Liverpool 5 - 1 Toulouse
European Reds: Jota 9’, Endo 31’, Núñez 34’, Gravenberch 65’, Salah 90+3
Les Violets: Dallinga 16’
It’s an exciting lineup with both Jones and Elliott getting the start, possibly in something resembling a 4-4-2, and academy player Luke Chambers getting a call up from the academy to fill in at left back.
Liverpool are, unsurprisingly, on top early, keeping possession and building play from the back. Not even ten minutes in and Jota goes an a phenomenal solo run, nutmegging a defender on the way toward scoring the opener!
The visitors aren’t going to go quietly into the good night, and score a frustratingly easy goal by beating a rather poorly executed offside trap.
Endo opens up his Liverpool account after quite a few minutes of sustained pressure from the home side. It’s a fantastic header from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross to reclaim the lead.
And a few minutes later Darwin doubles the lead with the most emphatic finish you’ll see. Shocked the it didn’t actually punch a hole in the roof of the net.
Liverpool go into the break leading 3-1, and firmly in the driver’s seat of Group E. If the results stand, the Reds will be 5 points up with 3 group matches to go.
Not much happened in the first 20 minutes of the half. Then Darwin did the most Darwin thing: humiliated the entire Toulouse defense (one defender’s soul could be seen leaving his body, doomed to wander Anfield in search of The Echo forever), and then banged it off the post after rounding the keeper. But Gravenberch netted the rebound. So.
Klopp immediately hooks Darwin (who, like the rest of us, is still laughing), along with Trent and Chambers. Quansah, Gakpo, and Calum Scanlon come on. A moment later Gravenberch comes off for Mo Salah, with both players getting the love they deserve.
Klopp makes his final sub in the waning minutes, bringing on another academy player, James McConnell, for Curtis Jones.
And Salah scores. Because of course. With his right foot off the underside of the crossbar. Because why not?
Liverpool go five points clear at the top of Group E, and make it look E-asy (sorry not sorry). The Reds are simply too good for this competition, especially at these early stages. But we’re having fun!