Liverpool sink Maribor to top Group E

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November 02, 2017
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League Group E match against Maribor at Anfield, Liverpool, England yesterday. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

LIVERPOOL, England (AP):

Liverpool cut loose after halftime to beat Maribor 3-0 and take a one-point lead in Group E of the UEFA Champions League yesterday.

Mohamed Salah and Emre Can scored either side of James Milner's missed penalty before a late third by Daniel Sturridge, as Liverpool followed up its 7-0 win over the Slovenian team two weeks ago with another convincing victory at Anfield.

Liverpool can secure a top-two finish and a place in the knockout stage by beating Sevilla on November 21 in the fifth round of games.

Liverpool peppered Maribor's deep-lying defence with crosses in the first half but the visitors held firm, with goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic tipping a deflected header from Roberto Firmino onto the bar.

MISSED PENALTY

The English team attacked with more midfield runners in the second half and finally broke through in the 49th minute when Trent Alexander-Arnold crossed for Salah to deftly flick a low volley past Handanovic.

Milner had been taken off penalty duties this season but, following misses from the spot by Roberto Firmino and Salah in the Premier League, the midfielder regained them when Firmino was tripped by Aleksander Rajcevic.

Handanovic guessed the correct way and tipped Milner's shot onto the post.

The second goal arrived in the 64th when Can exchanged passes with Milner before sidefooting powerfully into the corner.

Sturridge came on as a 74th-minute substitute for Firmino and scored from close range in the 90th.

It mirrored Liverpool's 3-0 win over Huddersfield in the English Premier League last Saturday, with all of the goals coming in the second half then, too, after a lackluster first half.

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