Champions League - Group C
Liverpool4Red Star Belgrade0

Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade: Mohamed Salah double helps Reds to big win

Mohamed Salah scores
Mohamed Salah has now scored 50 goals in 65 appearances since joining Liverpool in the summer of 2017

Mohamed Salah scored twice to reach a half-century of Liverpool goals in a comfortable victory over Red Star Belgrade, as the Reds went top of Champions League Group C.

It was a dominant display from the hosts, Roberto Firmino firing in Andy Robertson's cut-back on 20 minutes.

Salah got his first just before the break then added a second to reach an impressive landmark by converting a penalty won by Sadio Mane.

Mane then slotted a fourth goal with 10 minutes to go, having missed another penalty just moments before.

Goalscorers aside, Xherdan Shaqiri proved influential for the hosts - an excellent through ball to Robertson helped set up Firmino's opener and it was the Swiss player's flick that then assisted Salah's first goal.

Firmino, one of five players back in the starting line-up after a depleted Reds side narrowly beat Huddersfield in the league on Saturday, marked his return with his 13th goal in 18 Champions League appearances for the club and his 10th in eight games at Anfield.

Mane was also bright - he linked up well with Salah on numerous occasions and earned his side's first penalty when he got an arm in the face from Red Star captain Filip Stojkovic.

He made up for missing the second penalty - won when El Fardou Ben handled in the area - by sliding in to poke into the bottom corner to make it 4-0, before substitute Adam Lallana was denied a fifth from close range.

For the visitors, Srdan Babic wasted an opportunity from a set-piece when he fired over the bar but Liverpool were dominant throughout and never looked like conceding.

Red Star, bottom of the group with one point from three games, were banned from selling tickets to supporters for the game at Anfield after incidents during and after their team's play-off round tie away to RB Salzburg on 29 August.

Shaqiri impresses as Liverpool's mojo returns

Xherdan Shaqiri and Roberto Firmino
Only Steven Gerrard (30) has scored more goals in the Champions League for Liverpool than Roberto Firmino (13)

Jurgen Klopp's side have not looked quite themselves in recent games - narrowly beating Huddersfield, after draws with Manchester City and Chelsea and a late defeat by Napoli.

But they were definitely in the mood in this game and swept aside a Serbian team competing in the Champions League group stages for the first time in over a decade.

Summer signing from Stoke Shaqiri was excellent, and his superb through ball to Robertson was vital in the opening goal.

He retained his place in the starting XI after picking up the assist against Huddersfield, and set up Salah for the second time in five days with a clever little flick into the box before the break.

A ball over the top after 11 minutes was almost put away by Salah too before goalkeeper Milan Borjan reacted quickly to swallow it up.

Fabinho, handed his first European start in midfield, showed a glimpse of his ability when he lifted a lovely ball over the top which Trent Alexander-Arnold volleyed into the keeper's hands.

And Mane was instrumental in attack after recovering from hand surgery to play with a cast on.

Salah's 49th and 50th goal were greeted with roars from the Anfield crowd as the Egyptian reached his half-century in only 65 games for the club.

Klopp's team taking shape

Enforced changes shaped Liverpool's midfield, injuries to duo Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita meaning Fabinho and Shaqiri were given rare starts alongside Georginio Wijnaldum.

With eight of the players in the starting XI Klopp signings, there was excitement before kick-off to see how a line-up so clearly bearing his stamp would fare.

Fabinho was caught on his heels a little in the opening exchanges but grew into the game, while Wijnaldum and Shaqiri impressed yet again in their midfield roles.

In defence, big money buys Alisson and Virgil van Dijk - wearing the captain's armband again - were the spine in an impressive defensive line-up who kept their seventh clean sheet of the season.

And Klopp's attacking signings - Salah and Mane - were full of goals and creativity going forward.

This team, with the possible addition of Keita in midfield, could be Liverpool's preferred XI by the end of the season.

'I was not in doubt about Salah'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Salah's goalscoring form: "It's good that we can maybe stop talking about that a little bit. I was not in doubt, he was not in doubt, but if you are constantly asked about it, you think something is up."

"We are not through yet. This group obviously stays exciting until the end, I think that was clear from the draw. But you cannot do more than win your own games."

Speaking to BT Sport, he added: "It was a good football game and a deserved win. Fabinho was good from the start - Shaqiri was involved in everything. He is a really nice footballer and that helped. I thought he did really well."

