serious as any other. Fabregas was very good, pinging perfect crosses all over the pitch and Willian took his opportunity with Barcelona just a few days away. Nigel Adkins can be impressed with his teams second half performance, and he may leave London with a bit more confidence for the relegation battle they are facing. 9:51PM 90 + 2 mins It's straight up the other end and it's Fraizer Campbell but Caballero makes another easy save. And we're back again but Zappacosta's cross is too close to Marshall. 9:49PM 89 mins (4-0) Everyone thinks the game is pretty much over but not Willian who picks up the ball about 25 yard out and with those tricky feet he sends another curling shot towards goal. But it's off the post. What a shame! The Brazilian would've deserved his hat-trick. 9:47PM Last Hull change Jackson Irvine is replaced by Dan Batty 9:43PM 84 mins (4-0) Another Hull chance. Dawson plays in Toral on the right wing and he weaves his way to the edge of the box before passing to Diomande, but the forward can't get a head to it. Chelsea are pretty much chilling right now. Like a student in the last ten minutes of an exam that they know they've aced. 9:39PM 80 mins (4-0) Meyler is the next Hull player to try his luck but Cabellero is equal to it. You get the sense that Chelsea have no intention of doing anything silly but they also don't want to exert too much energy with Barcelona on the horizon. A lot of short and/or sideways passes, except for Willian who heads for goal every time the ball is at his feet. 9:37PM 77 mins Really good save from Marshall to save from Drinkwater after it's deflected off one of his defenders. Prior to this the Tigers had kept four clean sheets in their last seven games although McGregor got three of those. 9:32PM 73 mins (4-0) Just under 20 minutes left at Stamford Bridge and Conte won't want his team relaxing now. Morata's first real involvement is to win a corner for his team, it's out and the Blues have another. It falls to Cahill and you would expect him to score but he can't sort his feet out in time. 9:32PM Hull change Nouha Dicko is replaced by Frazier Campbell. Yes, THAT Fraizer Campbell. 9:31PM Final Chelsea change Olivier Giroud departs for Alvaro Morata 9:27PM 68 mins Cabellero is screaming at his defenders after he saves from Dicko at his near post, with the shot coming off his knee. Conte won't be happy with the chances that Hull are creating but Ampadu, in particular, is getting the chance to show his ability. Hull waste another moment of possession as Chelsea get the ball from their corner. Willian is on the edge of the box again and he shoots for his hat-trick but it's blocked. And Zappacosta can't take advantage of the rebound. 9:24PM 64 mins (4-0) Neither team has control at the moment, but Hull will be buzzing with their improvement from the opening half. In regards to possession and number of passes, it's very easily balanced. I guess the challenge for the visitors is to at least draw the second-half, preferably with a clean sheet. 9:22PM Chelsea change Cesc Fabregas is replaced by another debutant, Kyle Scott. 9:21PM Some info on Hudson-Odoi If you aren't familiar with his name, you need to pay more attention to non first-team players. Blues fans have been raving about the 17-year-old for a while and calling for him to get some proper league action. He's been at the club since he was eight, he won the January PL2 Player of the Month award, he's a forward and stands at 6ft. 9:19PM A rare sight Is any other club account so factual and blunt? 56 | Irvine collects the ball on the edge of the area and has a go but his shot is too weak and easy for the Chelsea goalkeeper #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 9:15PM 56 mins (4-0) The home side appear to be a bit unnerved by their visitors in this half. Irvine - who has been Hull's best player - is the latest to have a snapshot but it doesn't have enough power and it doesn't have the height to trouble the Blues keeper. 9:15PM Hull change Harry Wilson makes way for Jon Toral 9:14PM Penalty peeve Just to clarify, Cabellero SAVED Meyler's spot-kick. Meyler did not MISS the penalty. It was on target - therefore it cannot be a miss and the keeper prevented it from crossing the line - by saving it. 9:11PM PENALTY! Meyler has to move the ball because it was evading the white penalty spot. Meyler looks confident and it's a decent strike but... SAVED! Big Willy C goes to his right and makes it look so easy. A chance wasted for the Tigers. 