Roberto Firmino handed Liverpool a dramatic late winner as Liverpool stunned Paris Saint-Germain with a 3-2 win on another European glory night at Anfield.
Liverpool looked to have squandered a two-goal lead as a late leveller from Kylian Mbappe appeared to salvage a point that Paris Saint-Germain would hardly have deserved in their Champions League Group C clash.
There is always something special about a European night at Anfield and this Liverpool vintage looked to have opened their European campaign in style, as they appeared comfortable for three-quarters of the game.
First-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and a James Milner penalty were scant reward as Jurgen Klopp’s side were in rampant mood.
It was only a fine goalkeeping display from Alphonse Areole, some wayward finishing and some desperate, last-ditch defending that kept the Reds from celebrating what should have been an emphatic victory.
Liverpool had PSG on the back foot early on and Milner was given all sorts of time to cross for to Virgil Van Dijk, who produced a great save from Areole.
Moments later Milner dug out a stinging shot which Areole did superbly to tip around the post and then Milner legally flattened Neymar with a heavy challenge, which again got the packed Anfield ranks on their feet.
In a frenetic opening, PSG did well to stem the tide. Mo Salah set up Sadio Mane, whose effort from distance was saved, Joe Gomez headed over from a corner and Areole did well to tip Salah’s cross over the bar.
PSG had scored in all their 16 previous Champions League games and were always dangerous on the break. Neymar signalled the warning when almost putting the visitors in front after 16 minutes, getting a shot away after a subtle turn, and while Alisson could only parry, Van Dijk just did enough to thwart Cavani from getting any power on the follow-up.
Mbappe had Liverpool’s defence in trouble with his pace soon after, but rather than go for goal, he waited for support and his pass was cut out. Van Dijk was forced to pull back Mbappe mid-way through the first half and rightly received a caution for his trouble.
Liverpool’s attacks become more sporadic as the half wore on, although Mane should have done better after leaving Neymar in his wake, but his left-foot shot was more erratic than the excellent approach play and went well wide.
But just as PSG thought they had weathered the storm, they went behind on the half-hour. England full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold’s raking cross eluded everyone bar Andrew Robertson, and the Scotland international immediately whipped over a cross that eluded Areole. Daniel Sturridge, making his first start since November 2017, leapt to thump home a header.
Sturridge, whose contribution came to an end with less than 18 minutes remaining, was immense and he received a standing ovation when replaced by Firmino.
PSG had an immediate chance to level when Liverpool fell asleep at a corner and a soft header fell to an unmarked Mbappe who volleyed over from 10 yards.
Six minutes later it was 2-0. Salah broke away but appeared to hold on to the ball too long, and Wijnaldum was forced away from goal. But Juan Bernat, making his Champions League debut for PSG, needlessly fouled the Liverpool man in the area for a clear penalty.
Milner, who was a colossus in the first period, dispatched the powerful spot-kick emphatically past Areole and into the right-hand corner.
In an enthralling first half, five minutes before the break PSG pulled one back after a classic counter-attack, with right-back Thomas Meunier firing home on his weaker left foot from inside the box.
Salah thought he had restored the two-goal advantage in the 57th minute when he slotted home from close range, but his effort was ruled out with Sturridge deemed to have gone in with studs up on the PSG keeper.
Sturridge almost made amends soon after, but his header from a superb Alexander-Arnold cross had the pace taken off it when he headed the ball into the ground and after his departure, Salah wasted another opportunity when firing wide with 16 minutes left.
Liverpool were comfortable with 15 minutes remaining, as PSG had creating few clear-cut chances, thanks to the hustling Reds’ midfield, who stymied most of the creative intent.
As PSG pressed, gaps opened up at the back and Alexander-Arnold was accorded virtually the whole of the right flank at times. Wijnaldum also caused plenty of problems with his powerful runs at the heart of the PSG defence.
Mane was guilty of wasting a good chance with 10 minutes remaining, when dinking the ball over one defender and another, before slashing wide when he should have squared.
And the Reds were punished almost immediately. Salah miss-placed a pass and Mbappe pounced, powering into the area and firing home with seven minutes remaining.
It was a heartbreaker for the Reds, but the Parisians has not counted on substitute Firmino, who turned the game on its head in the 91st minute.
Alexander-Arnold produced a fine run down to drag a defender with him, giving Firmino enough space to blast a shot past the luckless Aureole.
It was no more than Liverpool deserved and the celebrations after this breathless clash will go long into the Anfield night.