R. Standard de Liège scored three goals in 16 second-half minutes to take the initiative in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against FC Salzburg.
The only team with an unblemished group-stage record, Salzburg had initially carried on from where they left off in December, taking the lead through Marc Janko after only four minutes. The prolific Austria striker then added a second before half-time, heaping further misery on Domenico D'Onofrio in only his second game in charge of Standard. Axel Witsel breathed life into the game with a second-half penalty, however, and he added another from open play following Igor De Camargo's equaliser to turn the tie on its head.
Exposed by his defence after the match's first incisive cross, Standard goalkeeper Sinan Bolat – whose dramatic goal against AZ Alkmaar ensured his side's participation in this competition – was left flat-footed as Janko side-footed in from close range to put the visitors in front. Bolat was called upon to repel Christoph Leitgeb and Somen Tchoyi but increasingly became a spectator as the hosts regained their composure to dominate the remainder of the half.
Dieudonné Mbokani hooked Steven Defour's free-kick against the post as Standard's superiority went unrewarded. They were duly punished before the break when Eliaquim Mangala was left bamboozled by the spin of a botched clearance – and Janko pounced with characteristic aplomb. An intermittent threat once again after the break, Standard received the slice of fortune they needed on 66 minutes, Franz Schiemer felling Moussa Traore and Witsel doing the necessary from the spot.
Bolat's acrobatic stop to deny Nikola Pokrivač proved even more pivotal with ten minutes left, when De Camargo unleashed a fierce, dipping shot from 30 metres to restore parity. The turnaround was complete two minutes later as Witsel nimbly headed in Defour's cross.