SALAH SHOW SAVES DAY FOR REDS Scores Match-Winning Goal Against Salzburg; Suarez Brace Rescues Barca
Paris: Champions League holders Liverpool came out on top of a 4-3 thriller with Salzburg on Wednesday after throwing away a threegoal lead at Anfield before Mohamed Salah’s winner, while Luis Suarez fired Barcelona to a comeback victory over Inter Milan. Salah won the match for Liverpool with his second of the night in the 69th minute, denying Salzburg a point after teenage sensation Erling Braut Haaland had stunned the Reds when he completed an incredible fightback with his 18th goal of the season.
The hosts looked to be cruising when Salah had added to goals by Sadio
Mane and Andy Robertson with a neat finish in the 36th minute, but Hee-Chan Hwang’s brilliant strike shortly before the break gave Salzburg hope.
Two goals in four second-half minutes from Takumi Minamino and 19-year-old substitute Haaland, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he evaded a dozing Liverpool defence to tap in Minamino’s low cross, l eft t he home crowd stunned. However, Salah spoiled their evening with his sixth goal of the season in all competitions, putting Liverpool level with Salzburg on three points.
Suarez saved Barcelona’s blushes at the Camp Nou after Lautaro Martinez had scored early for Inter, who then failed to capitalise on their first- half dominance in the Group F clash and lost 2-1. Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be at his best in the 37th minute to get down low and keep out Martinez’s powerful header, while Stefano Sensi also rued missing the target when well placed shortly afterwards.
However Barca moved up a gear in the second half and were deservedly level when Suarez crashed home a superb shot just before the hour mark, and the Uruguayan was at his sharpest to win the match with six minutes remaining.
Lionel Messi suddenly warmed up and skipped past two challenges before laying on Suarez, whose perfect first touch allowed him to sink Inter. Dortmund came out on top at Slavia Prague thanks to a pair of counter-attacking strikes from Achraf Hakimi, whose clinical finishing led Lucien Favre’s side to a 2-0 win in the Czech Republic.
The Morocco international burst through onto Julian Brandt’s pass in the 35th minute and charged towards the goal, skipping past Petr Sevcik and goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar before rifling home the opener.
The pair combined again in the final minute with another rapid counter, the Germany midfielder this time slipping Hakimi in down the left and the 20-yearold slotted a neat left-foot finish that made sure of the win. Ajax took control of Group H with a big 3-0 success at Valencia that put them top with a perfect six points and showed again that they could yet repeat last season’s heroics.
Hakim Ziyech opened the scoring for the Dutch champions with an incredible dipping strike on just eight minutes, and Quincy Promes doubled their lead 11 minutes before half-time with his second in as many Champions League games before the break, punishing Daniel Parejo for smashing a penalty high over the bar.
Willian wins it for Chelsea
Willian’s brilliant late strike gave Chelsea a precious a 2-1 win away to Lille that they will hope kickstarts their Champions League campaign, but it was the young stars in Frank Lampard’s side who stole the show again. The Brazilian volleyed home in the 78th minute on Wednesday to decide the game under the roof at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on what was his 300th appearance for the club.
Tammy Abraham had earlier put Chelsea in front on his 22nd birthday with his eighth goal already this season, only for Victor Osimhen to equalise for Lille. Chelsea are now off the mark in Group H after losing at home to Valencia a fortnight ago, although it is Ajax who continue to top the section with a maximum six points. “Give it to the team, what a fantastic performance,” Abraham told BT Sport. GROUP G: At Leipzig: RB Leipzig 0 lt to Lyon 2 (Depay 11, Terrier 65).
Zenit Saint Petersburg 3 (Dzyuba 21, Dias 70og, Azmoun 78) bt Benfica 1 (De Tomas 85).
GROUP H: At Lille: Lille 1 (Osimhen 33) lt to Chelsea 2 (Abraham 22, Willian 78).
At Valencia: Valencia 0 lt to Ajax 3 (Ziyech 8, Promes 34, van de Beek 67).
BANG ON TARGET: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (right) scores their third goal against Salzburg