A back-and-forth game at Anfield saw Liverpool record a first Champions League win of the season, but it came after a scare as they won 4-3 against Salzburg.
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Liverpool 4-3 Salzburg
Champions League Group Stage (2), Anfield
October 2, 2019
Goals: Mane 9′, Robertson 25′, Salah 36′, 69′; Hwang 39′, Minamino 56′, Haaland 60′
A single change for the Liverpool lineup meant it was largely a full-strength side for the first Anfield European game since the Reds lifted the European Cup on June 1.
Around half an hour into the match it seemed to be a party atmosphere and routine win, but it turned out to be anything but.
Sadio Mane quickly put Liverpool ahead with a lovely run and finish off the left flank, helped on his way by Roberto Firmino, before the two full-backs combined to great effect, Andy Robertson finishing off Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross.
Firmino’s header was then saved and Mo Salah finished the rebound, putting the Reds three goals ahead in spectacular fashion—which made the next half-hour even more surprising.
The Reds lost possession too easily and were unable to close out spaces, as Salzburg showed how they have been able to net over 50 goals already this season with a brave and clinical half-hour of their own.
Hwang Lee-Chan turned Virgil van Dijk inside out and buried the first one in the far corner, for 3-1 at half-time.
Then Takumi Minamino met a cross from the left to bounce in a second, before sub Erling Braut Haaland made it 3-3 from close range, improbably, just four minutes later.
Liverpool responded with two subs and a formation change in an attempt to wrest back control, and the chances began to flow at the other end of the pitch once more.
Firmino found a subtle touch to glance a header through to Salah, who lashed home his second and Liverpool’s fourth with 20 minutes to go, to seal the Reds’ first three points of the season in Europe.
It’s back to domestic matters at the weekend, with a home match against Leicester before the next international break.