20 July 2024

Unbelievable’ – Sky Sports pundit mocks Liverpool as fresh player footage emerges.

Report as Florian Flecker gives Austrian side LASK lead in 14th minute with stunning strike; Darwin Nunez nets second-half equaliser from penalty spot before Luis Diaz turns in from close range; substitute Mo Salah wraps up opening victory for Liverpool in Europa League Group

 

Luis Diaz celebrates putting Liverpool in front with Ryan Gravenberch against LASK in the Europa League: Luis Diaz celebrates putting Liverpool in front against LASK in the Europa League

Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool will not “fly through” the Europa League after they began their campaign with a turnaround 3-1 victory at Linz ASK thanks to goals from Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Mo Salah.

 

Klopp’s much-changed side once again came from behind to win for the fourth time this season having trailed in matches against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Wolves in the Premier League.

 

Florian Flecker gave LASK, who play in the Austrian Football Bundesliga, a half-time lead with an unstoppable drive from 25 yards in just the 14th minute.

 

However, Nunez dispatched a penalty shortly after the break before Diaz finished off a nice move from Ryan Gravenberch’s cross and then substitute Salah wrapped up the victory two minutes from time by poking the ball home.

 

Player ratings:

Linz ASK: Lawal (6), Ziereis (5), Andrade (5), Luckeneder (6), Flecker (7), Jovicic (6), Horvath (7), Renner (7), Ljubicic (6), Zulj (6), Havel (6).

 

Subs: Mustapha (6), Kone (6), Darboe (n/a), Ba (n/a), Bello (n/a)

 

Liverpool: Kelleher (7), Bajcetic (7), van Dijk (7), Konate (7), Tsimikas (7), Elliott (7), Gravenberch (8), Endo (7), Doak (7), Nunez (8), Diaz (8).

 

Subs: Mac Allister (6), Szoboszlai (6), Gomez (6), Salah (8), Matip (n/a)

 

Player of the Match: Darwin Nunez

 

How Liverpool turned it around again

LASK's Andres Andrade, left, and Liverpool's Darwin Nunez challenge for the ball during the Europa League group E soccer match between Linzer ASK and FC Liverpool in Linz, Austria, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Image: Darwin Nunez hooks an effort at goal during Liverpool’s victory at LASK

Liverpool started slowly and were punished by a clever set-piece routine; Sascha Horvath picked out Flecker on the edge of the penalty area at a corner and after controlling, he powered a superb strike into the bottom left corner.

 

Nunez headed over as Liverpool looked for an immediate response before he was denied by a sensational save from Tobias Lawal, who shifted across his goal quickly to parry away the striker’s header from inside the six-yard box.

 

Team news:

Jurgen Klopp made 11 changes to his Liverpool side which won at Wolves last weekend.

Stefan Bajcetic started at right-back while Ben Doak became the club’s third-youngest player to play in a European game at the age of 17 years and 314 days.

Ryan Gravenberch was given his first start as Virgil van Dijk returned from suspension with Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz starting in the front three.

But Nunez was not to be denied early in the second half. Diaz poked the ball wide from inside the box but won a penalty in the process as he was caught by Philipp Ziereis’ attempted block. Nunez stepped up and slammed the spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

 

Caoimhin Kelleher had work to do in the Liverpool goal, making crucial saves from Elias Havel and then Marin Ljubicic before the visitors went ahead when Gravenberch burst through midfield to receive a pass from Harvey Elliott on the right before delivering a low cross into the middle for Diaz to sweep home.

 

Liverpool never looked like giving up their lead from there and made sure they would return to Merseyside with a victory when Salah poked home through the legs of Lawal.

 

GRAPHIC

Klopp: Players removed frustration to win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “Tough start, yes. Obviously the first shot on target after a set-piece and we

conceded. We had very good moments but I saw the boys didn’t feel that. It was not that we could gain confidence from our good moments – we didn’t seem to think we should do that again.

 

“So we suffered from the less good moments confidence-wise and frustration grew. It makes no sense. Human, but it makes no sense anyway.

 

“We showed them [at half-time] two football situations from the first half where we did pretty well. The boys clearly thought there was nothing good in the first half but that was not true.

 

Luis Diaz put Liverpool in front at LASK

Image: Diaz put Liverpool in front at LASK

“We told them they had to get rid of the frustration getting back into the game again, and then we would have a good chance to turn it around, and that’s what we did eventually.

 

“I’m really, really happy because I said before I knew it would be really difficult, and it was difficult, even if people didn’t believe me. Well-deserved win in the end and that’s it.

 

“I know that people expect us to fly through this competition. In the group stage it will not happen, in the knockout it will not happen. We have to dig in, dig into it.”

 

LASK manager Thomas Sageder: “We played very brave, we were aggressive and we had a chance to score the

second goal but it was only 1-0 at half-time.

 

“In the second half we saw how good a team Liverpool were but we fought to the end.”

 

Opta Stats: Salah matches Henry record

Liverpool have won each of the four games in which they have gone behind in all competitions this season (4 games behind), as many times as they managed in the whole of the 2022/23 campaign (25 games behind).

Mohamed Salah has scored 42 goals in major European competition for Liverpool, the joint-most of any player for an English club (level with Thierry Henry for Arsenal).

Mohamed Salah has either scored or assisted in each of his last 12 games in all competitions for Liverpool, his outright best run of games with goal involvements for the Reds.

All five goal involvements for Luis Díaz in European competition for Liverpool have come away from home (four goals, one assist).

What’s next?

Liverpool host West Ham at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday, kick-off 2pm. Their next Europa League Group E fixture sees them at home against Union SG on Thursday October 5 at 8pm.

 

LASK welcome Hartberg in the Austrian Football Bundesliga on Sunday, kick-off 1.30pm (BST). Their next Europa League match is at Toulouse on October 5, kick-off 8pm.

 

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