9:09PM 48 mins (4-0) Have Hull been replaced during half-time? Do we have a modern day example of Bodysnatchers because we're early on in this half and they look a completely different team. It's been all them and Ampadu has to send the ball into Row Z to stop a chance, and is that Fabregas trying to tackle... 9:04PM Change for Chelsea Pedro is replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi 8:51PM HALF-TIME. (4-0) Conte might have a happier press conference today. Chelsea have been calm, patient and composed in a game they were heavy favourites to win. Hull have been disappointing because regardless of your injury woes, you have to do the simple stuff. And they don't seem able to do them well, or at all. 8:48PM 45 + 2 mins Hull have shown more attacking prowess and had more touches in the last three minutes than the previous 44. That says it all... 8:47PM 45 mins (4-0) Fabregas has been reminding everyone in Stamford Bridge of his talents tonight. His passing has been immaculate in this first half. Cabellero just touched the ball! This is not a drill. It was a weak header but at least it gave him something to do. Two minutes of added time. Basically 30 seconds for each goal. 8:44PM Goal! Girouuuuuuuddddddddddd And there it is, his first goal for his new club. The ball bounces around the box and falls to Emerson who crosses at the second attempt, with the ball falling at the feet of the Frenchman. Giroud kisses the debutants head to show his appreciation. 8:42PM 42 mins (3-0) Even when Hull do venture into Chelsea's half, you don't sense that anything will happen unless it's a Chelsea mistake. 8:39PM 38 mins (3-0) Chelsea just playing the ball around the Hull players at the moment as they surely feel confident with their three goal lead. Marshall collects a speculative effort and sends it forward and Evandro attempts something, I'm not sure what as it's nowhere near the goal or one of his teammates. He could've just tried to hold it up... 8:35PM Goal! Willian The Brazilian gets his brace and it is far too simple. Willian plays a back heel into the middle of the park, just outside the box and the visitors should clear it but Giroud is stronger than Dawson and keeps possession to play in his advancing teammate, who makes it 3-0. 8:32PM 31 mins (2-0) The visitors seriously need to get some composure if they are to keep the score at 2-0 until half-time, because at the moment Chelsea are the team that are the Tigers. And Hull are their prey... 8:29PM Goal! Pedro It was coming. Giroud plays in Fabregas and he sends one of those perfect balls up for Pedro. The Spainard brings it down and sends it past Marshall to double their lead. 8:28PM 26 mins (1-0) Emerson shows that he has the ability to start the attack as his run down the left draws a foul from Meyler. It's just outside the box on the near side but the ref blows for a foul to give Hull a goal-kick. It looks like there was dome pushing from Rudiger. A little error from the youngster Ampadu who takes a little too long in his own box but Cabellero is there to clear the danger. He then atones for his mistake by sending a long ball over the top to Willian, who sets up Pedro but Marshall is there to make the easy save. 8:24PM 22 mins (1-0) All Hull's attacks have comes through Irvine, but every time he charges through midfield and then tries to play in Dicko; a blue shirt is there. Michael Dawson - who should know better - concedes a silly free-kick to help Chelsea on their way. Willian is running riot through the Tigers defense this evening. And although Hull keep managing to clear the ball, it's only as far as another Chelsea player. 8:20PM 19 mins The Blues play is very calm at the moment. They obviously have the majority of possession but they aren't rushing their play. Another chance for Giroud as Drinkwater sends a curving ball into the box after collecting Willian's pass but the Frenchman can't get there quick enough. 8:17PM At least they're honest 13 | It should be two. Giroud finds himself free in the area after a chip from Pedro but the striker pokes the ball over Marshall's crossbar #CHEHUL— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 8:16PM 14 mins A little better. They get a corner and send it to the edge of the box before Stewart tees it up for Irvine but he heads it over. Zappacosta passes to Pedro on the edge of the box and he chips it over the Hull defence for Giroud but the striker can't keep it down, despite it being on his left foot. Ooh! A very lucky moment for the visitors. Fabregas sends a lovely ball through several Hull players for Pedro, but Marshall manages to get something on it and it's out for a corner. 