Liverpool put in a strong performance against a difficult opponent on Tuesday when they traveled to Austria to battle it out against FC Red Bull Salzburg to make it out of group E. They gave themselves more to do when they failed to finish the job against Napoli last week, but they came away victorious in the end.
The first half was a dicey affair, with Salzburg coming out swinging from the moment the whistle blew. The Austrian side needed to win in order to pip a spot in the top two, and it showed as they peppered Liverpool’s goal in the opening minutes.
The Reds weathered the storm, however, even as they missed some easy chances of their own to get out in front in the first 45. It only took a magical 90 seconds in the second half for Liverpool to score twice and put the game away while also securing the team a second consecutive clean sheet.
After the game, Virgil van Dijk praised his team’s maturity in seeing out the victory and landing at top of group E.
“We had to be ready and we dealt with it and then obviously at the end of the first half we had the opportunities to score for 1-0, maybe 2-0 with Naby but unfortunately we didn’t do that,” van Dijk mused.
“The belief is always there but you have to show how much you really want it. I think especially the second half we can look back good on. The goals we scored were very good, the whole second half I think everyone looked comfortable.
”Obviously at times they broke on us and that’s the quality they have as well and you have to give them credit for that, too, and we dealt with it pretty well.”
The Champion League was the first of three competitions that Liverpool could potentially win or advance through this month. They past this first test with flying colors.