Liverpool are on course to qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds after scoring two second-half goals against Red Bull Salzburg – including a quite outrageous strike from Mohamed Salah.
The reigning European champions required a point to avoid crashing into the Europa League – and they are on course to seal all three thanks to a professional performance away in Austria.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will subsequently book their place in the last 16 along with Napoli, who are 4-0 up against Genk at the Stadio San Paolo.
It was a frantic start to proceedings at the Red Bull Arena, with the talented Erling Braut Haaland and Hwang Hee-Chan both testing Virgil van Dijk early on.
The scoreboard could have read 2-2 after 10 minutes. Salah and Sadio Mane both went close for the visitors, while Alisson was forced to make saves from Hwang and Takumi Minamino.
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Liverpool were living dangerously and Alisson was forced to make another save from Haaland, who had scored 28 goals in just 21 games prior to this fixture, midway through the first half.
But the biggest chance of the first half fell to Salah, who dragged a shot wide of the near post when it looked easier to score.
The Egyptian also missed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock early in the second half after being picked out by Mane. On that occasion, he smashed the ball over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Moments later, the same man spurned yet another chance to score. After finding himself one-on-one with Cican Stankovic, Salah tried to round the Salzburg ‘keeper but was thwarted.
At the opposite end of the pitch, the dangerous Haaland then drilled a shot into the side-netting. Salah was presumably left breathing a massive sigh of relief.
But the Egyptian made amends with an outrageous goal in the 58th minute, doubling Liverpool’s advantage after Naby Keita had scored a minute earlier.
From a seemingly impossible angle with his unfavoured right foot, Salah found the back of the net with a remarkable finish.
Watch it here…
That’s an outrageous finish.
Per Opta Joe, Salah has been involved in 27 Champions League goals for Liverpool (19 goals, 8 assists). Only Lionel Messi (28) has been involved in more since the Egyptian joined the Reds.
Keita’s goal wasn’t quite as impressive but, nevertheless, was just as important.
You can watch his goal here…