Anyone who thought that Liverpool’s march to Kiev last season was a flash in the pan will be eating their words after their performance against one of the favourites in the competition, Paris Saint-Germain.
A final score of 3-2 doesn’t really tell the whole story because the Reds were on top for long periods. With Anfield in full voice, European nights don’t really come much better than this.
It can’t be said that the much-lauded trio of, Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe had an off night, because they tried everything to rattle the hosts, but their first goal, when it arrived, was courtesy of right-back Thomas Meunier.
Another Thomas, Tuchel, still has work to do, however, if PSG genuinely want to be Champions League contenders this season.
Both sides initially employed an attacking 4-3-3 formation, and Daniel Sturridge was surprisingly handed a start as the central striker for Liverpool. He repaid Jurgen Klopp’s faith within 30 minutes, giving the Reds a lead which they built on six minutes later from James Milner’s spot-kick.
The game had all the hallmarks of a typical Klopp performance. High pressing, dogged determination in the tackle, hunting in packs until the ball was won back… it’s no wonder the supporters were again in full voice.
Once Tuchel had changed to a 4-1-2-1-2, replacing Cavani with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – surely the best named footballer in the Champions League – it upset the hosts’ balance a little.
Roberto Firmino’s introduction prior to the equaliser hadn’t paid the dividends that Klopp would’ve expected, but the Brazilian certainly cashed in during injury time.
His winner sent the locals crazy but Tuchel was seething. It was simply a game the French side had to win. Another loss in the competition merely hints what they have to do to get the monkey off of their back in this competition.
But, that should by no means take away from the outstanding effort of Klopp’s men. Is there a better central defender in the competition than Virgil Van Dijk for example?
He was a colossus – again – and these are precisely the type of games he signed for Liverpool to play in. His colleagues worked their socks off and it was one of those matches where even if the home side had ended up being beaten, there was nothing the coach or supporters could reproach them for.
Liverpool’s renaissance is building nicely, and perhaps the only thing the coach needs to concern himself with is the expectation levels at the club.
Being talked up in dispatches as potential Premier League winners, even at this early stage, brings its own problems, as does winning against the most expensively assembled outfit in football history.
But those worries are for another time.
The Merseysiders can bask in the glow of a job well done, whilst PSG can go back to France licking their wounds and with their tails firmly between their legs.
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