Reds Navigate a Lackluster European Night
‘Alexa…why do people sometimes call a football game ‘easily forgettable?’ Everyone in Anfield and at home got the answer on wet and cold Thursday night in this one. Union-Saint Gilloise came to sit back and frustrate the home side in this one, yet for the majority of the game it was Liverpool causing the biggest groans. No injuries (that we know of yet), a clean sheet, a couple of goals and some players spared the full 90 should be seen as positive overall. We look at the lessons learned from the first game after a VAR controversy, two goals scored and a third gear performance from the reds.
Smash and Grav
Whilst there weren’t too many who stood out, Ryan Gravenberch was an easy and worthy winner of the man of the match award here. Whilst his first Liverpool goal owed more to poor goalkeeping, it was a deserved reward for another industrious and quality performance from the young Dutchman. With four ball recoveries and nine passes into the final third, the 21 year-old really was everywhere and in his three starts adds that tap-in onto his two assists already. Many reds would like to see him start against Brighton alongside Mac Allister and Szoboszlai with Jones suspended, although Endo going off at half-time maybe suggested something different. If he carries on like this, he’ll be knocking on that door big time.
Big Players Don’t Take Their Chances
This game should really have been done and duetted by the half, with the big players off and a nice stroll though the second half. Mo Salah would have been as surprised as anyone when clean through from a deflection off Gravenberch that he didn’t open the scoring. If he was mystified to not get an assist for Diaz at the weekend, then he’d have been gobsmacked at just how Darwin Nunez managed to miss from point blank in front of the Anfield Road end. Even in the second half, Diaz hit the post with just the keeper to beat and whilst the away side always had set-pieces it should have been done well before Jota’s late strike. Let’s hope they’re saving them for when it matters.
Another Step For Quansah
Every time we see the young 20 year centre-half in a Liverpool shirt, the more impressed reds continue to be. Alongside an excellent Konate, the Warrington born youngster looked his usual composed self and the only critique you could suggest was around a few misplaced passes. The stats tell their own story as he made the most passes on the night (97) whilst making eight recoveries and four interceptions. Well worthy of the Klopp hug he received at the end, Quansah made a few last gap nicks and blocks at key times and will be all the better for 90 minutes here. Liverpool look to have a player of real potential here.