8:12PM 11 mins Another Chelsea break and this time Willian sends a ball across the box for Giroud but the Frenchman wasn't alert to the opportunity. Hull get a free kick in the middle of the park and it's too long for anyone. It's a wasteful moment from the visitors who will need to use their deadball situations better if they are to test the current Premier League champions. 8:09PM 8 mins The visitors are playing in a 5-4-1 but they're pretty much stuck in their own half. Stewart sends a long ball forward for Dicko, but again, it's no problem for the Chelsea defense. Fabregas takes a short corner and plays a 1-2 with Willian before taking the shot, but Marshall saves down low at his near post. 8:06PM 5 mins Such a silly mistake by Stewart to lose the ball where he did, he should've known the Blues players were surrounding him. But confident from Willian to swing it round Marshall. Hull have a little bit of possession but with a lone striker when it does get near the Chelsea box, it's easily cleared by Rudiger. 8:03PM Goal! Chelsea are already attacking. Hull loss possession about 30 yards out and Willian gets on the ball, twisting around the Tigers defence and curling it in at the far post. 8:02PM Kick-off! The home team get us started and Hull are set up like a team who know they will be on the back foot for most of the game. 7:59PM Tunnel time The teams are heading out onto the pitch, at a packed Stamford Bridge. Who will be one step nearer to that iconic silverware when the final whistle blows? The FA Cup Credit: Getty Images 7:57PM Pitchman predictions Is this sign showing us how the goals will be scored tonight? It wouldn't be a surprise with Giroud on the pitch A sign on the pitch pre-match Credit: Getty Images 7:53PM What it's all about Regardless of the result, I get the sense that these fans will still enjoy their night. Always good to see decent away support - especially when it's a longer journey. At an awkward time. On an awkward day... �� | The black and amber faithful have arrived at Stamford Bridge! #CHEHUL#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/WzSVkPnmaZ— Hull City (@HullCity) February 16, 2018 7:51PM Not long to go... A reminder of both teams CHELSEA Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata HULL Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:36PM It's baaaack! It's another test for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) tonight. The last time it made an appearance at Stamford Bridge it worked in the Blues favour. The officials decided not to overturn Willian's yellow card for simulation. Will it be decisive tonight? 7:31PM The visitors Hull have made seven changes ahead of their trip to the current Premier League champions, which isn't a huge surprise given their precarious league position. They are currently 21st in the Championship - one point above the relegation zone - after being relegated from the top flight last season. You'd suspect that Nigel Adkins priorities will be preventing a second consecutive relegation. Prior to the game, he said: "It's a challenging scenario, and like I've said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us." 7:25PM I'm not a fan Half and half scarfs Credit: Getty 7:23PM A Chelsea debut Emerson Palmieri will make his debut for the Blues tonight. The Brazilian-born Italian defender will wear the number 33 shirt and will just go by his first name. He tends to play on the left and he gets his first start after joining the club from Roma in the summer. The fee was rumoured to be £17.72m with £8m in add-ons. He did play for the Brazilian under-17s but was granted permission to switch to Italy last year. 7:15PM Let's start with some team news This is how the home team will line up this evening... Chelsea: Caballero; Rudiger, Cahill (c), Ampadu; Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Emerson; Willian, Giroud, Pedro Subs: Eduardo, Chalobah, Sterling, Scott, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Morata And the injury-ravaged visitors will start the game like this... Hull: Marshall, Irvine, Meyler, Dicko, Diomande, Evandro, M. Dawson, Clark, Stewart, Wilson, Macdonald Subs: McGregor, Grosiki, Toral, Batty, Keane, Campbell and Clackstone 7:12PM Hello Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Chelsea and Hull City. 7:11PM Preview Chelsea go into their game against Hull City on the back of 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Antonio Conte will be buoyed by the fact that new signing Olivier Giroud looks to have settled in well, with the Frenchman creating the opening goal for start man Eden Hazard. They are bidding to win the competition for the eighth time after last lifting the trophy in 2012 when they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley stadium. