Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade: Reds romp to victory at Anfield


Liverpool continued their impressive European form against Red Star
Photo: Joe Misseri /Prost Amerika

by Leanne Prescott

Liverpool delivered a top draw performance under the Anfield lights, showing their usual verve in attack to brush past Red Star Belgrade and second their second win of the group stage.

Despite failing to get up to top gear so far this season, Jurgen Klopp’s side produced some heavy metal football when it counted, with the front three brimming in confidence in front of a midfield fuelled by the grit and steel of Fabinho.

Liverpool dominate from the start

Deploying Salah in a central position with Roberto Firmino just off him in the hole, dropping back into midfield when out of position and utilising his creative eye on the ball, Liverpool had much better fortunes than in Italy. Albeit starting the game in rather unfashionable style, struggling to deal with Red Star’s high press, the home side carved out their first opening in the tenth minute.

Some great pressing high up the pitch from Joe Gomez regained possession just outside the box, with Salah’s deft pass to Firmino enabling the Brazilian to get a shot off. However, the shot failed to threaten Borjan in goal, instead cannoning off of Trent Alexander-Arnold in what was a huge let off for the away side.

Ten minutes later and Firmino did have his goal though, curling a beautiful strike into the far corner. Xherdan Shaqiri was the maestro, tracking back 20 yards to regain possession before delivering a perfectly weighted, eye of the needle pass through for Andy Robertson.

Such was the quality of the ball that the Scotsman delivered a first-time cross to Firmino, who set the ball rolling on a rampant night. The goal meant Firmino has now been directly involved in 19 Champions League goals (12 goals, 7 assists), more than any other player.

The Swiss was at the heart of everything good throughout, providing an assist for the second with a stunning touch to Mohamed Salah, who had the ball in the back of the net on either side of half-time.

Salah silences his critics

The Egyptian has come under heavy fire this season after a relatively low-profile campaign but showed his class with a finish on his weaker foot. before doubling his tally after the interval from the spot. With the Red Star defender judged to have shoved Sadio Mane in the face, the referee showed no hesitancy in awarding the penalty.

From then on it was very much  a case of how many for Liverpool, with the home side in the ascendancy and showing plenty of confidence with neat tricks and flicks.

A late penalty in the 76th minute gave a golden opportunity for a fourth goal but Borjan was on hand to make the deftest of touches to push the ball onto the bar. He wouldn’t be denied for long however, slotting the ball home just three minutes later despite pressure from the goalkeeper.

Smooth sailing for the Reds

Liverpool could, and probably should, have scored more with Lallana going close after Sturridge’s through ball before the Englishman’s long-range strike very nearly curled into the top-right hand corner as it did at Stamford Bridge, but it was a routine evening for the Reds, who returned to their usual fluent selves much to the appreciation of the Anfield faithful.

Red Star did have chances, including a counter-attacking move that saw Ben Nabouhane almost poke home from the back post. Boakye set the ball back well to Srnic whose ambitious effort with the outside of his foot almost fell fortuitously to the feet of Nabouhane. However, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were well in control for the majority of the game, showing great pace and power to recover on the odd occasion Red Star did manage to work an opening.

Fabinho and Shaqiri were very much the standouts on the night, both making huge claims for starting places in the coming games, while two goals for Salah will do his confidence the world of good. Liverpool now sit on six points in the Champions League group in great shape to advance to the latter stages of the competition.


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