Two of the world's most explosive clubs did not disappoint in their Champions League opener.
Liverpool blew a 2-0 home lead vs. PSG, but Roberto Firmino came off the bench to deliver a stoppage-time winner for the Reds in a 3-2 triumph at Anfield on Tuesday. For all the attacking starpower on both sides, it was Daniel Sturridge and James Milner who staked Liverpool out to their lead. Thomas Meunier pulled one back before halftime and Kylian Mbappe scored the equalizer, but Firmino, who had his eye severely poked in Liverpool's win over Tottenham over the weekend, had the final say.
Liverpool fired the match's first warning shot, and it came, oddly, from center back Virgil van Dijk. Milner found the Dutchman across the box, and he whipped in a sixth minute chance that goalkeeper Alphonse Areola parried to safety.
Areola was called into action a minute later, with Milner the one trying to pick out the lower right-hand corner, only for the keeper to come up with the diving save.
PSG's first chance came in the 17th minute, when Neymar and Cavani both had chances from a similar spot. Angel Di Maria set up Neymar for a close-range effort from the left, one that Alisson parried into Cavani's path. The Uruguayan couldn't direct it with full power, and Alisson made the follow-up save.
Sturridge made good on his opportunity to start at the half-hour mark when he opened the scoring on a header. Andy Robertson kept the ball alive in the final third after an overhit cross, sending in one of his own from the left. Sturridge, who got the start in place of Firmino, was first to it with a powerful header, giving Liverpool the 1-0 lead.
PSG nearly equalized immediately through Mbappe. Off a clever corner kick routine, Mbappe was left unmarked inside the Liverpool box. His first-time chance was overhit, though, sailing over the bar.
PSG was left to rue that moments later. Juan Bernat, the new defensive signing from Bayern Munich, fouled Georginio Wijnaldum in the box, and Milner converted on the ensuing spot kick to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
PSG was able to pull one back soon after. Cavani whiffed on a bicycle kick attempt, but the rebound fell to Thomas Meunier, who hit an expert volley to beat Alisson and bring PSG within 2-1 in the 40th minute.
It appeared that Liverpool had taken a 3-1 lead just before the hour mark, when Salah tapped home into an empty net, but the goal was taken off the board because of what happened moments before. Wijnaldum's cross took a deflection off a defender and flew into the path of Sturridge. PSG's defenders all looked for an offside flag that never came, and Sturridge cleated Areola in the groin as the goalkeeper came off his line to claim the ball. It eventually fell to Salah, who scored, until the referee disallowed it.
Liverpool continued to push for an insurance goal, and it never came, which opened the door for PSG to equalize. And off a Salah turnover in the midfield, that's exactly what PSG did.
Salah's giveaway sparked an immediate counter, with Julian Draxler and Neymar setting up Mbappe in the box. The 19-year-old sensation beat Alisson with a powerful finish, making it 2-2 in the 83rd minute.
Liverpool didn't wilt after conceding, though, and it found a winner through Firmino. The Brazilian star came off the bench and delivered precisely what Jurgen Klopp desired, cutting back on his defender and converting to tuck a low, right-footed opporunity inside the far post and giving Liverpool the 3-2 edge.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
Liverpool continues Champions League play on Matchday 2 when it travels to Napoli, while PSG heads home to host Red Star Belgrade on Oct. 3.