Roberto Firmino’s last-gasp strike gave Liverpool a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in a thrilling encounter on the opening night of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Tuesday, after Lionel Messi’s latest hat-trick handed Barcelona a winning start.
There were dramatic late goals around Europe, including for Inter Milan against Tottenham Hotspur, and winning starts for several of the leading contenders, with Atletico Madrid battling back to beat Monaco.
But the heavyweight encounter of the evening was at Anfield, and the Group C match between last season’s beaten finalists and the ambitious PSG lived up to expectations.
Liverpool were rewarded for their excellent start as they found themselves two goals up after 36 minutes, Daniel Sturridge getting the opener before James Milner netted a penalty.
But the French champions pulled one back before the interval through Thomas Meunier — the goal allowed to stand despite Edinson Cavani being offside in the build-up.
The two most expensive players in the world then combined for the 83rd-minute equaliser that looked set to earn PSG a draw, Neymar assisting Kylian Mbappe to score.
Those two had not played well though, and Mbappe was caught in possession just before Firmino, on as a substitute, struck the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
“I can’t say enough good things about Bobby. To come off the bench after his injury at the weekend is incredible really,” said Klopp of Firmino, who was poked in the eye by Jan Vertonghen in the weekend win at Spurs.
PSG next face Red Star Belgrade, who marked their return to the big time with a 0-0 draw against Napoli.