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Liverpool win 7-0 in Champions League

Champions League Group E: Maribor 0-7 Liverpool

Match Report
Maribor 0-7 Liverpool
Liverpool goals: Roberto Firmino 4, Philippe Coutinho 13, Mohamed Salah 19, Mohamed Salah 39, Roberto Firmino 54, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 86, Trent Alexander-Arnold 90
Clean sheet: Karius

The Reds were red-hot as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice and Liverpool thoroughly outclassed Maribor 7-0 in a memorable Champions League battle. Liverpool recorded their biggest ever European away win, to go top of Group E. Liverpool’s hammering of Maribor was a historic club record away win for Liverpool in Europe, supporting Red’s manager Jurgen Klopp’s theory That all that separated his team from glowing references was, “an improved chance-conversion rate.” Liverpool scored 3 goals in the first 20 minutes; 4 before half-time; and 3 more as Liverpool cruised through the second half to go top of Group E. “I was told about the record after the game and I didn't know about it,” said Klopp. “The wonderful history of this club can feel like a back-pack at times so it is nice to write our own good piece of the history. It will be difficult to beat that record. It is quite rare to win 7-0 but it showed we did unbelievably well. The boys deserved that, and we really kept on going.” 

“The only problem recently was how to explain why we didn't win,” added Klopp. “That has been the most difficult thing about our recent games. When you don't score it is a challenge to stay confident but we will try to use this result now.” One of the match’s key players was Mohamed Salah, who was recently declared “Prince of Egypt” for his World Cup heroics. And Salah did give a regal performance for his new Liverpool club, scoring twice and hammering the Slovenians into submission. Salah has eight goals since his summer move from Itlay Serie A club Roma. Salah’s first goal was courtesy of a Firmino assist, and he tapped in Liverpool’s fourth shortly before half-time.

The African was dangerous from the moment he teed up Roberto Firmino for the opening goal on four minutes. Firmino also struck two and Philippe Coutinho maintained his hot streak to become the first Liverpool player since Steven Gerrard to score in four successive away games. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain’s first Liverpool goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deflected strike from distance made it a perfect evening for Liverpool supporters. At 4 minutes, Firmino opened the scoring for Liverpool partly due to Salah’s speed and a defensive mistake by Maribor, that allowed Salah to beat Suler to the ball on the right flank and then to speed into the box before sending the ball to Firmino for a tap-in!

Then at 13 minutes Liverpool scored again due to excellent attacking. Salah received a great pass from Firmino, approached the area, sliding a pass to Milner who crosses into the path of Coutinho, who hits from 15 yards right into the net. At 19 minutes Maribor won the ball back in defence and moved forward, then proceded to give it away again within a couple of seconds. Firmino got control of the ball and the Brazilian sent to Salah, who closed in on Handanovic before sending it past him with his left foot. At 39 minutes, Liverpool’s Moreno went down the left and sent a hard, low cross to Firmino and Salah’s area and the two competed with each other for the right to tap it in. Liverpool scored a free-kick as Coutinho crosses, and Firmino flicks a header off the top of his head at the near post and in at 54 minutes. Then at 86 minutes Suler tried to take the ball past Sturridge 10 yards outside his area and failed. Sturridge ran towards the area and passed to sub Oxlade-Chamberlain on his right, who proceded to score a very easy goal, his first for Liverpool. In the last few minutes of the one-sided game, Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold let fly from 30 yards, hitting the arm of a sliding defender with the ball that went past a wrong-footed Handanovic into the net for a brilliant finish to a memorable match for Liverpool fans.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was happy with the rout. Sub Oxlade-Chamberlain was denied his first Liverpool goal on 76 minutes, but he added the sixth ten minutes later. “I think we started with the right intensity. The manager said we can’t be complacent and we have to give our 100% effort, and the boys did that right from the off,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain after the exciting victory. “Ultimately we got everything we deserved, and we were more clinical today and put away all our chances, or pretty much all of them. Every week it feels like we’ve got a lot of goals for us, but it’s not clicking at the final moments. If we keep creating chances and keep trying hopefully they’ll come off for us, and tonight they did. We’re in an important part of the season. Everyone’s fighting for their place and I’m just ready for whenever I get the opportunity. I need to keep learning a new style of play and then whenever I get an opportunity do as well as I can.”

Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says he is ready to take his time to establish himself as a top player at Anfield after striking his first goal for his new club. After a slow start to his Liverpool career following a £35 million move from Premier League giant club Arsenal, Oxlade-Chamberlain appears to be finding his form. “It’s a competitive team that I’ve come in to. We’re in an important part of the season where we want to get off to a good start and we’ve got a few results that haven’t gone our way,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “Everyone’s fighting for their place and I’m just ready for when I get the opportunity. I need to keep developing and learning a new style of play here and get used to that and then whenever I get my opportunities, try to do as well as I can. Jurgen Klopp said the different playing styles of Liverpool to both Arsenal and England had made it a difficult transition for 24-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain.The win against Mirabor was only the second since Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the club, although he has spent most of the time on the bench. “We were more clinical today, putting away all our chances, or near enough all of them,” said Oxlade-Chamberlain. “Every week it feels like we’ve got a lot of goals in us and it’s just not clicking right at the final moment.

“I think we create a lot of opportunities and I hear people saying the stats are always Liverpool have 20 shots a game, so if we keep doing those things - that’s the important thing, that we keep creating chances and keep trying and hopefully it’ll come off for us and tonight they did.” Liverpool now top Group E after Spanish club Sevilla suffered a surprising defeat to Spartak Moscow. Two more Champions League Group E wins will guarantee Klopp’s side advance to the knockout stage. Before the game, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was interviewed and asked if Maribor’s declared intention to attack makes him happy: “I’m not here to be happy before the game. My aim is to be happy after the game. Yes, I think it makes sense for Maribor because they’re quite an offensive-minded team, they’re used to this style. We expected it actually. But it depends on us. If we are at our best then of course they have to depend and will be a little bit deeper. That’s all clear. So yes, good,” responded Klopp. “Jordan Henderson is OK, but he played now the last, pretty much all the games, so it makes sense to bring in fresh legs and rest him a little bit. Milner has had for sure enough rest and is for sure desperate for tonight. I don’t say we have to beat Maribor. We don’t have a lot of games any more. We went to Moscow and wanted to win, and should have won probably. It’s the same today. I don’t like these kinds of disrespectful thing. They deserve to be in the Champions League. Nobody should be in doubt about our attitude and hopefully we can show it from the first second. We have to work and I’m optimistic that we will.”

Going into the clash, Klopp’s side had only one win in their last eight games before rediscovering their goal touch. Klopp made a few changes that seemed to improve things as Jordan Henderson was left out with James Milner taking his place and wearing the Liveerpool captain’s armband.

Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic, Suler, Viler, Kramaric, Kabha, Vrhovec, Bohar, Ahmedi, Tavares. Subs: Obradovic, Billong, Pihler, Hotic, Vrsic, Mesanovic, Palcic. 

Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Wijnaldum, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho. Subs: Mignolet, Gomez, Henderson, Sturridge, Klavan, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke. Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary).

Other winners in Champions League Group Stage Round 3 matches are Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, Bayrn Munich, Manchester United, Basel, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchestter City, Besikatas, Leuipzig, and Spartak Moscow.

“We could read the papers over here because my assistant speaks the language and he said they were positive because no English team had won in Maribor in the Champions League,” said a proud Klopp. Buy Champions League tickets from 1st4FootballTickets.com for England Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Spanish La Liga clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid to watch some of the finest football players in history compete with their giant European football clubs to become “Kings of Europe.”

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