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is heading to Chelsea with a mindset of "all to gain, nothing to lose" given his side's injury, ineligibility and suspension worries. Few expect the struggling Championship side to defeat the reigning Premier League champions in Friday's FA Cup fifth-round encounter at Stamford Bridge. Adkins is having to deal with a spate of absentees and a defensive shortfall, with the on-loan Chelsea trio of Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori unable to face their parent club. Fellow defenders Stephen Kingsley, Ondrej Mazuch and Moses Odubajo are injured, while Angus MacDonald could be the only senior first-team centre-back available unless Michael Dawson can prove his fitness. "They're forced changes," Adkins said. "It's not as if we want to make all these changes. "You get to the fifth round of the FA Cup and you start dreaming about things, don't you? "I would love to be able to say this is our strongest team to go out there and play, everybody in their best positions, in the formation that's going to suit everybody to give an opportunity to win the game. "On Friday we will be playing players out of position. "I haven't got a problem with that, it's the way it is. We've just got to deal with it." Markus Henriksen, James Weir and Seb Larsson - who is suspended - are also unavailable for the trip to Chelsea, while Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez are coming back from injury.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
Porto 0 Liverpool 5: Sadio Mane hat-trick completes record rout with dash and panache
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.
After the final whistle the whole Porto squad were involved in a prolonged huddle in the penalty area before their most fervent fans. It was obviously a ritual but it felt more like a group-therapy session after Liverpool destroyed this proud Portuguese club. The Dragons were slain, skewered by an attacking trident of Sadio Mane, who scored a hat-trick, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had declared his side could compete with the best and it was no idle boast. Boom, he said, and here was the evidence that will reverberate. This was Porto’s biggest-ever European defeat. Twenty-four hours after statement performances on European away days by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and this was Liverpool’s impressive goal-laden riposte. There was a swagger and a killer instinct while there was an imposing defensive barrier in Virgil van Dijk on his Champions League debut. As much as the goals Klopp will have been delighted by a superbly determined late block by his record signing as Francisco Soares seemed destined to score a consolation goal. The clean sheet mattered. This emphatic result means that after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in nine years Liverpool will at least go one round further. The return leg at Anfield on March 6, four days before Liverpool face Manchester United away in the Premier League, is a formality. And no one will want to face Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Liverpool look great at both ends against Porto There were so many different angles to this encounter. So here are a few: by scoring a hat-trick Mane become only the second Liverpool player, after Michael Owen (twice), to achieve that feat away from home in Europe. Liverpool also achieved the biggest away win for an English side in a Champions League knockout tie and by scoring five they have scored 28 times in the competition this season, two more than Paris St-Germain, the next highest. Seven of those have been scored by Firmino, equalling Steven Gerrard’s club record while Liverpool have 99 goals in all competitions. Salah’s goal was his 30th of the season, and a delightful one at that, which means he is only the 13th Liverpool player ever to achieve that mark. And only one of them, George Allan – in 27 matches opposed to Salah’s 36 games – has done it in fewer appearances. And that was in 1896. It is also only mid-February and at this rate Salah may even beat Ian Rush’s all-time record of 47 goals in one campaign; and all this in the Egyptian’s first season. Maybe all of that is information overload but records matter and they tumble when teams play well. But the most relevant fact is that in their brilliant orange Liverpool were simply brilliant and scored some great goals, although the crucial first one was not among them. Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's first European hat-trick since Philippe Coutinho's in the last game Credit: GETTY IMAGES Still it confirmed that in the pouring rain they had weathered the storm as, midway through the first half, Georginio Wiljnaldum burst through a tackle in the penalty area and the ball broke across to Mane who had pulled out to the left and was, somehow, unmarked. Even more inexplicable though was the mess goalkeeper Jose Sa made of Mane’s first-time shot allowing it to squeeze under his body and roll over the line. Liverpool did not rest on that. It spread panic in the Porto team and they fell even further behind when James Milner’s powerful, curling drive beat Jose Sa and cannoned back off the post. The rebound fell to Salah who flicked the ball, flicked it again and finally headed it to bring it fully under control before calmly stroking it into the net. Jose Sa and his defenders did not know what to do. It was almost mesmeric. Mohamed Salah juggles the ball round the keeper Credit: ACTION IMAGES Porto came into this tie buoyant. They are top of the league, they were unbeaten in 21 games and they had a belief in their goalscoring power and could have struck first had Dejan Lovren not done well to divert Otavio’s shot on to the roof of the net. But once behind they were in a bind with Soares wasting an opportunity as he shot wide. The home side desperately needed to score but opened themselves up to a devastating Liverpool counter-attack early in the second half. Mane, Salah and Firmino were all involved with the latter springing the break with a back-heel. That released Salah and suddenly there was a collective expectancy as he returned the ball to Firmino whose shot, as he was pushed, was blocked by Jose Sa only for the rebound to run to Mane who swept it home. Jurgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's 3,000 travelling fans Credit: GETTY IMAGES Tie over? Liverpool had let a three-goal advantage slip in the group stages, away to Sevilla earlier in this campaign, but they already feel a different proposition and wanted more with Firmino gaining his reward. It came from another break, down the left, with Milner cutting the ball into the striker’s path and the Brazilian coolly side-footing it inside the near post. Even then Liverpool were not finished and quickly worked their way forward again. Mane had the time and space to arrow his shot away from Jose Sa to complete the scoring, to complete his hat-trick and all but confirm his side’s passage into the last eight. 9:37PM Full time A comprehensive victory in a match that turned into a cakewalk after a cagey beginning. Once they laid the foundations, they demolished and demoralised Porto. Everyone deserves credit but the fluid movement of the front three, their intuition and understanding of each other's thinking was too hot for Porto to handle. They inflicted Porto's worst ever defeat and that, for double champions, will sting. Mané, Mané, Mané. 9:32PM 88 min There are barely any Porto fans left in the posh seats. They've been shredded by Liverpool's pace and persistence. It's been the kind of thrashing that is difficult to come back from, killing the home side's confidence and credibility. 9:30PM 85 min Hat-trick. Given so much space with Sergio Oliveira, Marcano and Reyes panicked by the presence of Salah and Ings wither side and backing off, Mane torpedoed a rasping right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom right corner. Porto 0 - 5 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 85 min) 9:28PM Goal! Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane) 9:26PM 82 min Tremendous dipping cross from Robertson, curled in from the left on an outswinging trajectory. Mane, on a hat-trick, is undone by the bounce and though he connects crisply he smashes his lunging half-volley over the bar. 9:25PM 80 min It's Danny Ings' Champions League debut tonight and he immediately adopts an orthodox centre-forward position. Van Dijk is now playing through the middle of a back three and is wandering forward like a Sammer or Koeman though not yet in that class. 9:22PM 78 min Firmino off, Danny Ings on. Joe Gomez also on to replace Trent Automobile-Association. 9:20PM 76 min Head tennis in the Porto box - Robertson squares his header to Firmino who batters his over from 10 yards. He was offside, though. Liverpool sub: Matip replaces Henderson. 