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Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Roberto Firmino scores late winner at Anfield

Roberto Firmino came off the bench to score a stoppage time winner as Liverpool claimed a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.

Daniel Sturridge made the most of a rare start by putting Liverpool in front with a powerful header before the Reds doubled there lead just moments late when James Milner converted a penalty after a reckless foul on Georginio Wijnaldum. 

Thomas Meunier pulled one back for the French side just before half-time with a smart finish from inside the box. The Reds thought they had recovered their two-goal lead just before the hour mark when Sturridge was adjuged to have committed a foul on goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Kylian Mbappe struck a late equaliser but Firmino, who suffered an eye injury at Tottenham on Saturday, proved to be the hero. 

Roberto Firmino came off the bench to score a stoppage time winner as Liverpool claimed a 3-2 win over PSG on Tuesday 

Firmino fired a sensational effort low into the bottom corner to gift Liverpool all three points after a thrilling clash

Firmino fired a sensational effort low into the bottom corner to gift Liverpool all three points after a thrilling clash

Daniel Sturridge powers a header into the back of the net to put Liverpool ahead from close range after 30 minutes

The striker, playing instead of Roberto Firmino, wheels away after scoring on his first Champions League start for the Reds

Sturridge performs his trademark dance routine celebration in front of a raucous Kop after opening the scoring

Sturridge performs his trademark dance routine celebration in front of a raucous Kop after opening the scoring

Soon after Liverpool had doubled their lead from the penalty spot after a reckless foul on Georginio Wijnaldum

Soon after Liverpool had doubled their lead from the penalty spot after a reckless foul on Georginio Wijnaldum

James Milner confidently stepped up and once again scored from 12 yards, despite Alphonse Areola guessing correctly

Liverpool's two-goal lead did not last long though as PSG defender Thomas Meunier produced a smart finish to pull one back

Liverpool’s two-goal lead did not last long though as PSG defender Thomas Meunier produced a smart finish to pull one back

Meunier celebrated in front of the traveling PSG supporters and pointed to the badge on his shirt 

Meunier celebrated in front of the traveling PSG supporters and pointed to the badge on his shirt 

Kylian Mbappe scored in the 82nd minute as PSG thought they had earned a point before Firmino struck the decisive blow 

Kylian Mbappe scored in the 82nd minute as PSG thought they had earned a point before Firmino struck the decisive blow 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrate with his match winner on the pitch once the full-time whistle had sounded

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrate with his match winner on the pitch once the full-time whistle had sounded

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE

Liverpool: Alisson 6.5, Alexander-Arnold 7, Gomez 7.5, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 7, Milner 8.5, Wijnaldum 8, Henderson 8, Salah 7, Sturridge 7 (Firmino 71), Mane 7.

Subs not used: Mignolet, Fabinho, Keita, Moreno, Shaqiri, Matip.

Goals: Sturridge 30, Milner 36, Firmino 90+1

Bookings: Van Dijk

Manager: Jurgen Klopp 8

PSG: Areola 7, Meunier 7.5, Kimpembe 6, Thiago Silva 6.5, Bernat 6, Rabiot 5.5, Marquinhos 6, Di Maria 7 (Choupo-Moting 79), Mbappe 8, Cavani (Draxler 79) 5, Neymar 6.

Subs not used: Cibois, Kehrer, Diarra, Nkunku, N’Soki.

Goals: Meunier 40, Mbappe 82

Bookings: Meunier

Manager: Thomas Tuchel 5.5

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir 7

Player ratings by Dominic King at Anfield 

Striker Daniel Sturridge made the most of a rare start by putting Liverpool in front with a powerful header from close range. Click HERE for more from our Match Zone.

Striker Daniel Sturridge made the most of a rare start by putting Liverpool in front with a powerful header from close range. Click HERE for more from our Match Zone.

It is the intensity that sets Liverpool apart on European nights like these. Paris St Germain are not the first opponents, and will certainly not be the last, to ensure a passage of play when they simply cannot contain them. On this occasion it came roughly half an hour in when Liverpool scored twice in six minutes, and PSG seemed completely rattled by the levels of energy and determination they faced.

Forget the goals for a minute. It was around this time that Liverpool players began tackling each other in their determination to retrieve the ball, on two occasions a tackle sending a team-mate clattering to the floor as well as any other upright object in the area. The first time – Jordan Henderson cleaning out Joe Gomez as collateral damage in his desire to shut PSG down – Jurgen Klopp turned to the crowd began his dug-out and punched the air in delight. He did that quite a few times in the opening skirmishes, invariably in response to a crunching tackle – hard but fair, never a foul – that is as much part of his style as that famous trident attack. One challenge, by James Milner on Neymar brought a cheer from Anfield louder than for any incident, bar the goals. The Brazilian rose, gingerly, his pride hurt more than his body. It wasn’t an old-style reducer, because those tended to be fouls. It was just a brilliant tackle, ferocious, committed – and one imagines rather rare in Ligue 1. When Klopp said PSG won’t have faced a team like Liverpool in recent months, this is what he meant.

They won’t have faced too many as magnificently committed to attack, either. PSG’s defender probably enjoy a lot of quiet weekends, against teams so intimidated by their front line they barely think to attack. Within the first 15 minutes of this game, Liverpool had won seven corners. They are truly terrifying in these spells and PSG deserve no little credit for living with them at the back as long as they did. Thiago Silva, the captain, was particularly good – a pity then that it was his resistance that was broken for Liverpool’s opening goal.

