Liverpool 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain: Roberto Firmino scores late winner
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 19/09/18 8:02am
Roberto Firmino came off the bench and scored a dramatic late winner as Liverpool beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Daniel Sturridge, making his first Champions League start in over six years, headed Liverpool into the lead after 30 minutes at Anfield.
James Milner made it 2-0 from the penalty spot shortly afterwards, only for Thomas Meunier to reply before half-time and Kylian Mbappe to level in the 83rd minute after a subdued second half.
Liverpool: Alisson (5), Alexander-Arnold (7), Gomez (6), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Milner (8), Henderson (6), Wijnaldum (8), Mane (6), Salah (5), Sturridge (7)
Subs: Shaqiri (5), Firmino (6), Fabinho (5)
PSG: Areola (5), Silva (6), Kimpembe (5), Meunier (6), Bernat (5), Marquinhos (5), Di Maria (5), Rabiot (6), Mbappe (6), Cavani (5), Neymar (5)
Subs: Draxler (5), Choupo-Moting (5)
Man of the match: Georginio Wijnaldum
However, Firmino, who did not start due to an eye injury suffered against Tottenham on Saturday, ensured Liverpool started their Group C campaign with a win as he fired in a low shot in injury-time.
It was probably no more than Liverpool deserved, having largely controlled the game and created enough chances to finish off a below-par PSG before Mbappe's late equaliser.
Liverpool were particularly impressive in the early stages when - as they did so many times on their way to the Champions League final last season - they started on the front foot. Alphonse Areola kept out shots from Virgil van Dijk and Milner while Joe Gomez headed over from a corner.
PSG managed to see off the early barrage and went close themselves as Neymar shot at Alisson and Edinson Cavani was unable to finish from the rebound.
The deadlock was broken after half an hour as Robertson curled in a brilliant first-time cross for Sturridge to head home from eight yards out.
Mbappe fired over from a low corner played to the penalty spot before Liverpool scored a second, Milner slotting a penalty into the bottom corner after Juan Bernat tripped Georginio Wijnaldum.
But PSG hit back before the break as Meunier finished with a well-struck volley into the bottom corner.
That did not spark a comeback from PSG in the second half as they produced a drab performance with very little involvement from Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani.
Liverpool had chances to make it 3-1 as Mohamed Salah had a goal ruled out for a foul on Areola, Sturridge failed to finish a header and Salah scuffed wide.
The misses looked like they would be costly when Salah's poor pass out of defence was seized upon by Neymar and Mbappe finished clinically with PSG's first shot in the second half.
Liverpool made two changes from their win at Tottenham as Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge started ahead of Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both started for PSG having missed the game against St-Etienne on Friday.
However, after Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick hit the outside of the post, Firmino snatched victory when he drilled a low shot across goal and into the far corner.
- Liverpool have won their opening six competitive matches of a season for the first time since 1961-62.
- PSG are winless in their last five Champions League matches against English sides (D3 L2) and have only kept one clean sheet in their previous 13 such games, a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge during the 2004/05 group stages.
- Since the start of last season, Liverpool have scored 44 Champions League goals; 11 more than any other team in the competition in this period.
- Since he joined Liverpool in the summer of 2015, only Sergio Aguero (17) and Harry Kane (15) have scored more penalties in all competitions for a Premier League club than James Milner (13).
- Daniel Sturridge has been directly involved in a goal in each of his last four Champions League appearances for Liverpool (2 goals, 2 assists).
Man of the match - Georginio Wijnaldum
Milner was again excellent for Liverpool, but so too was Wijnaldum, who bossed the midfield, playing in a key role both defensively and offensively. He had the best passing accuracy of any player for the home side and appears to have raised his game this season with the added competition in midfield.
Liverpool host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday before facing Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup next Wednesday, live on Sky Sports. The two sides then meet again in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, September 29.
PSG travel to Rennes at the weekend in Ligue 1 before hosting Stade De Reims in midweek.