For 45 minutes, Liverpool seemed to struggle to assert themselves in Belgium. An early, low strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had hinted that a potential mauling was on the cards for Jürgen Klopp’s outfit.
However, for the rest of the opening period Genk carried as much threat as the visiting side. Alisson- on his first European appearance of the season- making a few important saves.
After Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the scoring through a sublime dink with the outside of his right boot on the hour, Liverpool started to run rampant. Both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah were able to add to the scoresheet before the Belgian outfit found a late consolation to end the tie 4-1.
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Liverpool’s first away win in a Champions League group game in two years was a pleasing one, even if defensive frailties did prompt concern throughout.
Clearly, the Ox impressed, but who else stood out? Here are your Wednesday night ratings.
Alisson 7.5 — Key stop when Onuachu had found himself onside early on.
Milly 6.5 — Always looks a greater offensive threat at left-back than on the right. Was lucky the Genk equaliser was ruled out after he had initially been beaten in the air.
Degsy 6 — Really struggled to deal with the long, aerial ball before the break. Better second half though.
Virg 6.5 — Not at his absolute flawless best defensively, at the moment. Looked delightful when carrying the ball into midfield at times, though.
Robbo 7 — Consistent threat bombing up the left flank and when combining with Sadio Mané. Must hope he was merely taken off as a caution.
Ox 8.5 — First goal was good, second goal was unbelievable. Arguably the most impressive technical finish from a Red since Emre Can’s overhead kick against Watford. Sprayed a few brilliant knocks across the pitch, too. It looks- let’s hope- like the Ox is returning to the form he showcased pre-injury. Man of the Match.
Fabinho 7 — Solid base in midfield, although Genk found the long ball could bypass him. Played fewer Hollywood passes than we are often treated to- perhaps due to the increased creativity across the rest of the midfield.
Naby 7 — Carried the ball forward well, although a few misplaced passes could have led to counter-attacks against better teams. Technically found two assists, even if the credit for those lies with the scorer, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Salah 7.5 — Struggled to find a final ball in the first half, but Klopp kept his Egyptian on the pitch, and Salah’s right-footed finish after an expert turn will do him the world of good. Assisted Sadio Mane’s chip, too — friends again!
Firmino 7 — Ridiculous rabona flick could have been converted by Mané. Other than that, it felt like the Brazilian was on the verge of brilliance throughout, even if this potential was never quite realised.
Mané 8.5 — The Anfield side’s most dangerous player before the interval, and Liverpool’s number ten capped his performance off with a delightful scoop over the Genk ‘keeper.
Gomez 6 — Booked after replacing the (hopefully not) injured Andrew Robertson.
Gini 7 — Won back possession to create the third.
Divock 6.5 — Standard Divock cameo, minus the lack of an extraordinary and dramatic late winner.