9:19PM 74 min Goncalo Paciencia replaces Tiquinho Soares. 9:17PM 72 min Another crucial intervention - well crucial to the clean sheet if not the result - from Van Dijk, covering behind Lovren. Cute pass from Herrera pushed the ball on the angle beyond Lovren towards Soares but Van Dijk sprinted round on the cover to deflect the toe-poked shot wide. Karius runs straight over to embrace him. 9:15PM 70 min Lining up in the middle for Milner's cross after Mane storms forward and leaves Corona in his wake. The substitute tried to keep pace with Mane's storming run but would have needed a third lung to give him a chance. Mane slipped it to the left, Milner squared it towards the spot and Firmino rattled in a low shot. Salah was free at the back post but wasn't needed. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 9:12PM Goal! Porto 0-4 Liverpool (Firmino) 9:12PM 67 min Van Dijk repays his team-mates who got him out of schtuck with a block of Corona's cross by winning the header and clearing the corner. 9:10PM 66 min Van Dijk makes a crummy attempt at a tackle, going for the block tackle but side on and in a namby-pamby style, not commiting the full weight of his foot to it. Porto whip it past him and win a corner. Van Dijk needed to welly that. 9:09PM 64 min Wijnaldum, for the second time, insouciantly robs Marega whose composure and confidence is being slowly punctured by the Dutchman's persistent sttention. 9:05PM 61 min Porto substitution. Majeed Waris replaces Brahimi. Karius plucks a tame, floaty centre from Alex Telles from the rain-filled sky. 9:03PM 59 min Liverpool are stroking the ball around at the back, Romeo y Julietas aglow. Porto look demoralised. 9:00PM 57 min Herrera, Sergio Oliveira and Corona are being made to look like carthorses chasing Liverpool's thoroughbred front three. 8:59PM 55 min Made by the three musketeers, Salah breaking after being played in by a gorgeous Firmino backheel 10 yards outside his own box. Firmino hares off straight through the middle as Salah dribbles forward at full pelt. Salah spears a pass to the left of the D, perfectly weighted and Porto can't keep pace with any of them. Firmino goes for a side-foot finish to Jose Sa's left but the keeper does reach it at full stretch but can only parry it to the supporting Mane who rolls the ball into an empty net. Porto 0 - 3 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 53 min) 8:55PM Goal!! Porto 0-3 Liverpool (Mane) 8:55PM 51 min Ricardo prepares to race past Milner who decides to kick him across the shins to halt his progress. Free kick, protested spuriously by Henderson, but no yellow card. 8:53PM 50 min Brahimi has come inside now but is too close to his own box and gets in a tangle. Herrera, his captain, bails him out. 8:52PM 48 min Mane comes out to defend by the left-back corner flag when Robertson makes his way back into the box to win a header. He sticks to Corona and wins a throw-in off him with some neat control. 8:49PM 46 min Porto get things underway - no changes for Liverpool. Otavio is off for Porto - Corona has come on to play centre mid. Steve McManaman advises Porto to move Brahimi in from the left wing - but he's still out there so far. 8:40PM Liverpool on the front foot I've gone back to put in photos of Salah's juggle in stages. You may have to refresh your browser to see them. Possession: Porto vs Liverpool Average touch positions (half time) Porto vs Liverpool shots on goal 8:32PM Half time Liverpool walk in 2-0 up after a strange opening half. Porto were disjointed, devoid of inspiration while Liverpool picked them off after gradually taking a decisive grip on dominance. 8:30PM 44 min Lovely pass from Brahimi slides the ball past Lovren and Tiquinho Soares has a shot from 18 yards that takes an undetected but vital touch off Van Dijk's toe that takes it inches wide of the left post. Miss: Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Tiquinho Soares, 44 min) 8:28PM 42 min Porto at last break free of the stranglehold that has pinned them in their own box. Otavio runs forward down the left and exchanges passes with Brahimi. 8:27PM 40 min Firmino has a shot from 25 yards, wide on the left, and launches it into orbit a la Chris Waddle. Mo Salah becomes only the 13th different #LFC player to score 30 goals in a season. ������ pic.twitter.com/u3fEP8icgx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 8:25PM 39 min Robertson has demoralised Marega with his bustling shuttles up and down the left touchline. Robertson should, however, have made more of a lightning charge from defending a corner to launch a counter-attack. His imprecise pass to Mane killed all the momentum. 