LASK 1 Liverpool 3: Klopp’s side recover from shock early setback as big guns prove their worth against minnows

LASK 1 Liverpool 3: Klopp’s side recover from shock early setback as big guns prove their worth against minnows

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DARWIN NUNEZ and Luis Diaz pulled Jurgen Klopp’s men out of a purple haze to set up another comeback victory.

Boss Klopp looked bemused – just as he had done last Saturday in the clash with Wolves – as his defence fragility once again left them struggling.

Florian Flecker opened the scoring

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Florian Flecker opened the scoringCredit: Reuters
Darwin Nunez levelled the score from the penalty spot in the second half

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Darwin Nunez levelled the score from the penalty spot in the second halfCredit: AP

Just as Molineux they again headed for a tough talking – to at the break a goal down.

Yet the German hailed his team’s resilience then and that guts to battle against the odds showed through once more.

Why, even the score was the same as they dodged another bullet.

But Klopp knows only too well that his £145M summer re-build or not he still faces a major problem to stop the Liverpool leaks.

The continent’s second-tier competition was one of Klopp’s starting points after he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.

By the end of the season he was leading his side out in the final, but only to a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla.

He declared before kick off in the Oberosterreich Arena that the team he took over had “no clue” although he would go on to build one that produced so many triumphs, not the Prem and Champions League titles.

Yet the selection he sent out against LASK didn’t have much of a clue, either, in the way they went behind after 14 minutes.

Liverpool had controlled the ball up to that point but Robet Zujl was allowed a neat turn and shot that was deflected for a corner.

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Luis Diaz fired the Reds into the lead just seven minutes after their equaliser

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Luis Diaz fired the Reds into the lead just seven minutes after their equaliserCredit: Reuters
And Mohamed Salah poked the ball into the net after coming off the bench

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And Mohamed Salah poked the ball into the net after coming off the benchCredit: PA

Sacha Harvath delivered the kick and Florian Flecker had loads of time to lash home a right footer from 18 yards.

Klopp brought in six of his shadow squad for the clash including  17 year old flying machine Ben Doak while midfielder Stefan Bajcetic found himself at right back.

That line – up, clad in all-purple and with £38.5M arrival Ryan Gravenberch starting for the first time, looked good going forward, too .

Yet what Klopp’s “new” Liverpool still has the same familiar problems at the back, as seen during that nightmare first 45 minutes at Molineux before a 3-1 comeback win.

Doak, with Bajcetic, 18, behind him, were being bullied by older more experienced opponents.

On that same right side midfielder Harvey Elliott also struggled in the face of LASK’s while one of those new midfielders, £16.2M Wataru Endo looked swamped.

Liverpool’s best attacking threat came from set pieces in that difficult first half mainly in the form of Virgil van Dijk at set pieces.

The Anfield skipper rose high at the back post to head a corner from Kostas Tsimikas back across the box.

Nunez should have been celebrating in that 36th minute after reacting fastest – only to head straight at goalkeeper Tobias Lawal from three yards.

But he as doing exactly that ten minutes into the second half, however.

Bajcetic displayed the attacking skills Reds fans are more used to seeing as he got to the by-line and drove in a low cross which Luis Dias connected with.

Philip Ziereis blocked the attempt but then used his legs to stop the Liverpool attacker, Nunez then slamming home what was a clear penalty.

Klopp used the moment to replace Doak, Bajcetic and Endo with Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai.

Diaz soon grabbed the lead at the end of a brilliant move started by Nunez with Gravenberch providing the 63rd minute cross..

And Mo Salah got it all sorted a couple of minutes from the end, nut – megging the goalkeepe after replacing Gravenberch.

The score line, once again, looked impressive but once again it told nothing like the whole story, only showed another version of the old one.

Jurgen Klopp looked far from impressed when his side went 1-0 down

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Jurgen Klopp looked far from impressed when his side went 1-0 downCredit: PA

Recap all the action with our live blog below…



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