Liverpool overcame an early scare and rallied from a goal down to win 3-1 in their debut Europa League Group E match against Austria’s LASK Linz on Thursday.
Liverpool, who last competed in the Europa League in 2015–16 and lost the final 3–1 to Sevilla, were uneasy in the opening period against the tenacious hosts, who are participating in the Europa League group stage for the third time.
Winger Florian Flecker scored an incredible goal for LASK, who is currently third in the Austrian Bundesliga for 2022–23, in the 14th minute by connecting with a corner and blasting it past Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
Later in the first half, Liverpool had a great opportunity to tie the game with a close-range header from Darwin Nunez, but Tobias Lawal, the goalie, made a timely stop.
After the break, though, Nunez equalized for Juergen Klopp’s team, coolly scoring from the penalty spot after the hosts were given one after winger Luis Diaz was brought down inside the box.
Following a fantastic cross from Ryan Gravenberch into the heart of the box, Diaz put Liverpool ahead in the 63rd minute from close range. Two minutes later, substitute Mohamed Salah put the game away with a low shot inside the far post.
Union Saint-Gilloise, last year’s quarterfinalists, held Toulouse to a 1-1 draw at home in the other Group E match.
Bayer Leverkusen defeated Swedish champions Hacken 4-0 at home after scoring twice in the first 16 minutes. Romelu Lukaku’s goal gave 2022-23 runners-up AS Roma a 2-1 victory against Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova.
Villarreal was defeated 2-0 by Panathinaikos, which finished second in the Greek Super League the previous season.
Ludovic Blas, a midfielder for Stade Rennais, scored in the first minute to help his team defeat Maccabi Haifa, the reigning Israeli champions, 3-0.