There was a mixture of relief and elation for the Liverpool players as they emerged 4-3 victors over Salzburg in a thrilling Champions League clash.
Jurgen Klopp’s side returned to Anfield for Europe’s premier competition for the first time since that night against Barcelona—and a flair for dramatics unraveled once more.
The Reds had ample opportunity to extend their lead further, and when Hwang Hee-chan struck for Salzburg late in the first half it appeared to be a consolation goal for the visitors.
But their first would pave the way for another two to follow as Salzburg took the game to Klopp’s side in the second half, duly punishing the Reds for any slight misstep.
Salah would ultimately score the winning goal for the Reds, but for Virgil van Dijk—who had a rare off-night—it was a performance which presented his side with lessons which must be learned in order to keep improving.
When speaking to LFCTV following the game, the Dutchman also looked to praise Salzburg while insisting there is “no reason to panic” after conceding three goals:
“They would never give up anyway today, even if they were 4-0 down, and we knew it, but obviously the goal we conceded in the first half gave them a little more hope.
“In the second half, especially the first 20 minutes, they did well, and we didn’t.
“They were clinical with the chances they had and a bit lucky as well I think but we should’ve done better.
“Salzburg are a very good team. They play a little bit similar to us: a lot of pressing, energy and don’t want teams to play through them and they have great players.
“Our mentality is to just keep going no matter what, if we concede or score we want to keep doing what we’re doing and today we were unlucky—we conceded three goals at home, that’s not a good sign.
“But maybe a good thing is that we still have to improve—and we will. I think there is no reason for panic.”
As the full-backs’ in-house assist competition continues for another season, Trent Alexander-Arnold quickly found a loophole which could boost his chances as he conceded Liverpool’s involvement ensures occasions like these are “never boring”:
— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) October 2, 2019
Robertson, the man in question, was “delighted” to score his first goal in the Champions League as both he and Van Dijk too conceded it was all a “bit too close for comfort”:
And it was all about the Anfield faithful for Mane and Gini Wijnaldum as they lauded the support received as the team rallied together to clinch the win:
While the result ensures Liverpool have now opened their account in the Champions League, reflection upon the performance will undoubtedly present a number of valuable lessons moving forward.
These will be sure to come in handy when the Reds face off against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.