In the end, the order was restored in Anfield. Three winners had donated to the end of the Champions League game of Liverpool against the Salzburg Red Bull Chaos branch. One had run onto the pitch just before the final whistle, two minutes later. The security staff had problems with the intruders. One of them struck several hooks in front of the Kop grandstand amidst the cheers of the spectators, before the folders brought him down with a courageous grip.
The wild scenes fit the game. Even defending champion Liverpool had temporarily lost control against the naughty guests from Austria. Between the 39th and 60th Minute playful Jürgen Klopp's team a 3-0 lead. After goals from Sadio Mané, Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah, the Champions League newcomers from Salzburg were compensated by Hee-Chan Hwang, Takumi Minamino and Erling Braut Haaland. It is actually Liverpool's specialty to catch up on impossible backlogs. Keyword Barcelona.
In the end, the order was restored. Also in the game. Thanks Salah's second goal, the defending champion won 4: 3 and prevented a total false start in the competition after the 0: 2 prelude in Naples. "In the group stage, it's all about winning," said Klopp. Still, the question remains why the "Champions of Europe", as the fans of the Reds proudly sing this season, has slipped away spectacularly in the meantime.
In defense and midfield, the shortcomings pile up
One of the reasons is that the guests performed well after a respectful start. They showed that the 6-2 win against Genk was due not only to the poor quality of the opponent. The main culprit that shifted the tectonics of the game, however, carried Liverpool itself.
Goalkeeper Adrián almost gave Salzburg a goal when he shot Patson Daka shortly after the break. In central defense, Virgil Van Dijk was less sovereign than usual. His colleague Joe Gomez was always wrong. He showed why he has lost the duel for a regular place with ex-Schalke Joël Matip (against Salzburg struck not here) for the time being.
The midfield failed to serve as a shield for the defense. Hustle and lack of focus seized ownership of Liverpool's game. Only by a conversion of the system and James Milner substitution after the 3: 3, the team regained control.
"A typical Liverpool game"
Klopp was happy afterwards for the spectators. "It was a typical Liverpool game, it was always exciting," he said. Recently, the games are more exciting than the adrenalin junkie from Germany can be. Behind the immaculate record in the Premier League with seven wins from seven games and five points clear at the top of the table for champions Manchester City hide in the fine print a few shortcomings.
Adrián is no substitute for injured goalkeeper Alisson, especially with his foot. The defense has time and again Wackler in the repertoire. That the team is losing control, was already observed in 2-1 at Chelsea one and a half weeks ago. And after the recent 1-0 in promoted Sheffield United Klopp confessed that a draw would have been just as fair. In the Champions League, the opponents manage to take advantage of the shortcomings in Liverpool's fine tuning.
This is not dramatic. Three points after two games is a decent start, especially since the defending champion has already completed the hardest task of the preliminary round with the trip to Naples. But the impression is obvious that Liverpool in the Champions League - subconsciously - is not quite as present as in the league. It is well known that the club yearns for the first championship in 30 years. The missed by millimeters title in the preseason, the desire is even greater. Games as against Salzburg are rather annoying obligatory dates.
That was felt in the mood in Anfield. In the first half it was sometimes so quiet that you could hear Klopp's commands and the shouts of the players down to the press box in the lower tier. The fans cheered the first three hits rather routinely. It became really loud when the spectators were needed. Namely in the wild phase, in which the game got out of control.
Klopp can not do anything with the assumption that the league is more important for the club than the Champions League. He wants to win every game, no matter in which competition. That's his mantra. Against Salzburg he had the best possible Elf come on. Nevertheless, the red supporters agree that the most important game of the week will take place on Saturday. Then Liverpool receives in the Premier League, the strong Leicester City.