UCL: Salah hits brace in dominant Liverpool win as Barca soar without Messi


UCL: Salah hits brace in dominant Liverpool win as Barca soar without Messi
 
Liverpool returned to the top of their Uefa Champions League group with a 4-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade at Anfield, with the goals scored by their fearsome attacking trident of Roberto Firmino, Saido Mane and Mohammed Salah.
 
The Reds dominated from start and went ahead on 20 minutes through Firmino. The Brazilian striker controlled Andrew Robertson’s cross before dispatching for his 14th UCL goal for Liverpool.

Salah wasted good openings to double the lead as the Egyptian striker who has yet to replicate last season’s form could not maintain composure in front of goal. He, however, got Anfield rocking on the stroke of halftime after latching onto Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass with a finish beyond the keeper at his near post for a 2-0 lead.

The Reds continued where they left off after the break and extended their lead through a soft penalty call. Saido Mane went down after feeling Red Star skipper Filip Stojkovic’s arm around his face and Mo Salah happily converted the spot kick for his brace- his 50th goal in 65 Liverpool games.

Liverpool were awarded another spot kick for a handball but Mane’s kick was saved. The Senegalese made amends a few minutes later, converting Daniel Sturridge’s pass for the final goal in the 4-0 rout.

Liverpool’s group rivals, PSG and Napoli, played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Pac des Princes, with Angel di Maria snatching a point for Thomas Tuchel’s men with a curling strike in injury time.

Lorenzo Insigne opened scoring for Napoli on 29 minutes but an own goal restored parity early in the second half. Dries Mertens’ strike 13 minutes from time seemed to have clinched the game for Carlo Ancelotti on his return to France but Di Maria’s beauty rescued the French champions.

In Spain, Barcelona won 2-0 against Inter Milan at Camp Nou to make it three straight wins in the group stage.

In the absence of their injured captain, Lionel Messi, goals from Rafinha and Jordi Alba made sure the Argentine had a good night’s rest. The Catalans have been known to struggle without the leadership of the five-time Balon d’Or winner, but the duo of Ivan Rakitic and Philip Coutinho stepped up in his absence to defeat the Italians.

Barcelona’s Spanish counterpart, Atletico Madrid, were not so lucky as they were mauled 4-0 by Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park in Germany. Goals from Axel Witsel, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro (brace) consigned Atletico Madrid to their heaviest defeat under coach Diego Simeone.

RESULTS

Club Brugge 1 – 1 Monaco

PSV Eindhoven 2 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Borussia Dortmund 4 – 0 Atlético Madrid

Barcelona 2 – 0 Internazionale Milan

PSG 2 – 2 Napoli

Liverpool 4 – 0 Red Star Belgrade

Lokomotiv Moskva 1 – 3 Porto

Galatasaray 0 – 0 Schalke 04



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