Liverpool 3-0 Maribor – reds lead their Champions League group after dominant win

Champions League Group Stage Game 4
Wednesday 01 November 2017 - 7:45 pm
Anfield
Liverpool3
0Maribor
Show Match Events
22'Bohar
⚽️ Salah49'
⚽️ Can64'
⚽️ Sturridge90'
Possession %
7525
Total Shots
235
Shots on Target
91
Shots Blocked
52
Hide Match Events

Goals from Mo Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool another win, and another clean sheet at Anfield.

It was a case of deja vu for Liverpool supporters at Anfield tonight.  Tonight's win bore remarkable similarities to the weekend's win over Huddersfield.

The reds were held by a defensive performance to 0-0 at half time before finally unlocking the opposition parked bus early in the second half.  LFC ran out 3-0 winners in the end and also like the weekend managed to miss a penalty.

That's 4 penalties at Anfield in 2017 and none have gone in.  Milner saw his one saved tonight - adding to one earlier in the year that he failed to convert.

But despite that - the reds were good value for the 3 points that keeps them top of the Champions League Group E.

There were four changes in the Liverpool line up.  Mignolet replaced by Karius, TAA in for Gomez, Oxlade Chamberlain and Emre Can in for Sturridge and Henderson.

Maribor had already put the 7-0 home defeat behind them - having picked up two 1-0 wins in their native league to get back to joint top of the league.

And it was clear from their team selection that they had come with the intention of regaining some pride.  They picked a more defensive line up and that's exactly what they did - defended.  Their midfield 4 was exceptionally close to their back 5 and the reds had to be patient in the first half.

Some miscontrols of the ball prevented Liverpool taking a first half lead.  Salah, Emre Can and Firmino all received the ball in good positions inside the Maribor box but a combination of poor headers and deflections prevented the reds causing the keeper too much trouble.

Liverpool had to make an early change in the game.  Wijnaldum was replaced after 15 minutes by substitute Henderson after appearing to twist his ankle.

In the post match analysis Klopp suggested that it had already swollen up - 'a bad sign' he suggested.

Back to the game however and it was 83% possession for the reds in the first half but sadly 10 of their 12 shots were blocked or off target.  It was that kind of half.

Just like at the weekend however the half time teamtalk worked and within 5 minutes Liverpool were ahead.

Trent Alexander Arnold sent in a delicious cross direct to Salah who re-directed the ball past the keeper in front of the Kop.

🔟 goals for the Reds ⚽️

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Minutes later and a penalty for Liverpool - Firmino being held in the box.

James Milner's turn to step up, but for the fourth consecutive penalty at Anfield it wasn't going in.  Jasmin Handanović tipping the penalty on to the post before Maribor cleared.

Not to worry - Milner redeemed himself shortly after.

Emre Can picked up the ball - powered forward and played a quick 1-2 with the English midfielder.  Emre Can then fired a powerful shot low into the bottom right hand corner.  There was nothing the keeper could do.

As it happened: LFC 3-0 Maribor

Maribor came alive a little bit in the final 20 minutes but there was little work for Karius to do on the night.

What he had to do - he did well.

Daniel Sturridge came on with 15 minutes to go and in the 90th minute he got on the end of an Alberto Moreno cross to smash into the net.

It was his first Champions League goal for 7 years and his first in a Liverpool shirt.  A nice touch to end the night on.

Next up for Liverpool is Sevilla away and although Liverpool are top of the group - with both of the other challenges still to face Maribor this group is far from over.  One more win will be required for the reds.