Liverpool beat Genk 2-1 at Anfield on Tuesday night and the match-winner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, believes he has more to offer Jurgen Klopp’s side as he gets back near his best.
Despite Liverpool’s dominance, the teams were level at 1-1 going in at half-time. Oxlade-Chamberlain popped up with an excellent low finish, on the turn, to put The Reds back in front in the 53rd minute. His goal was the difference at the end and ensured Liverpool went top of their Champions League group after Napoli and RB Salzburg played out a 1-1 draw in Italy.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com after the win, Oxlade-Chamberlain insisted that he’s still only getting back to his best and not fully there yet.
“I feel like I’m getting better.
“But when I took one on the ankle and went down, I was a bit disappointed because usually when I feel sharp I manage to get past him there.
“I maybe underestimated him a little bit but they’re the type of moments where I feel like I’ve not just quite got that fully back yet. I feel like a need to be sharper in those moments to burst through and get running, change things and break lines.
“I think that’s coming and I’m getting my feeling back with that. I’ve been trying to sort of dribble a bit more and get that side of my game back because that sort of stuff can take a bit of a while when you’ve been out for a while.
“Overall, I think there’s more to come from me for sure. To get into the team you’ve got to be able to press in a certain way with a certain intensity.”
With a selfless nod of appreciation to Klopp’s regular midfield trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, Liverpool’s number 15 explained the levels of pressing and intensity he needs to display to have any chance of gaining back a regular first-team place.
“I take the Tottenham game, the way that Gini, Hendo and Fab did it in that game was brilliant and even the boys up front as well were second to none. So you look at that and they’re the sort of standards that we set for that.
“If you’re not sort of hitting those standards then you’ll struggle to get a game regularly, so I’ve been battling to try to get that side of things back. I think I can improve on that.
“Also on my attacking as well, I think I can improve on that, but I’m confident it will come and I’ll keep working as hard as I can. I’ll make sure it comes.
“That’s all I can do and in the meantime, it’s just good to be back and involved and helping the boys win and keep this team moving forward in any way I can, like everyone does. I think it’s coming but I’m not there yet.”
Liverpool have the biggest game of their season this Sunday when they welcome Manchester City to Anfield for a titanic Premier League clash. Only time will tell if Oxlade-Chamberlain has done enough in recent weeks to get in Klopp’s first eleven.
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