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Liverpool 3, Maribor 0: First Thoughts

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Liverpool overcome another uneventful first half to win easily in the end.

Liverpool FC v NK Maribor - UEFA Champions League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool 3: Salah 49’, Can 64’, Sturridge 90’
Maribor 0:

  • Pre-Match Thought: Liverpool make three changes from the 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the weekend: Loris Karius in for Simon Mignolet, Emre Can in for captain Jordan Henderson, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in for Daniel Sturridge. Hopefully it’s a chance for OxFamChamBlud to make a case for himself. He’s been pretty good off the bench in the last several outings, including opening up his Liverpool account last time out against Maribor. More of that please!
  • Oh dear. Georginio Wijnaldum pulls up without any contact after a quarter of an hour gone, and has to make way for Henderson. Hopefully it’s not too serious, though not with our luck.
  • With 25-minutes gone I think it’s safe to say that Liverpool are not out to the same flying start that they had last time out. The home side has thus far enjoyed over 80% of the possession, but has yet to create any shots on target.
  • Ox puts in a dangerous cross for Firmino, and the Brazilian’s header would have opened the scoring were it not for an excellent save from the Maribor keeper, tipping it onto the bar and out of play.
  • Emre Can with a big miss. The German midfielder got a free run at a header in the box, but mis-times his jump, putting the shot over the bar.
  • Halftime Thought: Well, that 7-0 win last time out is seeming even more impressive now. Liverpool have continued having the lion’s share of the possession, but haven’t created many great chances. The ones we have created have come through the air with crosses, so if it remains deadlocked, watch for a Dominic Solanke appearance (hopefully sooner rather than later). In other action Sevilla leads Spartak 1-0. The La Liga squad would top the group if results hold.
  • GOAL! Liverpool finally get the breakthrough they’ve deserved. Trent Alexander-Arnold put in an absolute peach of a cross, and Mohamed Salah found the target with a nifty flick, beating the keeper. 1-0 to the Scousers!
  • Penalty! Firmino absolutely embarrassed the Maribor defender, who made up for his mistake by hauling down the Brazilian in the box. Easy decision.
  • Missed. James Milner, apparently back on penalites, has a...less than great take (weak and too central) and the keeper guessed correctly. Our spot woes continue.
  • Liverpool follow up the miss with a couple of more great chances in quick succession. Firmino has a point-blank shot saved by the keeper and Salah puts a free header over the bar. It would be very nice if we don’t regret these misses at the end of the night. Please and thank you.
  • GOAL!! Emre Can plays a 1-2 with Milner at the edge of the area, and the German international hammers home a blistering shot into the near lower corner.
  • Salah makes way for Daniel Sturridge. Go get ya a goal, Danny!
  • Marko Grujic is now coming on for Firmino.
  • GOAL!!! With the clock approaching full time, Liverpool win a corner. A poor defensive header falls to Sturridge (sound familiar?), who buries it.
  • Final Whistle Thought: Much like the last time out, a lackluster a scoreless draw at the half turns into a relatively easy win in the end. It wasn’t the 7-0 goal fest that the reverse fixture was, but it was what we needed at the end of the day. Liverpool now lead the group, and with a +10 goal differential, no less.

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.