An exciting night of Champions League football at Anfield
Liverpool escaped embarrassment in their clash with Red Bull Salzburg, winning the game 4-3 to get their first Champions League win of the season.
The Reds were one of the favourites for the trophy this season but they didn’t make the best start to the campaign against Napoli.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool lost the opening game of the season 2-0.
It was expected that the Reds should have enough to beat Red Bull Salzburg comfortably but it was everything but comfortable.
Liverpool initially took a 3-0 lead and the game looked done and dusted.
Though, Salzburg had other ideas.
Hee-chan Hwang got one back in the 39th minute, before Takumi Minamino brought Salzburg within one goal in the 56th minute.
Erling Braut Haaland was then introduced in the 57th minute before scoring the equaliser just three minutes later.
To spare Liverpool’s blushes, Mohamed Salah sealed the game with a goal in the 69th minute.
Now, we’ve picked out three things we learned from the tie.
Liverpool’s Van Dijk is human
It doesn’t take a genius to see Virgil van Dijk has been simply sensational since joining Liverpool.
The Dutch defender was even voted as UEFA’s best player of the year.
However, it was a night for him and the rest of the Liverpool defence to forget.
Conceding three goals at home to any side is disappointing, but the manner in which the defence capitulated when 3-0 up was very uncharacteristic but a common theme this season.
The Reds have not been as solid as they were in their Champions League-winning campaign last year, and Van Dijk’s performance emphasised that.
The Dutch defender was even sat down by Hee-chan Hwang before the South Korean smashed into the side netting.
Improvement is needed in that area if Liverpool are to retain their trophy.
Roberto Firmino may be one of the most underrated playmakers in football
Despite Roberto Firmino’s position, the Brazilian is much more than your typical striker.
Firmino has made a name for himself by being the player in Liverpool’s attack who brings it all together.
He did so tonight when he put three goals on a plate for Sadio Mane and Salah.
For Liverpool’s first, Firmino completed some beautiful link-up play with Mane to put him through on goal.
That was followed up when Firmino’s header was palmed straight into Salah’s path by the Salzburg goalkeeper.
While it wasn’t his prettiest assist, it was an assist nonetheless.
For his third assist, Firmino’s deft header put Salah through on goal, with the Egyptian making no mistake for Liverpool’s winner.
While Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will take the plaudits for the goals they scored, spare a thought for Firmino tonight.
Braut Haaland could be Europe’s next big thing
What a rise to prominence it’s been for Erling Braut Haaland.
The Norwegian star has been simply sensational this season.
Not only has he scored 11 goals in eight Austrian Bundesliga games, Haaland scored a hat-trick on his Champions League game against Genk.
All that at just 19-years-old.
That lead to suggestions he could play in the Premier League in the not too distant future.
That looks even closer to reality after his goal against Liverpool.
While he didn’t get on the pitch until the 57th minute, it only took three minutes before he brought his side level.
If he performs even close to how Kylian Mbappe did on his breakthrough Champions League campaign, we could have another star on our hands.
Honourable mentions for Salzburg’s other attackers too.
23-year-old Hee-chan Hwang was pivotal in the initial comeback at Anfield, while Takumi Minamino also impressed.
Erling Braut Håland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SALZBURG HAVE EQUALISED
Look at the celebrations! pic.twitter.com/y3nGFkmxUD
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 2, 2019
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