Man of the match - Xherdan Shaqiri

Jurgen Klopp and Xherdan Shaqiri
For £13m, Liverpool look to have picked up a bargain as summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri has impressed in recent performances. He was involved in all of Liverpool's best moves in the first half against Red Star.

Firmino enjoying European nights - the best of the stats

  • Liverpool have scored 48 goals in the Champions League since the start of last season, 10 more than any other side (Real Madrid next on 38).
  • Red Star Belgrade have won just one of their 10 away games against English opposition (D4 L5).
  • Excluding qualifiers, Liverpool are unbeaten in each of their past 17 home games in major European competitions (W12, D5), scoring 43 goals in that time.
  • Since the start of last season, Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in 19 Champions League goals, (12 goals, 7 assists), more than any other player.
  • The Brazilian has been directly involved in 10 goals in his eight Champions League games at Anfield for the club (six goals, four assists).

What's next?

Liverpool host Cardiff in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 BST) hoping to extend their unbeaten run in the league. Their next European action is on Tuesday 6 November, when they travel to Serbia for the reverse fixture with Red Star (17:55 GMT).

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 13Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forMorenoat 82'minutes
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 3Fabinho
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forLallanaat 68'minutes
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané
  • 11SalahSubstituted forSturridgeat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Lovren
  • 7Milner
  • 15Sturridge
  • 18Moreno
  • 20Lallana
  • 22Mignolet
  • 27Origi

Red Star Belgrade

  • 82Borjan
  • 30StojkovicBooked at 50mins
  • 5Degenek
  • 15Babic
  • 77GobeljicBooked at 88mins
  • 7KrsticicBooked at 55mins
  • 3JovicicBooked at 74minsSubstituted forCausicat 75'minutes
  • 31Ben NabouhaneSubstituted forSimicat 81'minutes
  • 11EbecilioSubstituted forJovancicat 65'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 14Srnic
  • 99Boakye

Substitutes

  • 1Popovic
  • 9Pavkov
  • 19Stojiljkovic
  • 20Causic
  • 21Simic
  • 29Jovancic
  • 90Savic
Referee:
Daniel Siebert
Attendance:
53,024

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamRed Star Belgrade
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home21
Away4
Shots on Target
Home11
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away20

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 4, Crvena Zvezda 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 4, Crvena Zvezda 0.

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Roberto Firmino with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Richmond Boakye (Crvena Zvezda) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Filip Stojkovic with a cross.

Attempt missed. Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Virgil van Dijk with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Richmond Boakye.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Milan Borjan.

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Booking

Marko Gobeljic (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marko Gobeljic (Crvena Zvezda).

Booking

Dusan Jovancic (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dusan Jovancic (Crvena Zvezda).

Offside, Liverpool. Adam Lallana tries a through ball, but Alberto Moreno is caught offside.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marko Gobeljic (Crvena Zvezda).

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dusan Jovancic (Crvena Zvezda).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Andrew Robertson.

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge with a through ball.

Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

Dusan Jovancic (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Crvena Zvezda. Veljko Simic replaces El Fardou Ben.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 4, Crvena Zvezda 0. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Nenad Krsticic (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Penalty saved! Sadio Mané (Liverpool) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the top left corner.

Penalty conceded by El Fardou Ben (Crvena Zvezda) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Crvena Zvezda. Goran Causic replaces Branko Jovicic.

Booking

Branko Jovicic (Crvena Zvezda) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Branko Jovicic (Crvena Zvezda).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge replaces Mohamed Salah.

Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

Richmond Boakye (Crvena Zvezda) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marko Gobeljic (Crvena Zvezda).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund33008089
2Atl Madrid320156-16
3Monaco301226-41
4Club Brugge301225-31

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona330010289
2Inter Milan32014406
3Tottenham301258-31
4PSV Eindhoven301238-51

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool32017346
2Napoli31203215
3PSG311110644
4Red Star Belgrade3012110-91

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto32105237
2Schalke31202115
3Galatasaray31113124
4Lokomotiv Moscow300317-60

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax32105147
2Bayern Munich32105147
3Benfica310235-23
4AEK Athens300328-60

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City32016336
2Lyon31207615
3Hoffenheim302167-12
4Shakhtar Donetsk302147-32

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid32015236
2Roma32018356
3CSKA Moscow311135-24
4Viktoria Plzen301239-61

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Juventus33006069
2Man Utd31113124
3Valencia302113-22
4Young Boys301217-61
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