8:24PM 37 min Wijnaldum dispossesses Marega who isn't at all impressed. He's everywhere. The crowd want another foul but it was perfectly legal. 8:22PM 35 min When Liverpool have the ball at the back thy line up almost in a 2-4-1-3 with Milner ahead of the full-backs and Henderson and Wijnaldum. He's also playing well tonight, popping up right, left and centre. 8:20PM 33 min The conservative, probing, patient start has had spectacular results for Liverpool. 8:18PM 30 min Salah has ice in his veins. Milner brushes past Marega who falls flat on his face and demands a foul but nothing doing. Spoggy Milner uses the space to set up a bending right foot shot from the left that arcs around Jose Sa and crashes into the post. It bounces fortunately for Salah who shows tremendous composure as Jose Sa leaps back to his feet and tries to flying starfish him. Salah cushions it on his head, juggle it with two left foot taps to glide past and elude the keeper before stabbing it in from three yards off the turf with the side of his left foot. Porto 0 - 2 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 29 min) 8:14PM Goal! Porto 0-2 Liverpool (Salah) Salah begins his juggling routine Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs Immaculate control Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs The finish Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:14PM 27 min Iker Casillas, benched in the autumn, is captured on the bench with a stone-faced expression. Wijnaldum is having a fine game. 8:12PM 25 min A goalkeeping error. Mane, right-foot shot when found by Wijnaldum who, 30 seconds earlier ought to have been played in by Mane for a tap in. Mane makes amends, finishing off Wijnaldum's driving burst, but the keeper takes the credit/blame by diving over the top of it and squirming as it slithered beneath him. Porto 0 - 1 Liverpool (Sadio Mané, 25 min) 8:10PM Goal! Porto 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) Mane scores Liverpool's opener with a great deal of help from Jose Sa (out of the picture) Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 8:09PM 23 min Terrific clearance from Marcano again, this time whipping the ball away when Firmino went headlong to graze his nose on an Andy Gray turf-skimming diving header among the flying boots, muck and nettles. Vicious fizz on the cross from Robertson. 8:08PM 20 min A sniff of a chance for Liverpool when Sa slips and scuds a clearance at Firmino who feeds Salah. He has the clearer route to goal, opts instead to try to find Firmino by the penalty spot as he ran towards the box from the right. Marcano slides in to block. Liverpool take the corner but Lovren is penalised for jostling. 8:03PM 17 min Otavio is a tidy player, spinning quickly and laying off short passes. He does Salah in the centre-circle, pops it off to Brahimi who spots a gap down Liverpool's left but overhits his pass intended to let Ricardo run at Robertson. 8:01PM 15 min Van Dijk drills a long diagonal 40 yards over to the left for Mane to chase. He can't control it - for the second time - but the centre-back's ability to ping long passes can unpick this Porto defence. 7:58PM 12 min Brahimi plays a blind pass intended for Alex Telles but give sit straight to Salah who skitters forward and passes to Firmino to tee up a shot from the left, 25 yards out, from Robertson. He doesn't hit it properly so it floats instead of flies and Jose Sa, cranes his neck and watches it as it drifts over. 7:56PM 10 min Important block by Lovren when Otavio shoots from 15 yards having been played in by Marega's neat footwork in the box. Liverpool look shaky at the back, especially down the inside-right channel. Corner that Telles bends out then in again to give Karius catching practice. 7:54PM 9 min Brahimi is freed on the left when played in by Sergio Oliveira who turned a Liverpool midfielder. The diligent Alexander-Arnold escorts him up a cul de sac and takes the throw when he tries to turn him. 7:53PM 7 min For a team that has pressed hard all year, Porto are letting Liverpool have a lot of space and time. Ricardo, who has a monster throw, tracks Milner back all the way to his own corner flag and squuezes him out of room. 7:50PM 5 min Otavio skates away from Henderson and raids through the middle but Liverpool scramble it clear. 7:50PM 4 min Porto corner on the left, swung out by Alex Telles in such a dramatic parabola that it flirts with going out. Lovren heads it straight back to him but Karius catches his second effort. 