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PIX: Liverpool win seven-goal thriller; Suarez rescues Barca

Last updated on: October 03, 2019 09:57 IST

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring Liverpool's fourth goal in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League match against FC Salzburg at Anfield.

IMAGE: Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring Liverpool's fourth goal in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League match against FC Salzburg at Anfield. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

European champions Liverpool gave up a three-goal lead to Austria's Salzburg before recovering to win 4-3 in an enthralling Champions League Group E match at Anfield on Wednesday.

 

Mohamed Salah, who scored twice, grabbed the 69th-minute winner for Liverpool after Salzburg, managed by American Jesse Marsch, had stunned Anfield with three goals either side of halftime to make it 3-3.

While Liverpool will be relieved to have avoided their first home defeat in the Premier League or Champions League since April 2017, there will be concern about the performance of their defence, which was exposed by the lively Salzburg attack.

Salzburg, who beat Belgium's Genk 6-2 in their opening game in the group, were applauded off the field by their travelling fans, recognition for their spirit and the enterprising, positive football they played against Juergen Klopp's side.

Liverpool, beaten 2-0 by Napoli in their opening game, quickly took charge, taking the lead in the ninth minute with a beautifully-worked goal from Sadio Mane.

The Senegalese left two defenders in his wake as he cut in from the left and then drove home after a crisp exchange with Roberto Firmino.

Left back Andy Robertson made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, starting the move with a burst down the flank and then staying forward to apply a deft finish to Trent Alexander-Arnold's low cross.

Salah then made it 3-0, turning the ball in after Salzburg keeper Cican Stankovic had pushed away an angled header from Firmino.

Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring Salzburg's third goal.

IMAGE: Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring Salzburg's third goal. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

The Austrians pulled a goal back in impressive fashion, with South Korean Hwang Hee-chan leaving Virgil van Dijk on his rear with a sharp turn inside, before he blasted past Adrian in the 39th minute.

Hwang then turned provider when his cross from the left was met with a superb volley from Japanese striker Takumi Minamino, who buried the ball in the bottom corner from 20 metres out in the 56th minute.

The home crowd could barely believe it four minutes later when the impressive Minamino slipped the ball across the face of the goal and 19-year-old substitute Erling Haaland tapped in.

Haaland had scored a hat-trick in the win over Genk and the tall striker had the extra satisfaction of matching his father, Alf-Inge, who scored for Leeds United at Anfield in a Premier League match 22 years ago.

Klopp threw on a fourth forward in Divock Origi as he looked to retrieve the game and Salah secured the points for Liverpool in the 69th minute, the Egyptian firing home his second goal after a header down from the always-influential Firmino.

"Salzburg are a really good team and after we went 3-0 up it was a tough game to try and push - but we deserved the win," said Liverpool's former Salzburg striker Mane.

"To be honest, I knew how good Salzburg were as I was there for two and a half years. They never give up and push and they caused us problems, but in the end, we scored more goals."

The win left Liverpool second in the group on three points, one behind leaders Napoli who were held to a 0-0 draw at Genk earlier on Wednesday.

Suarez double as Barca fight back to sink Inter

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring Barcelona's second goal against Inter Milan.

IMAGE: Luis Suarez celebrates scoring Barcelona's second goal against Inter Milan. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Luis Suarez scored two classy goals to inspire Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback win over Inter Milan in the Champions League and inflict a first defeat on Antonio Conte since he took charge of the Italians.

Inter, who lead Serie A after winning all six domestic games under Conte, produced a wonderful first-half display and took the lead in the second minute through Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez.

Barca had struggled to get going but looked more like their usual dominant selves on European nights at the Camp Nou after the break and deservedly pulled level in the 58th minute through a superb swivelling volley from Suarez.

The Catalans caught Inter out on the counter-attack to take the lead in the 84th minute, with captain Lionel Messi feeding Suarez who produced a cool low finish to prompt relieved celebrations among the 86,000 fans in the stadium.

The win put Barca second in Group F with four points from two games, the same as leaders Borussia Dortmund who won 2-0 at Slavia Prague. Inter have one point.

"This is a very valuable victory for us against a direct rival," Suarez told reporters.

"We were aware that if we continued playing like we had in the first half we could lose but the key thing was we stayed patient and were able to create chances."

Conte conceded a goal after three minutes in his last game at the Camp Nou as Chelsea coach in 2018 but this time it was his side who struck an early blow.

Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring for Inter Milan.

IMAGE: Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring for Inter Milan. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Inter forward Alexis Sanchez found a hole in his former side's defence with a superb through ball into the path of Martinez, who raced into the box and slid to the floor to send a shot flying past Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Conte's side did not look to sit on their goal and outplayed Barca in the first half, holding on to possession for long periods while doggedly pressing the hosts and picking them off on the counter-attack with ease.

