Liverpool have squeaked past a very impressive Salzburg side to get their first Champions League win of the season.
It took less than 10 minutes for Liverpool to take the lead against Salzburg with Sadio Mane striking first for the Reds.
The Senegalese winger managed to score against his former side in the first-ever meeting between Liverpool and Salzburg.
Mane linked up with birthday boy Roberto Firmino to get the opener. A flashy one-two followed by a slick finish from Mane.
Liverpool’s second was Andy Robertson’s second in a Liverpool shirt – ever. Trent Alexander-Arnold set up his fellow full-back with a fizzing ball in from the right-hand side for the Scot to turn in with ease.
Mohamed Salah got the third after Roberto Firmino’s headed effort was parried to him by Cican Stankovic. The Egyptian finished cooly.
Salzburg got one back before half-time thanks to a rare mistake from Virgil van Dijk. Hwang Hee-chan smashed the ball into the net after Virgil flew past him, mistiming the tackle.
That was Salzburg’s first-ever goal in England, on their fifth attempt. There second wasn’t too far away. Takumi Minamino scored and left Liverpool with work to do.
Salzburg tied things up with Erling Haaland scoring his 18th goal of the season thanks to some more lacklustre Liverpool defending.
Liverpool managed to squeak their noses back in front thanks Mohamed Salah’s second of the night. He lifted the ball over Stankovic after Roberto Firmino headed a soft ball through to him.
Adrian – 7
Adrian couldn’t really do much about the first Salzburg goal. The ball flew at him at a ridiculous pace. It wasn’t a shot even Alisson could have been expected to save.
He was incredibly lucky early in the second half. Patson Daka nearly took advantage of Adrian’s wayward pass but the ball ricocheted wide.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
Trent had a very decent game, showing the world why he – and Robertson – are both easily better full-backs than Marcelo.
The young Englishman was up and down his flank all evening and even had a few moments filling in for Robertson at left-back. He even assisted his fellow full-back for his goal. A true partnership.
Joe Gomez – 4
Joe looked very rusty in the first half after being out of the side for most of the season so far. A Joel Matip injury gave Gomez the chance in the side.
Gomez was the obvious weak link in the side, particularly when things went sideways in the second half.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Virgil should really stay on his feet when Hwang Hee-chan scored his goal. He fell for his fake shot then Chan battered the ball past Adrian – who had no chance.
He should also do better for Salzburg’s third goal, Minamino got the ball past him way too easily, leading to Haaland’s goal.
Despite his flaws, still Virgil van Dijk, still mental.
Andrew Robertson – 9
Scoring only his second goal in Liverpool colours, Andy Robertson was again one of the best players on the pitch.
A rare sight but a definitely welcome one as Liverpool fans will be hoping to see more of Robertson on the scoresheet.
Fabinho – 7
Very good in the first half, Fabinho gave the ball away too much in the second. To be fair, the same could be said about most of the Liverpool side.
Jordan Henderson – 8
A phenomenal captain’s performance from Jordan Henderson in the first half. The Liverpool captain covered every blade of grass on the pitch with his incessant running.
He dropped off in the second half whilst Salzburg turned up the heat. He was then replaced by James Milner.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Wijnaldum was weirdly anonymous for a Champions League tie and one at home at that.
A passenger for most of the first half as the other two midfielders in the side caught the attention of those at the game and watching at home.
The one chance he did get, he slammed way wide. He should have marked his 150th Liverpool appearance with a goal but didn’t. Hooked for Divock.
Mohamed Salah – 8
Fortunate to get to the ball to score Liverpool’s third but more importantly scores a fantastic goal to give Liverpool the lead after conceding three straight.
Firmino does brilliantly to set him up and Salah lifted the ball over Stankovic.
Salah had a quiet game, really. Still scored a brace. Peak Salah.
Sadio Mane – 7
Mane scored the opener and looked dangerous throughout. He had a chance when the game was at 4-3 to kill the game off but couldn’t direct it on target.
Roberto Firmino – 8
The only one of the front three not to score a goal against Salzburg, Firmino still managed to get two assists on the evening.
He set up Sadio Mane for the first and his soft header played Salah through for the game-winner. Firmino has a third “assist” in that his shot was parried into the path of Salah for Liverpool third.
Every time he plays it becomes more and more evident that the Liverpool side is not the same without him. The absolute boy.
James Milner (on for Henderson 62′) – 7
Milner came on to add some rough-and-tumble to the Liverpool midfield and he did exactly that.
He was a nuisance the entire time he was on the pitch, aiming to try and slow down Salzburg’s movement from midfield to attack. A successful, but short, outing for Milly.
Divock Origi (on for Wijnaldum 64′) – 5
Origi was largely absent when he came on. Did not have a real chance at goal and was overshadowed by the main three up front.
Naby Keita (on for Salah 90′) – N/A
Didn’t get given a chance to really affect the game. Came on to face his former side. 81 appearances for Salzburg and now a victory against them.