Roberto Firmino struck in the 91st minute of Liverpool’s 2018-19 Champions League opener against PSG to clinch three huge points for the Reds in what could prove to be the competition’s toughest group:
Kylian Mbappe’s 83rd-minute goal appeared to have completed a two-goal PSG comeback. The visitors capitalized on some loose play from Liverpool in midfield, and the French teenager took his chance:
But Firmino danced inside and out, then stung a low drive past Alphonse Areola with two minutes of added time remaining.
Firmino initially had to settle for a place on the bench after having his eye inadvertently gauged by Jan Vertonghen in Liverpool’s Premier League defeat of Spurs over the weekend.
Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur pokes Roberto Firmino of Liverpool in the eye as they battle for the ball. (Getty)
Daniel Sturridge started in Firmino’s place on Tuesday at Anfield, and scored the game’s opener with a header off an Andy Robertson cross. Liverpool then went 2-0 up from the penalty spot.
Thomas Meunier made it 2-1 five minutes before halftime, and Mbappe leveled the score against the run of play late in the second half. But Firmino gave Liverpool what it deserved.
The Reds were better for much of the 90 minutes, bossing around a makeshift PSG midfield of Marquinhos, Angel Di Maria and Adrien Rabiot. In a pattern that has become familiar under Jurgen Klopp, the hosts suffocated PSG attacks at source and won the vast majority of their duels. They could have, and perhaps should have, been more than one goal to the good as the game entered its latter stages. A draw would have been cruel.
A win, on the other hand, is massive in a group that also features Napoli. The Italians played to a stalemate at Red Star Belgrade in their opener. Liverpool, therefore, already has the upper hand.