Liverpool and Chelsea recorded contrasting wins in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The defending champions Liverpool survived a fightback from the visitors Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield to win 4 – 3. Liverpool took the lead as early as the ninth minute, Roberto Firmino providing the pass for Sadio Mané to convert with a right-foot shot. Then a flowing move involving both full-backs saw Trent Alexander-Arnold provide the cross for Andy Robertson to side-foot home. And then Mo Salah added a third when Salzburg keeper Cican Stanković could only palm a header from Firmino straight to his feet.
At the point the match already seemed over, but Salzburg then pulled a goal back before half-time through Hwang Hee-Chaw low shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area.
Then Salzburg scored again after the resumption through Takumi Minamino who drilled in a low shot, and the comeback was complete when Erling Braut Haaland, just on a substitute, netted from close range. However, Liverpool had the final say when Firmino’s ball found Salah, who thumped in what proved to be the winner.
Chelsea beat Ligue 1 side Lille 2 -1 in Northern France. It was Chelsea who took the lead through Tammy Abraham who scored his first Champions League goal, bringing down a cross from Fikoyo Timori, before adjusting his feet, and slotting the ball into the corner of the net. However, the lead lasted only 11 minutes before the home side equalised through Victor Osimhen’s header.
Lille went close when Benjamin André’s header was tipped around the post by Chelsea keeper Kepa, but Chelsea scored, what proved to be the decisive goal, when Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross was met at the far post by Willian, who controlled his volley down into the turf, finding the back of the net.
Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan at the Nou Camp 2 – 1. Inter took an early lead when Latero Martínez latched onto a through ball and drilled his left foot shot past Mar-André ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal. Martínez went close again to adding a second, but ter Stegen did well to keep out his downward header.
Barcelona strived for an equaliser, and it finally came when Luis Suárez produced a spectacular volley after a cross from substitute Arturo Vidal. And then Lionel Messi set up Suárez again, who beat a defender, before blasting in the winner.
Last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Ajax, produced a highly impressive display in travelling to Spain and beating Valencia 3 – 0 in front of their home fans. Ajax took the lead through Hakim Ziyech who found the top corner from 25 yards. Valencia captain Dani Pajero then missed a penalty before Ajax doubled their advantage courtesy of Quincy Promes. Valencia hit the woodwork through Rodrigo, but the Dutch side wrapped-up proceedings when Donny van der Beek ran on to a pass from Dušan Tadić to score the third.