LASK 1 - 3 Liverpool
LASK: Flecker 14’
Liverpool: Nunez 56’ (pen), Diaz 63’, Salah 88’
The biggest question heading into this match was about how strong Jurgen Klopp would decide to go with his lineup. He somewhat landed in the middle of a strong team and a completely rotated team. Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté were brought back into central defending roles after both missed time recently because of suspension and injury, respectively.
Alisson and Mo Salah were held out of the starting XI, giving Caoimhín Kelleher and Ben Doak their first starts of the season. The midfield was also completely changed from the weekend, with Ryan Gravenberch being given his Liverpool debut.
On the whole, Liverpool were sloppy in the first half and spent most of the time frustrated they were trailing. LASK was able to open the scoring in the 14th minute through a brilliant strike from Florian Flecker. the Austrian wing back received the ball at the top corner of the 18-yard box from a corner kick and absolutely lashed it into Kelleher’s net.
The Reds were able to regain control in the latter parts of the first half and probably felt unlucky to equalize. There was a golden opportunity for Darwin Nunez to score in the 36th minute, but the opposition goalkeeper made a brilliant save.
In typical Liverpool fashion, the Reds were a completely different team in the second half. They began playing like a team well better than their hosts and ratcheted up the pressure early in the second frame. That pressure resulted in Luis Diaz winning a penalty in the 56th minute, one that Nunez would convert.
We even got to see vintage Liverpool on display as they scored from a play that started as a LASK corner kick. The Reds darted on a counter attack involving Nunez and Harvey Elliott linking up, resulting in a gorgeous pass from Gravenberch to Diaz in the 63rd minute. Salah would provide Liverpool a 3rd through his sheer magical play in the 88th minute.
Those three goals proved to be enough for a Liverpool win.
It wasn’t the easiest first 50 minutes or so for Liverpool, but once they found their footing. The quality difference was on full display as the Reds weren’t at their best but they were clearly better than their Austrian hosts. A win away to their toughest rival in the group sets up Liverpool really well the rest of the way.