sport news Liverpool 3-0 Maribor: Klopp's side in charge of Group E

Liverpool have been asked to win differently twice in the space of five days. Both times they have answered emphatically. That, rather than the scorelines, fills Jurgen Klopp with renewed optimism.

Manoeuvring Maribor, certainly nowhere near as easy as a fortnight ago, was not the result of furious pressing. Neither was Huddersfield. On Wednesday night a Slovenian lock had to be picked with patience, with more finesse than they are accustom.

When the truly pivotal moment arrived, a second goal putting too much distance between themselves and Darko Milanic's diligent defenders, the was in its simplicity. 

Daniel Sturridge thrashes home from close range to complete the scoring for Liverpool in the 90th minute

Daniel Sturridge thrashes home from close range to complete the scoring for Liverpool in the 90th minute

The England striker celebrates netting his first Champions League goal in seven years and first for Liverpool

The England striker celebrates netting his first Champions League goal in seven years and first for Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can finds the back of the net by putting the finishing touch on a sweeping move by the home side

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can finds the back of the net by putting the finishing touch on a sweeping move by the home side

Emre Can celebrates with his arms oustretched after doubling Liverpool's lead against Maribor on Wednesday night at Anfield

Emre Can celebrates with his arms oustretched after doubling Liverpool's lead against Maribor on Wednesday night at Anfield

Mohamed Salah settled a few nerves among the home supporters after finally putting Liverpool ahead

Mohamed Salah settled a few nerves among the home supporters after finally putting Liverpool ahead

The Egyptian celebrates after finding the net for the 10th time since his big-money move from Roma in the summer

The Egyptian celebrates after finding the net for the 10th time since his big-money move from Roma in the summer

Salah gets down to his knees after diverting Trent Alexander-Arnold's near-post cross beyond the Maribor goalkeeper

Salah gets down to his knees after diverting Trent Alexander-Arnold's near-post cross beyond the Maribor goalkeeper

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE

Liverpool (4-3-3): Karius 6; Alexander-Arnold 7.5, Matip 6, Klavan 6.5, Moreno 7; Can 7.5, Milner 6.5, Wijnaldum 6 (Henderson 17min, 6.5); Salah 8 (Sturridge 74, 6), Firmino 7.5 (Grujic 85), Oxlade-Chamberlain 7

Subs not used: Mignolet, Gomez, Robertson, Solanke

Goalscorers: Salah 49, Can 64, Sturridge 90

Manager: Jurgen Klopp 7

Maribor (5-4-1): Handanovic 7.5; Milec 6.5, Billong 7, Rajcevic 5, Suler 6.5, Pihler 6.5; Hotic 6 (Ahmedi 81), Kabha 6.5, Viler 6.5, Bohar 6 (Bajde 68, 6); Mesanovic 5 (Tavares 58, 6)

Subs not used: Obradovic, Vrhovec, Tavares, Vrsic, Palcic

Booked: Bohar, Rajcevic

Manager: Darko Milanic 6 

Referee: Ivan Kruzliak 7

Emre Can finishes off a flowing Liverpool move after a one-two with James Milner outside the box. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE.

Emre Can finishes off a flowing Liverpool move after a one-two with James Milner outside the box. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE.

 

 

Already a goal ahead, Emre Can searched for a second just before the hour. He drove from midfield, popping a ball into James Milner around 20 yards out.

Milner barely moved, opened up his right foot and carved open the visitors with one gentle pass. Maribor stood in awe as Can ran on and bent beyond the goalkeeper. That finished this as a contest and means only two disastrous results can stop Liverpool progressing to the knockout stages.

They did have to wait. Mohamed Salah's opener had not come until four minutes after half-time and the Reds showcased the sort of composure which has lacked for much of Klopp's two years on Merseyside.

'We are better equipped now,' Klopp said. 'We have everything we need for it. We're missing three (Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane) of the most creative players in the league.'

He did have complaints about the first half, even though Anfield responded positively to their constant, calm probing.

Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno slides in to challenge Maribor's Dino Hotic early on in Wednesday night's game

Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno slides in to challenge Maribor's Dino Hotic early on in Wednesday night's game

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain attempts to get a cross into the Maribor penalty area as Martin Milec looks to block his path

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain attempts to get a cross into the Maribor penalty area as Martin Milec looks to block

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