Match ends, Liverpool 5, Toulouse 1.
A much-changed Liverpool side continued their perfect record in the Europa League with a ruthless win over French club Toulouse in Group E.
The hosts burst into the lead at Anfield as Diogo Jota skipped past a couple of defenders in the ninth minute before burying the ball into the net.
Toulouse responded through Thijs Dallinga, who was played onside by Trent Alexander-Arnold and able to slot in an equaliser after a 40-yard run.
But stand-in captain Alexander-Arnold quickly made amends, crossing for Wataru Endo who headed home his first Liverpool goal in the 30th minute, before Darwin Nunez blasted in a third to give the Reds a 3-1 lead at half-time.
Midway through the second half Nunez glided past Toulouse keeper Guillaume Restes, but struck the post and was thankful to see Ryan Gravenberch score a fourth on the rebound.
Liverpool ultimately cruised to their win as substitute Mohamed Salah scored a fifth in stoppage time, coolly converting a close-range shot in off the crossbar for his ninth goal of the season.
The win means Liverpool cemented their place at the top of Group E, on nine points after three matches, while Toulouse dropped to third, five points off the Reds.
Gravenberch and Endo impress for Reds
Liverpool’s focus is undoubtedly on their league campaign, the Reds are three points off top spot.
Jurgen Klopp made eight changes from the side that beat Everton at the weekend, with one eye on Sunday’s Premier League match with Nottingham Forest.
Nevertheless, his second string were still clinical, intense and clearly a level above the French Cup winners, with midfielders Endo and Gravenberch particularly impressive.
There was also a first start for teenager Luke Chambers and debuts for substitutes Callum Scanlon and James McConnell while Cody Gakpo returned to action after a month out, coming off the bench midway through the second half.
Liverpool, while creating constant chances, did leave gaps at the back and almost conceded straight after the restart when goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher gave the ball away, only for Toulouse’s Gabriel Suazo to have his shot blocked on the line by Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds though entertained throughout their win and will advance to the knockouts with two matches to spare if they beat Toulouse in their next Europa League game in two week’s time.
- 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forGakpoat 67′minutes
- 44ChambersSubstituted forQuansahat 67′minutes
- 17JonesSubstituted forMcConnellat 89′minutes
- 38GravenberchSubstituted forSalahat 70′minutes
- 19ElliottBooked at 75mins
- 9NúñezSubstituted forScanlonat 66′minutes
- 4van Dijk
- 10Mac Allister
- 3DeslerSubstituted forKamanziat 73′minutes
- 6Evans Costa
- 17SuazoSubstituted forMagriat 67′minutes
- 24CásseresSubstituted forGelabertat 67′minutes
- 15DønnumSubstituted forGenreauat 67′minutes
- 9DallingaSubstituted forBegraouiat 80′minutes
- 13Mawissa Elebi
Second Half ends, Liverpool 5, Toulouse 1.
Goal! Liverpool 5, Toulouse 1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Cody Gakpo following a fast break.
Attempt missed. Joe Gomez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wataru Endo.
Jarell Quansah (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Frank Magri (Toulouse).
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Moussa Diarra (Toulouse).
Substitution, Liverpool. James McConnell replaces Curtis Jones.
Attempt missed. Niklas Schmidt (Toulouse) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Yanis Begraoui.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match (Liverpool).
Foul by Joël Matip (Liverpool).
César Gelabert (Toulouse) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Yanis Begraoui (Toulouse) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by César Gelabert.
Substitution, Toulouse. Yanis Begraoui replaces Thijs Dallinga.
Attempt saved. César Gelabert (Toulouse) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Denis Genreau.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Moussa Diarra (Toulouse).
Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
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