Maribor 0-7 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool came out from their latest group stage Champions League fixture with not only a win but the biggest away win the club has ever had in European Cup (Champions League) competition.
Jurgen Klopp has been known to rotate his squad from competition to competition, with the league cup and Premier League squads being very different to the Champions League squads. Karius would come back to being our goalkeeper even after Simon Mignolet had done well enough to keep a clean sheet against Manchester United. Alexander-Arnold replaces Gomez at the back while in midfield, Milner replaces Jordan Henderson with our captain being relegated to the substitute bench. Some interesting changes there but nothing that weakened us, it’s still a strong squad.
To say we started well would be a serious underestimation of the first half. It was better than could have been expected to perform and more. Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho scored inside the opening 20 minutes to make it Maribor 0-3 Liverpool. Some teams would have been content to keep the score as it was by then, perhaps defend for the rest of match because it had been won already. Liverpool didn’t sit back and Mohamed Salah decided that he wanted a second goal on the 40th minute, so Liverpool went in at the break leading by 4 goals.
I’ll talk a little more about those goals now.
4 minutes in – A poor back pass from Maribor plays in Salah and Suler can’t win the ball back with a sliding tackle. Salah gets around him and races clear down the right and then squares the ball into the middle for Firmino who has gotten into a seriously dangerous position with the goalkeeper already having committed himself to trying to clear Salah’s cross. Of course, Firmino scores to give Liverpool a most welcome early head start towards victory.
13 minutes – Firmino sweeps the ball across the pitch to Salah and he drives forward before sliding the ball into the box for Milner. His chipped pass into the middle is just the assist Coutinho needed to allow him the chance for a superb volley into the corner of the net. Liverpool have their second goal and are in serious control and not looking like losing or even getting a draw at this point. We were past the point of Maribor maybe scoring and trying for a 1-1 scoreline. They’d have to score twice to level with us now but we’re controlling the possession and keeping the ball with us as we attacked.
19 minutes – Salah races forward yet again, even when he doesn’t actually have the ball with him he looks dangerous and ready to strike if needed. Maribor give the ball away inside their own half to Firmino and he slides it through the defence for Salah who was in the perfect position to finish and put it past the goalkeeper and into the net. Firmino at this point had scored 1 goal and assisted 1 goal.
40 minutes – Coutinho starts off the amazing build up with a cutting ball right through the heart of the defence for Moreno and he pushes the ball past the goalkeeper who was already off his line and right into the middle of the penalty area where Firmino and Salah merge on the same spot for shooting and collide but one of them manages to knock the ball into the net. Salah was eventually credited with the goal.
Liverpool looked like they had the game wrapped up as if they’d played all 90 minutes but it was only the end of the 1st half when they had their 4-0 lead.
The second half saw more domination from Liverpool, showing a determined spirit which made them all look like they’d never give up attacking and trying to score until the final whistle was blown.
Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold would be the ones who scored in the last 45 minutes and I’ll talk a little about their goals.
54 minutes – . Coutinho curls in a free-kick from the left wing and Firmino gets ahead of the player marking him and manages to connect with the ball to flick a header past the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net. Liverpool lead by 5 goals and don’t look like making the game any easier for Maribor who have barely managed to keep possession when they had the ball, let alone create chances for scoring.
86 minutes – It was surprising that Liverpool took this long for getting another goal after all the attacking done since the 55th minute.
Jurgen Klopp looks very happy with his new transfer as Oxlade-Chamberlain gets his first ever goal for Liverpool.
Again it comes from a Maribor mistake, with Sturridge taking advantage of it and then unselfishly not shooting himself but instead assisting Oxlade-Chamberlain, who gets through the middle of Maribor’s defence to collect the ball and finishes accurately into the bottom corner of the net. Liverpool have their 6th goal and there’s only 4 minutes of regular play left. Will they maybe let up for resting until the final whistle? They will not! There’s another goal yet to come.
89 minutes – just 3 minutes after Oxlade Chamberlain had scored and Alexander-Arnold tests his luck. It turns out he’s pretty lucky because his shot from around 25 yards takes a deflection and beats the goalkeeper. I don’t think Alexander Arnold will mind and he still got the credit for the goal (it was NOT an own-goal). That’s Liverpool’s 7th goal and they have worked hard to set an official club record. Liverpool had never scored 7 goals away from home in a European Cup or Champions League fixture before. More than well done, this was record breaking!
The result of this takes Liverpool to the top of Group E because as we were getting our large win, Spartak Moscow were also getting a large win (5-1) against Sevilla. Though Spartak Moscow are level on points with us (both teams have 5 points), the goal difference from our victory pushed us to top of Champions League Group E. Sevilla sit in 3rd with 4 points and Maribor are down at the bottom with just 1 point they’d collected from a draw.
Man of the Match
WIth 7 goals being scored and 2 of the players scoring twice even (Firmino and Salah) it was a difficult decision to pick who did the best on the night. However Mohamed Salah really impressed for a large portion of the game. Of the 5 shots he’d taken, 2 of them were converted into goals. That’s sharp shooting, we need players who can convert the chances that are given to them into goals. It’s more impressive than someone who would perhaps shoot 50 times and not score at all. Quality, not quantity. That’s what we’ll need.
Liverpool travel to London to face Tottenham on Sunday in more Premier League action.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this wonderful win, our first in about 8 games. So we’re back to winning again.
Keep walking on with hope in your hearts. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.