FOOTBALL

Liverpool, Barcelona dig out wins in Champions League

By ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 03, 2019 06:14 AM

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, second left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's third goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Liverpool and Red Bull Salzburg at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press

With Liverpool throwing away a three-goal lead at Anfield and Barcelona trailing at the Nou Camp, two of the favorites for the Champions League title were in a spot of bother in their iconic stadiums on Wednesday.

Then their biggest stars came through.

Mohamed Salah latched onto Roberto Firmino’s flick and cushioned a shot into the net in the 69th minute to earn titleholder Liverpool a 4-3 win over Salzburg.

Luis Suarez was Barcelona’s savior against Inter Milan, equalizing with a brilliant volley in the 58th after pulling away from his markers to the edge of the area and then collecting a pass from Lionel Messi before stroking home a cool finish in the 84th to seal a 2-1 win.

It was a first win for both teams in group play, the victory being especially important for Liverpool after starting the defense of its title with a 2-0 loss at Napoli two weeks ago. Napoli could only draw 0-0 at Genk in their second match in Group E.

Barcelona had opened with a 0-0 draw at Borussia Dortmund in what could prove to be a tight Group F containing three top teams. Dortmund is top on goal difference after winning 2-0 at Slavia Prague.

Ajax, a semifinalist last season, leads Group H after collecting a second straight win by beating Valencia 3-0 away. Chelsea also won, 2-1 at Lille, with Brazil winger Willian volleying in the clinching goal in the 78th minute.

In Group G, Lyon and Zenit St. Petersburg both have four points after wins against Leipzig (2-0) and Benfica (3-1), respectively.

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