A dramatic night at Anfield saw Liverpool survive a late fightback from Paris Saint-Germain to emerge 3-2 victors in their Group C opener on Tuesday.
Liverpool 3 Paris Saint-Germain 2
Sturridge (30′) opens scoring with header
Milner (36′) extends lead from penalty spot
Meunier (40′) volley halves the deficit
Mbappe (83′) appears to earn PSG a point
Firmino (90′) pops up with dramatic winner
First-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and James Milner gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a deserved 2-1 lead at the break, with Thomas Meunier managing to pull one back for PSG five minutes before half-time.
Kylian Mbappe made the Reds pay for their wasteful in the second half with a late equaliser, but Roberto Firmino stepped off the bench to score a last-gasp winner.
Liverpool made a bright start in front of their home fans and tested Alphonse Areola twice in the opening exchanges.
Virgil van Dijk hit a shot into the ground from 14 yards out on the left that Areola tipped over following a sixth-minute corner, before Milner forced the French keeper to turn his low strike around the right post from 19 yards out moments later.
Joe Gomez went close with a stooping header that only just cleared the crossbar from a corner on the quarter-hour mark, although PSG started to create chances of their own soon afterwards as Neymar went past Trent Alexander-Arnold and forced Alisson to parry his shot, with Edinson Cavani scuffing the rebound to the Brazilian keeper on 17 minutes.
Alisson made another routine save from Angel Di Maria’s tame long-range strike on the left in the 24th minute, while at the other end Sadio Mane couldn’t cap off a fine run into the box on the right as he skewed a left-footed shot well wide of the target from 13 yards out.
The Reds got their reward on the half-hour mark when Sturridge found space between the two opposition defenders to head past Areola from Andrew Robertson’s inch-perfect cross on the left.
The visitors almost caught them napping four minutes later as a corner routine found Mbappe in space, but the French forward fired over from 11 yards out.
But the impetus quickly swung back in the favour of the hosts after Georginio Wijnaldum went down under contact from Juan Bernat inside the area, and Milner slotted the resulting penalty into the bottom-right corner of the net on 36 minutes.
The French champions were back in the contest four minutes later, though, when Meunier steered a first-time past Alisson from 13 yards out after connecting with Bernat’s cross on the left.
Mohamed Salah thought he had restored the hosts’ two-goal cushion on 58 minutes as he tapped home from close range after Areola spilled the ball from Sturridge’s sliding challenge, but the referee blew the striker up for a foul.
Sturridge should have done better three minutes later when he made weak contact with Alexander-Arnold’s cross on the right to see Areola smother his header, while Salah hit a first-time shot wide of the right post from 13 yards out after running onto Van Dijk’s knockdown header on 72 minutes.
Mane wasn’t far away as he flashed a left-footed strike across the face of goal from the narrowest of angles on the right eight minutes from time, but a mistake from Salah let Thomas Tuchel’s troops back in moments later.
Neymar surged towards goal from the Egyptian forward’s stray pass and poked the ball to Mbappe, lashed home from 11 yards out to equalise.
Les Parisiens survived a close scare in the 87th minute when Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick from 19 yards out was deflected onto the frame of the goal, although the Reds made their final chance count as Firmino picked up the ball inside the box on the right and drilled a shot into the bottom-left corner of the net from 14 yards out.