LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Oct 3 – Liverpool beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 in a thrilling Champions League Group E clash on Wednesday.
Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Anfield goal-fest.
Salah, Mane back in the groove
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah settled their differences and got Liverpool’s Champions League campaign up and running with typically predatory finishing.
Senegal forward Mane showed a rare display of emotion when he was substituted at Burnley last month, furious that Salah had not passed to him when he was in a better position.
It led to suggestions that all was not harmonious between the pair, but Mane dismissed that this week when asked how his relationship was with the Egypt international.
“It can happen, he didn’t see me and I was frustrated. We are really good friends,” Mane said.
With the spat put to bed, Mane put Liverpool ahead when he exchanged passes with Roberto Firmino to clip home against his old club.
Salah got the holders’ third goal in the 36th minute after Cican Stankovic spilled Firmino’s header.
Then, with Liverpool shocked by Salzburg’s comeback from three goals down, Salah came to their rescue with a 69th minute winner that ensured the 100th European Cup match at Anfield was celebrated in fitting style.
‘New Zlatan’ Haaland offers glimpse of teenage talent
Erling Braut Haaland has been labelled the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the young Salzburg striker offered another glimpse of his tantalising potential in his substitute cameo.
Haaland announced his arrival on the Champions League stage with a hat-trick in Salzburg’s 6-2 thrashing of Genk in their group opener.
The lanky Norwegian’s dazzling display drew comparisons with Swedish legend Ibrahimovic, but Haaland’s name is already familiar to English audiences.
Haaland is the son of former Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City midfielder Alf Inge.
Alf Inge’s offspring is far more prolific in front of goal than his father and he arrived at Anfield with 17 goals already this season.
The Leeds born 19-year-old sat out the weekend game against Austria Vienna because of an illness and that meant he was only fit enough to come off the bench against Liverpool.
Introduced in the 56th minute, Haaland made up for lost time when he netted their equaliser with a cool finish from Takumi Minamino’s cross on the hour.
Salzburg, playing in the Champions League group stage for the first time in 25 years, had come from 3-0 down to rock Liverpool.
And although Salah’s winner sent them home empty-handed, Haaland’s classy contribution — he is just the fourth player to score four goals in his first two Champions League games — suggested they shouldn’t be underestimated for the rest of the European campaign.
Gomez woes shake Liverpool’s foundations
With Liverpool defender Joel Matip sidelined due to injury, Joe Gomez endured a troubled night as his replacement at the heart of Liverpool’s defence.
Matip was sidelined due to a “slight knock” sustained in Saturday’s Premier League win at Sheffield United and the Cameroon international was badly missed.
Gomez partnered Virgil van Dijk at centre-back, but never looked comfortable in just his fifth start of the season as Salzburg ran the Liverpool defence ragged time and again.
The 22-year-old’s creaky performance will concern Jurgen Klopp, who must hope Matip recovers quickly with games against Leicester, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal coming later in October.