It took a superb save from Ter Stegen to prevent Lautaro scoring again with a header, while Italian midfielder Stefano Sensi flashed a shot narrowly over the bar.

"Inter are very powerful when they are given space and it's no coincidence that they are top of their league, but we took a step forward in the second half and had more control of the play," said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

Barca were facing their first home defeat in the Champions League group stage since losing to Rubin Kazan in 2009 but were transformed after coach Ernesto Valverde replaced Sergio Busquets with Arturo Vidal.

The Chile midfielder was given the freedom to roam forward and provided the cross from which Suarez scored his unstoppable volley, which appeared to demoralise Inter while galvanising Barca, who were worthy winners in the end.

Hakimi double fires Dortmund to victory over Slavia

Achraf Hakimi celebrates scoring Borussia Dortmund's second goal.

IMAGE: Achraf Hakimi celebrates scoring Borussia Dortmund's second goal. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Two Achraf Hakimi goals gave Borussia Dortmund a 2-0 win over Slavia Prague in Champions League Group F on Wednesday, a fast-paced match in which both sides spurned chances.

Defender Hakimi broke the deadlock in the 35th minute following a counter-attack, cutting inside the penalty area before firing past the Slavia keeper.

Hakimi doubled the lead in the 89th minute when he slotted home a pass from Julian Brandt following another break to seal the German side's first victory of the group stage.

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's players celebrate after Achraf Hakimi scored their first goal. Photograph: David W Cerny

/Reuters

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre lauded Slavia's performance and praised Hakimi's attacking ability.

"The opponents were really dangerous for 90 minutes and they had chances," Favre said. "I had to shout at the players to attack and come back."

"Hakimi is not quite 100 percent accustomed to this position but we are very happy with his performance. He showed he is dangerous going forward."

Roared on by their fans, Slavia outshot the visitors 17 to 10 with more attempts on target but lacked the clinical finishing needed to overcome a stout Dortmund defence and a speedy attack that punished the home side's pressing.

Slavia drew 1-1 at Inter Milan in their first group game while Dortmund have four points from two matches after starting with a draw against Barcelona.

Zenit grind down Benfica in 3-1 home win

 Sardar Azmoun celebrates scoring Zenit Saint Petersburg's third goal against Benfica.

IMAGE: Sardar Azmoun celebrates scoring Zenit Saint Petersburg's third goal against Benfica. Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Reuters

Zenit St Petersburg stayed on course to reach the Champions League knockout stages after strikes by Artem Dzyuba and Serdar Azmoun along with a Ruben Dias own goal helped them to a 3-1 home win over Benfica in Group G.

The result put Zenit top of the standings on four points from two games, ahead of Lyon on goals scored after the French side beat RB Leipzig 2-0 away. Leipzig have three points and Benfica none.

Dzyuba fired Zenit ahead in the 22nd minute with a clinical finish from 12 metres after Benfica defenders lost possession when they tried to break out of their own half with casual one-touch passing.

IMAGE: Zenit Saint Petersburg's players celebrate after Sardar Azmoun scored the third goal. Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Reuters

Zenit dominated and doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Diaz diverted a Vyacheslav Karavaev effort into his own net with the goal being awarded after a Video Assisted Referee (VAR) check.

Iran forward Serdar Azmoun made it 3-0 with a deft finish from inside the penalty area after another darting break by the home side.

Substitute Raul de Tomas grabbed a late consolation for the visitors, who threw men forward in the dying minutes but Zenit's defence held firm.

Lyon punish dreadful defending to beat Leipzig

Martin Terrier celebrates is congratulated by teammates after scoring Olympique Lyonnais's second goal against Leipzig.

IMAGE: Martin Terrier celebrates is congratulated by teammates after scoring Olympique Lyonnais's second goal against Leipzig. Photograph: Matthias Rietschel/Reuters

Olympique Lyonnais forwards Memphis Depay and Martin Terrier made the most of dreadful defensive errors to score in a 2-0 Champions League win at RB Leipzig.

The visitors took the lead in the 11th minute when Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate gave the ball away cheaply in his own half to Houssem Aouar, and his pass found Depay, who slotted it under keeper Peter Gulacsi.

Leipzig's Timo Werner provided a constant threat up front but a ludicrous attempt at a stepover on the edge of his own box by Nordi Mukiele gifted the ball to Terrier, and he rounded the keeper to score his side's second in the 65th minute.

The win puts Lyon second in Group G on four points, behind Zenit St Petersburg, who beat bottom side Benfica 3-1 at home, on goal difference. Leipzig are third on three points.

Superb Willian strike earns Chelsea win at Lille

Willian scores Chelsea's second goal against Lille.

IMAGE: Willian scores Chelsea's second goal against Lille. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

A brilliant late strike by Willian earned an otherwise unimpressive Chelsea a 2-1 win at Lille in Champions League Group H.

