AAP Soccer

Firmino gets Liverpool ECL win over PSG

By AAP Newswire

Roberto Firmino struck a stoppage-time winner as Liverpool beat Paris St Germain 3-2 at Anfield on Tuesday after Kylian Mbappe looked to have secured a point for the French side in a compelling Champions League Group C clash.

Anfield played host to some memorable matches in this competition last season and the first match of the current group stage proved to be another electric night of entertainment.

PSG had come back from two goals down with French World Cup winner Mbappe equalising in the 83rd minute, but then Firmino, who started on the bench due to an eye injury, drilled home a low shot in the final seconds.

It was a deserved victory for Jurgen Klopp's team who had been on top for most of the match and handled the sport's most expensively-assembled frontline with some confidence.

With Anfield in loud and proud mood, Liverpool came roaring out and put Thomas Tuchel's side under intense pressure from the outset.

Liverpool were winning every challenge in midfield and managing to nullify the dangers presented by Neymar and Mbappe as they charged forward with intent at every opportunity.

It was Daniel Sturridge who opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a fine header from an Andy Robertson cross.

Six minutes later the Reds doubled their lead when PSG defender Juan Bernat tripped Georginio Wijnaldum in the area and James Milner slotted home the penalty.

The Parisians got themselves back into the game though five minutes before the break when Thomas Meunier drove home a first-time effort.

Liverpool thought they had a third when Mohamed Salah had the ball in the net but the effort was ruled out by referee Cuneyt Cakir as Sturridge had fouled Areola.

Even at 2-1 Liverpool looked comfortably in charge until 19-year-old Mbappe drove home with supreme confidence.

But in stepped Firmino who drilled a diagonal shot home to send Anfield into ecstasy.

Reds boss Klopp told BT Sport: "We scored wonderful goals, they were thunderballs. We deserved the three points."

On Sturridge, the German coach added: "Daniel had a super game. I said to him before I had never seen him as good as he is now. He used that fitness and was all over the park."

In the other Group C match, Red Star Belgrade grabbed a point against Napoli in their long-awaited return to the Champions League on Tuesday as they held the Italian club to a 0-0 draw.

Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne hit the crossbar early on, Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan did well to stop an effort from Arkadiusz Milik, and defender Milan Rodic cleared an attempt from Napoli's Jose Callejon off the line midway through the second half.

Red Star was making their first appearance in the Champions League group stage, having last played in the European Cup group in 1991 as holders, while Napoli were last season's Serie A runners-up.