Liverpool put their defeat to Tottenham firmly behind them as they made it back-to-back wins in the Europa League.
In a week of controversy involving VAR, wrongly disallowed goals and debates over red cards and replays, Jürgen Klopp’s side finally got to do their talking on the pitch as they beat a spirited Union Saint-Gilloise side at Anfield to go top of Group E.
The Reds started the better of the two sides, as you would expect on a European night at Anfield. They even could have been ahead after just 17 minutes when Mohamed Salah beat his man on the right and squared the ball to Darwin Nunez with the goal gaping. But instead of making it goals in consecutive Europa League matches, the Uruguayan fired wide when it looked easier to score.
Liverpool finally did get the goal they were craving just before HT, however. Goalkeeper Anthony Moris spilled Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fizzing shot in the path of Ryan Gravenberch; the Dutchman reacted quicker than anyone else in the penalty area and fired home for his first Liverpool goal.
Diogo Jota then made sure of the points late on with his fourth goal of the campaign, scoring in the 85th minute or later for the third time in the last four games.
The result makes it eight straight group stage wins on home soil across all European competitions for Liverpool. The Reds have now lost just one of their last 22 Europa League games at Anfield (W16 D5) and moves one step closer to the knockout rounds.
Liverpool's last eight home group stage games in European competition:
Keeping it ? at Anfield. pic.twitter.com/lgCBPuKe3F
— Squawka (@Squawka) October 5, 2023
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After assists against LASK and Leicester, Gravenberch made it three goal involvements in his first three starts for Jürgen Klopp’s side. He becomes the first Liverpool player to either score or assist in his first three starts for the club since Czech striker Milan Baros in 2002, capping off a fine performance.
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) October 5, 2023
The Dutchman, who was replaced by Dominik Szoboszlai in the 79th minute, contested more duels (16), had more shots on target (3) and completed more take-ons (3) than any of his teammates during his time on the pitch, while no player for the home side created more chances (2).
Watching him, you have to wonder why Bayern gave him just three Bundesliga starts in the whole of last season after excelling for Ajax and now showing exactly what he can do for Liverpool. The Dutchman was asked about his first goal for the club by TNT sports at the end of his game and the difference between Liverpool and his time in Germany.
“It’s the best goal of my career so far,” he replied with a huge smile on his face. “Every goal is a goal.
“When you give a player minutes, you give a player confidence, I think that’s it. I’m just enjoying it.
“I think Liverpool did a great job buying such good players. I’m just in such a good mood, I’m very happy today, they [the fans] gave me such a good feeling today.”