Brazilian Willian volleyed home with 12 minutes left on his 300th Chelsea appearance after Tammy Abraham's opener had been cancelled out by Lille's Victor Osimhen in the first half.

Chelsea are third on three points behind second-placed Valencia, who beat the Premier League side in the opening round of matches.

Ajax Amsterdam top the standings with a maximum six points after they claimed a 3-0 win at Valencia and Lille are bottom without a point.

"We knew we needed to win. I knew I would get a chance and I took it well. Never an easy place and Willian scored a worldie - no surprise there," said Abraham, as coach Frank Lampard noted that Chelsea still had a long way to go.

"Having lost against Valencia, it made this a more important game. This is such a tough place," Lampard said. "They were quick on the counter-attack and our performance was really good.

Lille captain Jose Fonte said his team must learn from their mistakes.

"We played a good game but in the end we have zero points. Maybe we didn't learn anything from the Ajax game," Fonte said.

Lampard’s side, who lost their opening game against Valencia, had Ngolo Kante in their team after the Frenchman passed a late fitness test and he stabilised Chelsea’s midfield.

The visitors enjoyed possession in the early stages as Lille looked to use their speed to hit them on the break.

Both teams, however, failed to properly threaten until Abraham beat the offside trap to collect Fikayo Tomori’s long cross and score his first Champions League goal from close range on his 22nd birthday.

But Lille stuck to their plan and Luis Araujo came close at the end of a sharp counter-attack.

It led to two consecutive corners and from the second, Osimhen powered a header home to level in the 33rd minute.

Chelsea struggled on set-pieces and Benjamin Andre's glancing header was well saved by keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 52nd minute.

Lille seemed to run out of energy in the closing stages and Chelsea benefited from poor defending to wrap up the win in the 78th.

From the left flank, Callum Hudson-Odoi sent a long cross to the far side and Willian, who had been left unmarked, unleashed a volley that bounced down into the ground and over Mike Maignan.

Lille pushed forward in the closing stages but Chelsea held on to extend the hosts' run to 10 consecutive European home game without a win.

Ajax prove too good for Valencia

Quincy Promes celebrates scoring Ajax's second goal against Valencia.

IMAGE: Quincy Promes celebrates scoring Ajax's second goal against Valencia. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Hakim Ziyech fired in an early goal, Quincy Promes added another and Donny van de Beek finished off a polished performance as Ajax Amsterdam kept up their impressive Champions League form with a 3-0 away win over Valencia in Group H.

Ajax, whose youthful side made a giant-killing run to last season’s semi-finals, moved to six points with a second successive three-goal triumph.

Valencia remained on the three points they garnered last month in a surprise away triumph at Chelsea.

Ziyech set the tone for another enterprising Ajax display with a searching shot in the eighth minute, hit powerfully with his left foot from outside the penalty area over the head of Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Dutch international Cillessen, up against his former team mates, was beaten by Promes’s snap shot in the 34th minute, getting a hand to it but not enough to keep it out.

Promes was teed up by Van de Beek with an inch-perfect square pass as Ajax went 2-0 ahead at the Camp de Mestalla.

It came after the home side missed a penalty as captain Dani Parejo blasted high and wide in the 25th minute after Goncalo Guedes had been fouled by Ajax’s Mexican defender Edson Alvarez.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana made two key saves at the start of the second half -- the first a super tip around the post to deny Ferran Torres’s deflected shot -- to stymie home hopes of a quick comeback.

It allowed Ajax to play their characteristic passing game and a string of short passes set up Van de Beek for the third goal in the 67th minute.

Ajax, who beat Lille in their group opener and next host Chelsea, might have had a fourth but Cillessen did well to keep out a deflected effort from Lisandro Martinez.

Napoli held to goalless by Genk

Napoli paid the price for playing a weakened side as they dropped Champions League points in 0-0 draw away at Racing Genk.

After beating holders Liverpool in their opening Group E game, coach Carlo Ancelotti left out Lorenzo Insigne and dropped Dries Mertens to the bench against the Belgian champions, who had conceded six goals in their opener against Salzburg.

Arkadiusz Milik made only his second start of the season in attack and his rustiness showed as he struck the woodwork twice and missed three more good chances from close range as the home side led a charmed life in front of their own supporters.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who moved from Genk to Napoli five years ago, had an effort from a corner cleared off the line just before halftime while captain Jose Callejon missed from close range early in the second half.

Mertens, one goal shy of equalling Diego Maradona’s record of 115 for Napoli, was brought on just before the hour mark and took 15 minutes to get into the game before being denied with two quick efforts.

With seven minutes left, a slip in the Napoli defence presented Ianis Hagi, son of the Romanian great Gheorghe, a chance to score, but he fired his effort over from inside the penalty area.

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