Mohamed Salah made a goalscoring return as Sadio Mane’s last-gasp penalty secured a 2-1 win for Liverpool against Manchester City at the International Champions Cup in New Jersey.
All eyes were on Salah at a wet MetLife Stadium, where the reigning Premier Golden Boot winner and Player of the Year started on the bench following a World Cup affected by a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid.
And the Egyptian phenomenon – who scored 44 goals in all competitions last season – scored less than a minute after his introduction in the second half, which turned Wednesday’s game on its head.
Salah, with the suggestion of offside, headed past the helpless Joe Hart to cancel out Leroy Sane’s opener after the German put Manchester City ahead six minutes later, while the Liverpool star struck the woodwork moments later.
Sadio Mane wasted two great chances during the closing stages but it did not matter as he stepped up and converted a 94th-minute penalty after Solanke was bundled over.
Loris Karius retained his spot in the XI despite another error in Liverpool’s opening 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund last time out, while Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge also started.
Missing a host of World Cup stars, Pep Guardiola’s City line-up was headlined by club-record signing Riyad Mahrez and Claudio Bravo, with Sane and Bernardo Silva among the substitutes following a 1-0 defeat against Dortmund.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, though City had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the 12th minute when Lukas Nmecha was played in brilliantly by Mahrez but Karius made a good save before the rebound was blazed over the crossbar.
The introductions of Sane and Mane brought the match to life in the second half as Liverpool almost made the breakthrough within three minutes of the restart.