LINZ, Austria — Second-half substitute Mohamed Salah scored late in the game as Liverpool came back from behind to beat LASK 3-1 in Linz in the UEFA Europa League.
The Reds fell behind for the fourth time in five matches this season
Liverpool, playing in the Europa League for the first time since finishing runners up in 2016, changed their entire starting 11 away to LASK and quickly fell behind.
In the 14th minute, Sascha Horvath lobbed a corner to Florian Flecker just outside the Liverpool box. The Austrian midfielder controlled the dropping ball before smashing a rocket shot past Caoimhin Kelleher in the Liverpool goal.
Darwin Nunez levelled with a 55th-minute penalty kick after Luis Diaz was brought down.
After 61 minutes, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp started to replace teenagers with regular starters.
Within two minutes they were ahead when Ryan Gravenberch burst down the right and crossed low for Diaz to score from close range.
Two minutes from the end Salah, a second-half replacement, poked home a third.
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.
In Moldova, Leandro Paredes scored four minutes into first-half injury time to give Roma the lead away to Sheriff.
Colombian Cristian Tovar levelled but Romelu Lukaku gave Jose Mourinho’s team a narrow victory.
Florian Flecker beat backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher off a corner kick in the 14th minute for the opener against Liverpool, a three-time winner of the second-tier European competition.
The visitors equalized when Darwin Núñez scored on a penalty kick 11 minutes into the second half after Philipp Ziereis fouled Díaz.
Liverpool manager made 11 changes in his starting lineup from the 3-1 comeback victory over Wolverhampton on Saturday in the English Premier League.
It was a return to the second-tier competition for the Reds for the first time since losing 3-1 to Sevilla in the 2016 final in Basel in Klopp´s first season at Anfield.
In another Group E game, Union Saint-Gilloise and Toulouse drew 1-1.
Romelu Lukaku scored the second-half winner for last year´s runner up Roma in Group G in a 2-1 victory over Sheriff in Tiraspol. It was Lukaku’s second goal since joining from Chelsea.
Earlier, substitute midfielder Leandro Paredes netted from a deflected free kick in first-half stoppage time to give the visitors a 1-0 lead before Cristian Tovar evened it in the second half.
Roma, coached by Jose Mourinho, is trying to reach its third straight European final.
Also in Group G, Slavia Prague took home three points from Geneva after beating Servette 2-0.
Ludovic Blas scored the first goal in the competition this season in the second minute to help Rennes beat Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in Group F. In the group´s other game, Panathinaikos defeated Villarreal, the 2021 Europa League champion, 2-0.
In Group H, Florian Wirtz, Aminde Adli, Victor Boniface and substitute Jonas Hofmann had a goal each for Leverkusen to rout Sweden´s newcomer Häcken 4-0.
EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE
Albanian forward Ernest Muci netted twice in the second half in Warsaw as Legia beat Aston Villa 3-2 to spoil the English team’s return to the the group stage of a European competition for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Villa, the 1982 European Cup winners, had to come from a goal down twice in the first half in the Group E game.
Villa forward Jhon Duran headed in an equalizer just three minutes after Pawel Wszolek put the hosts ahead in the third minute. Muçi made it 2-1 in the 26th with his first before defender Lucas Digne made it 2-2 later on.
In the other group’s game, Zrinjski made a victorious debut for a club from Bosnia in Europe with a 4-3 win over Alkmaar.
In Group F, last year´s runner-up Fiorentina started its campaign with a 2-2 draw at Genk in Belgium. Defender Luca Ranieri headed home twice for his first two goals for the Italian team.
In Group G, Eintracht Frankfurt opened with a 2-1 over Aberdeen.