Roberto Firmino’s stoppage-time winner secured a dramatic Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain following a pulsating Group C clash at Anfield.
Firmino, who started the game on the substitutes’ bench due to the eye injury sustained against Tottenham at the weekend, won the game two minutes into added time after PSG had fought back from 2-0 down to equalise through Thomas Meunier and Kylian Mbappe.
Despite throwing away the two-goal lead given to them in the first half by Daniel Sturridge and James Milner, Liverpool never looked like losing this group-stage opener against the French champions. But last season’s beaten finalists bounced back from the blow of conceding the equaliser to Mbappe after 83 minutes by claiming the victory that takes them to the top of the group ahead of next month’s trip to Napoli.
Lionel Messi’s eight Champions League hat trick
Curiously, five years to the day after tearing one Dutch team apart, Messi did the same against another Dutch side, Eredivisie champions PSV. And, once again, his first goal was another, as coach Ernesto Valverde called it, “magisterial free kick.” You couldn’t have placed the ball any more in the corner using your hands and a step ladder. Messi then dispatched Ivan Rakitic’s lofted pass with a clinical first-time finish, before wrapping things up with another well-taken goal late in the game.
Atletico Madrid shake off domestic woes for comeback win at Monaco
Atletico Madrid battled their way back from a goal down to pull off a confidence-boosting 2-1 win at AS Monaco in Champions League Group A on Tuesday, with a defiant response to their troubling start to the domestic season.
Atletico have won only one La Liga game so far and their problems at home looked to have followed them into Europe when some haphazard defending allowed forward Samuel Grandsir to score from close range and put the French side ahead in the 18th minute.
Diego Simeone’s side continued to suffer and it took a flying save from goalkeeper Jan Oblak to prevent Jean-Eudes Aholou from doubling Monaco’s lead with a venomous long-range strike.
Diego Costa gave the visitors a lifeline just after the half-hour mark by controlling a clever through ball from Antoine Griezmann and providing a cool finish.
Mauricio Pochettino must restore Tottenham’s confidence after Inter collapse
It is strange to think that just three weeks ago Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest concern was overconfidence, after a winning start to the campaign culminated in a 3-0 triumph at Old Trafford.
Now, after suffering three straight defeats for the first time in his Tottenham tenure, the Argentine finds himself trying to repair damaged morale and inject some belief.
“At 46 years old, loving this game, I understand that some tough periods can arrive,” he said after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss against Inter Milan. “Of course, I am so disappointed because I told you after Manchester United, ‘be careful, be careful,’ and the tough period arrived after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“It is my responsibility to try and change that dynamic, but when the dynamic is not good the most important thing is to work harder than before and be strong.”
After 2-1 defeats against Watford and Liverpool — the latter a scoreline that flattered Spurs, masking the gulf between the sides — it seemed the North Londoners had encountered a vulnerable Inter Milan side at the ideal time. While the Italians have great European pedigree, they are a shadow of their former selves and have lost two of their opening four Serie A fixtures, winning just once. They were placed in Pot 4 for the Champions League draw for a reason.
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