Champions League: Salah scores brace as Liverpool defeat Red Star
Mohamed Salah scored twice to reach a half-century of Liverpool goals in a comfortable victory over Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.
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 with a penalty won by Sadio Mane.
And Mane slotted a fourth goal with 10 minutes to go after missing 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.