7:48PM 3 min Very patient so far, moving the ball up the left until Mane runs out of space to chase and Porto have a goalkick. 7:46PM 1 min W're off and Liverpool attack from left to right. Trent Alexander-Arnold takes the pace off and Liverpool sweep the ball from right to left and back again. 7:15PM And your teams in black and white Porto Jose Sa; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles; Sergio Oliveira, Herrera; Marega, Otavio, Brahimi, Soares. Substitutes Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Torres, Paciencia, Corona, Waris. Massage for four? Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Gomez, Moreno, Matip, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ings. Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy) 6:41PM No Aboubakar in Porto's starting XI Eis o nosso 11: José Sá; Ricardo, Reyes, Marcano, Alex Telles, Herrera, Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Brahimi, Marega e Soares.#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCLpic.twitter.com/uNq4Yutfgd— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 He didn't train last night and the muscle injury he reported must be worse than originally feared. Suplentes: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Osorio, Óliver, Corona, Waris e Gonçalo Paciência#FCPorto#FCPLFC#UCL— FC Porto (@FCPorto) February 14, 2018 6:40PM A colleague flies out Porto with the Red Men! #championsleaguepic.twitter.com/NGkBTmxtHj— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 14, 2018 6:32PM Liverpool name expected line-up Looks like they've opted for the old tangerine nightmare strip again: �� Tonight's #LFC side to face @FCPorto ��https://t.co/pgij59f1mspic.twitter.com/iwIEvxvZUr— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2018 6:31PM Good evening. Back in 2002, George W Bush gave an eloquent sheen to an old proverb. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he said. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again." Well, quite, you may say but consider the case of Rabah Madjer, the Algeria winger. In 1982 he hooked in his side's opener in the historic 2-1 defeat of West Germany at the World Cup and five years later, for Porto, he scored the equaliser against Bayern Munich with the most insouciant goal in European Cup final history, before setting up Juary's winner three-minutes later to do to Michael Rummenigge what he had already done to Karl-Heinz. That victory at the Prater, perhaps the least remembered European Cup final of them all in England, was Porto's first of two, picking up their second 17 years later in Gelsenkirchen under Jose Mourinho's guidance. It tends to puzzle people that Porto have won as many European Cups as Juventus - as have Nottingham Forest - and a third would put them on the same footing as Manchester United and Inter. Liverpool, England's most successful club, would like a sixth to move them ahead of Barcelona and Bayern and take third place in their own right again behind Milan and Real Madrid. Jürgen Klopp understandably seems reluctant even to contemplate it. “I don't think the 2005 side thought about winning the Champions League before the last 16,” he said. “I'll ask Rafa but that would surprise me because it makes no sense. If we are in the final then I'll say we will try to win it but that is too far off. I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it. I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.” Where does Spurs Juventus rank in the most exciting CL games? Leaving aside that we know that he wouldn't leave the room but breezily rain suitable invective on his interlocutor, there are plenty of signs that they have a decent chance of at least making the semis. The front three's movement is mesmerising, Andrew Robertson, who will surely make his Champions League debut tonight, is having a sensational debut season and Giorginio Wijnaldum covers a multitude of sins further back. Emre Can is suspended tonight which should open a spot for James Milner who may have been required anyway to help keep Porto's African trident - Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega - at bay. Porto are undefeated in the league and are unbeaten in 24 games (won 18, drawn six) in all competitions. Liverpool, who have lost two of their last five in all competitions, have been to the Dragao twice and come away with a pair of draws, 0-0 in 2001 and 1-1, by virtue of Dirk Kuyt's equaliser in 2007. They would probably settle for the same tonight.