Liverpool winger Sadio Mane tries to burst into the box and away from the challenges of Adrien Rabiot and Thiago Silva

Liverpool winger Sadio Mane tries to burst into the box and away from the challenges of Adrien Rabiot and Thiago Silva

French starlet Kylian Mbappe tries to launch an attack as he glides past the challenges of Mane and Jordan Henderson

French starlet Kylian Mbappe tries to launch an attack as he glides past the challenges of Mane and Jordan Henderson

Mohamed Salah and Neymar tussle for the ball in the early stages of the Champions League group match at Anfield

Mohamed Salah and Neymar tussle for the ball in the early stages of the Champions League group match at Anfield

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane tries to produce a piece of skill inside the box but PSG defender  Silva clears the danger

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane tries to produce a piece of skill inside the box but PSG defender Silva clears the danger

The Kop watches on as they welcome Champions League football back to the stadium for the first time this campaign

The Kop watches on as they welcome Champions League football back to the stadium for the first time this campaign

It came after 30 minutes. An overhit cross from the right, collected by Andy Robertson on the left and whipped in first time – Kieran Trippier-style – to be met by Daniel Sturridge with a header that left goalkeeper Alphonse Areola no chance. Sturridge was only included with Roberto Firmino not entirely comfortable after his eye injury, sustained against Tottenham on Saturday. Sturridge does not bring as much to this team as Firmino – it is hard to imagine who would, given Klopp’s demands and the Brazilian’s tireless fulfilment of them – but this was a beautifully take striker’s goal, capitalising on Thiago Silva’s failure to cut out the cross. He celebrated in his trademark style: you may find it annoying – no-one here did.

Momentarily, PSG lost their way. They had worked so hard to resist, indeed looked almost to have ridden the early red wave, and now this. Just six minutes later they were two down, thanks to a truly calamitous piece of defending. There really was no reason for Juan Bernat to trip Georginio Wijnaldum in the penalty area. The space was congested, there was barely a way through, yet the foul was obvious and immediately given by referee Cuneyt Cakir. Milner stepped up and, in front of The Kop, took a perfect penalty. Areola went the right way, but it was low and to his left and targeted with such precision, prescience was no ally.

There could have been more. In the first six minutes we saw the best and worst of Neymar, and the worst almost gifted a goal. Start with the positive: a run that began on the left side of the pitch, skipping challenges, ghosting past despairing opponents, ending up on the opposite flank, before just failing to release his forwards with a through pass. Then, an ease of a different kind that Klopp would never tolerate, just stopping in his tracks as Mohamed Salah fed Milner and the midfielder broke on the right, cutting back a cross that forced Areola into action from a Virgil van Dijk shot.

PSG's resistance to Liverpool's attacking threat broke after half-an-hour as Silva reacts to his side conceding the first goal

PSG’s resistance to Liverpool’s attacking threat broke after half-an-hour as Silva reacts to his side conceding the first goal

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp turns to celebrate with supporters after seeing his side goal into the lead on home soil

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp turns to celebrate with supporters after seeing his side goal into the lead on home soil

Milner continued to perform his penalty-taking duties with confidence and slammed the ball past a helpless Areola

Milner continued to perform his penalty-taking duties with confidence and slammed the ball past a helpless Areola

PSG striker Edinson Cavani vents his frustration at seeing his time fall behind to last season's Champions League finalists

PSG striker Edinson Cavani vents his frustration at seeing his time fall behind to last season’s Champions League finalists

He also tipped one wide from Milner after seven minutes, and just prevented an inswinging corner from Salah entering his net soon after. That Salah removed a layer of clothing before taking the kick says something: it comes to something when a performance from an English club in mid-September is too hot for a man born in Egypt.

That PSG went in at half-time only one down is testament to their powers of recovery as well as Liverpool’s propensity for self-harm. They might have come away with a point against Tottenham having dominated, and they let PSG back in undeservedly here, too. Bernat played the ball to Angel Di Maria and his cross struck Robertson, falling to Thomas Meunier to lash it past Alisson. In a knockout game that could have been fatal. Here, it was largely a disappointing nuisance.

Meunier responded quickest in the box to find the bottom corner of the goal in front of the Anfield Road stand

Meunier responded quickest in the box to find the bottom corner of the goal in front of the Anfield Road stand

Liverpool's summer signing Alisson watches on as Meunier's effort finds the corner and halved the deficit before the break

Liverpool’s summer signing Alisson watches on as Meunier’s effort finds the corner and halved the deficit before the break

Georginio Wijnaldum tries to take the ball of PSG's young defender Presnel Kimpembe in the opening 45 minutes of action

Georginio Wijnaldum tries to take the ball of PSG’s young defender Presnel Kimpembe in the opening 45 minutes of action

Neymar and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold battle for the ball as Salah and Wijnaldum watch the tussle unfold

Neymar and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold battle for the ball as Salah and Wijnaldum watch the tussle unfold

Salah thought he had restored Liverpool's two-goal lead when he tapped into an empty net from close range

Salah thought he had restored Liverpool’s two-goal lead when he tapped into an empty net from close range

The goal was quickly ruled out by the officials though and replays showed Sturridge had clattered goalkeeper Areola

The goal was quickly ruled out by the officials though and replays showed Sturridge had clattered goalkeeper Areola

Roberto Firmino, who sustained an eye injury during the win over Tottenham, replaced Sturridge in the second-half 

Roberto Firmino, who sustained an eye injury during the win over Tottenham, replaced Sturridge in the second-half 

Thomas Tuchel barks instructions at his team as they went in search of another equaliser at Anfield

Thomas Tuchel barks instructions at his team as they went in search of another equaliser at Anfield

They eventually managed to find one when the French team pounced on a loose pass from Salah before going on to score

They eventually managed to find one when the French team pounced on a loose pass from Salah before going on to score

Mbappe celebrates his late goal with the traveling PSG supporters but it did not prove to be good enough to earn a point

Mbappe celebrates his late goal with the traveling PSG supporters but it did not prove to be good enough to earn a point

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