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Maribor 0, Liverpool 7: First Thoughts

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Liverpool with a big win, going top of Group E half way through the group stage.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Maribor 0:
Liverpool 7: Firmino 4’ 54’, Coutinho 13’, Salah 19’ 40’, Oxlade-Chamberlain 86’, Alexander-Arnold 90’

  • Pre-Match Thought: OK, lads. No more excuses. No more playing down to an opponent. Just get out there and smash ‘em. Anything less than three points is unacceptable. Liverpool run out a strong line up: only three changes from the starting XI from the weekend: James Milner in for captain Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold in for Joe Gomez, and Loris Karius in for Simon Mignolet.
  • GOAL! What a start! Inside of four minutes Mohamed Salah wins a ball high up the pitch, drives into the box and picks out Roberto Firmino. The pass was slightly behind, but Bobby managed to get a boot on it and turn it home. 1-0 to the Scousers!
  • Respect to Maribor, they’re showing more bravery than Manchester United showed on the weekend and actually coming out to play. Their press has created difficulties a few times early when Liverpool have tried playing out from the back.
  • GOAL!! Looks like we’ve brought our finishing boots tonight! Salah picked out a James Milner run into the box, and the experienced midfielder centered the ball to a criminally unmarked Philippe Coutinho, whose first time effort easily beat the Maribor keeper.
  • Barely a quarter of an hour gone and Liverpool looking for a third. Firmino flicks a shot just wide of the far post off a corner, and Moreno ripples the side netting with two more close efforts.
  • GOAL!!! All is right in the world again! Life is sunshine, rainbows, ice cream and puppy dogs! In a reverse of the first goal, it was Firmino’s pressing that won the ball in a dangerous spot, and he picked out Salah’s perfectly-timed run into the box. The Egyptian beat the keeper from a tight angle, and the orange-clad reds have a third within twenty minutes.
  • Salah finds the back of the net again, but is just offside. Unluckeeee.
  • This night just keeps getting better: Karius saved Maribor’s first shot on target. Sure, it was weak and hit right at him, but small victories!
  • GOAL! Coutinho picks out Alberto Moreno’s run into the box, and the leftback sends in a peach of a cross for either Firmino and/or Salah to slot home. The two attackers nearly take each other out as Salah taps in from close range.
  • Liverpool nearly give one back on...wait for it...a set piece. Thankfully Maribor’s free header goes wide of the far post, and the clean sheet is preserved. For now.
  • Halftime Thought: That was fun. After more than a month of frustrating results, poor finishing, questionable referee decisions, and Jose Mourinho it’s nice to just go out and smash a team. If Maribor aren’t careful this could go from just a route to an historically ugly night for the Slovenian side. At the half way point, the Reds are halfway to their European record of eight goals. Also, with Sevilla currently on level terms with Spartak, this could be a very good night for Liverpool.
  • Coutinho nearly produces another fantastic goal from a free kick, getting the ball up and over the wall, and on target. However, it was too close to the keeper and he was up to the challenge.
  • GOAL! And it’s five, as Firmino bags a second from a header off a set piece. Emre Can did well to earn a free kick out wide following the save from Coutinho’s free kick. Coutinho delivered this ball as well, finding his compatriot streaking across the near post for the glancing header.
  • No hat trick for Salah tonight. The Egyptian makes way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
  • No hat trick for Bobby tonight, either. Keep ‘em hungry, Kloppo. Firmino comes off for Daniel Sturridge. Go get ya a goal, Danny. They’re plentiful tonight.
  • Liverpool seem to have taken their foot off the gas. Which, fair enough. The game has really slowed down in the second half, especially after the substitutions.
  • With fifteen minutes to play Liverpool make their final substitution, bringing on Dominic Solanke for Georginio Wijnaldum.
  • GOAL! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opens up his Liverpool account after Sturridge picks out his run into the box. Ox takes a touch and slots it past the keeper. Good on ya, Alex.
  • GOAL! It’s not eight, but it’s close. Trent Alexander-Arnold unleashes a vicious shot from the edge of the area that takes a deflection (off an outstretched arm, it must be noted) and into the net. 7-0.
  • Final Whistle Thought: This win was just what the doctor ordered. Maribor made our job easier by coming out and playing, but the Reds still had a lot of work to do to actually finish their chances (for the first time in forever). Hopefully we can carry this momentum into Sunday’s big clash against Spurs, and into the rest of the Champions League Group Stage.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.