Jurgen Klopp has said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the entire Liverpool team, could have been better despite his brace against Genk in the Champions League.
The midfielder’s low drive put Liverpool in front inside two minutes, and he doubled his tally superbly after the half-time break with the outside of his foot.
How did the Ox get on against Genk? Five things to know…
- Oxlade-Chamberlain made a rare start against Genk and proved his worth.
- The former Arsenal midfielder scored with both of his shots on target.
- His first was a fine low drive and his second a sumptuous curling effort.
- He also completed 100% of the take-ons he attempted.
- Jurgen Klopp could reward him with a start against Tottenham on Sunday.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah added late goals to make the scoreline more convincing before Genk pulled one back in the latter stages of the contest.
But despite the much-needed away victory that ended Liverpool’s dismal group stage form on the road, Klopp was not completely happy with his team’s performance.
The German praised Oxlade-Chamberlain but noted he and his teammates could have been better in Belgium.
“It was absolutely a great moment for him, but I would say with Ox his performance was exactly the same as the performance of the team – the goals were great but all the rest could have been better,” Klopp said.
“That’s how it is, but it’s no problem. The (second) goal was sensational and very important for us. Wonderful.
“On Sunday, Adam (Lallana) scored the goal, and now Ox has scored two goals. It’s really nice. Absolutely great, a great story.”
Klopp went on to explain what Liverpool could have done better as they were quite fortunate to go in at half-time 1-0 up.
He added: “We had good moments, a lot of good moments, and made a very good start.
“Then had another 10 or 15 minutes absolutely okay, exactly as we had to do it.
“The plan worked okay then not any more because we lost completely unexpected balls we were not ready for, which in the formation was not possible.
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“Sometimes we took in the wrong moments a risk, passing a one-two in a very tight situation makes not too much sense.
“We had to defend their balls with legs and had to run for it. They got a bit of momentum which after our start was completely unnecessary but that’s what happened.
“It was a pretty stiff first half. Then we scored the second goal, by the way the first goal was very brilliant and the second goal even nicer, and all our goals were unbelievably beautiful.
“After the second it was a proper knock for Genk it looked like and we scored the third and fourth.
“We conceded one which wasn’t cool but it’s not the biggest problem in the world. We won the game, job done. That’s it.”
Liverpool face Tottenham in the Premier League this weekend aiming to keep up their unbeaten start to the season. Their next Champions League match is against Genk at Anfield next month.