It was simply a case of “job done” for Liverpool’s players as they emerged as 2-1 victors over Genk, with focus now shifting to Man City‘s visit.
The Reds returned to Anfield on Tuesday evening with moving on step closer to the last 16 of the Champions League at the top of the agenda.
And while Jurgen Klopp’s side emerged as 4-1 victors over Genk in their previous meeting, the tough nature of the outing ensured a rotated-Liverpool side would not have it all their way.
The Reds dominated both possession and territory and Gini Wijnaldum’s close-range effort early in the piece made sure their superiority was reflected on the scoreboard.
But having then missed a flurry of chances to put the game out of reach, the visitors struck on the cusp of half-time as their first meaningful attack saw Mbwana Samatta power his header into the net uncontested.
The two teams were not on equal footing for long, however, as Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined to devastating effect after the break, with the latter turning on a sixpence and drilling the ball into the corner of the net in a rare finish from inside the box.
It was a rather subdued performance from the Reds with their previous dramatic encounters in mind, but three points in the bank coupled with Napoli’s draw with Salzburg means Klopp’s side sit atop of Group E with two games remaining.
And for Wijnaldum, who spoke to LFCTV after the final whistle, it was a game he acknowledged was one where “not everything was right” having allowed Genk to gain confidence.
But the Dutchman commended his sides’ fighting spirit which ensured another win was added to Liverpool’s tally, while also commenting on the presence of VAR which made him second-guess if his goal would be given the green light:
“We didn’t expect anything different, we expected what happened. Of course, we helped them getting confidence in the game with the goal they scored.
“We didn’t do everything right and they could play their game, but we expect every game we play this season to be hard. We have to play with 100 percent concentration. We don’t have easy games.
“Sometimes it looks easy because we do all the things right, but even that’s hard because it’s a lot of energy and a lot of concentration with the way we want to play. Sometimes it just looks easy because we do everything right and score the goals.
“Today not everything was right, but we had to fight until the end and in the end, we had the three points.
“I thought it was offside! I didn’t celebrate immediately because you know with the VAR these days you celebrate, and you didn’t score.
“I was waiting but, in the end, it was a goal! It’s always tricky when you celebrate and in the end, you hear it’s not a goal.”
Following the final whistle, the squad took to Instagram to celebrate the victory which places the Reds on the cusp of qualification to the knockout rounds.
For Trent Alexander-Arnold there were “no fireworks” on the pitch to match those consistently going off around Anfield on Bonfire Night, but nevertheless, it was another “good win:”
Alisson, Divock Origi and Naby Keita, meanwhile, were delighted with another victory under the belt:
It was a case of “job done” for James Milner, Dejan Lovren and Oxlade-Chamberlain as they started to turn their attention to Man City’s upcoming visit:
And the latter’s winning goal had Andy Robertson humorously applauding his ability to “score inside the box,” while Wijnaldum was “happy to score and even happier to pick up three points:”
The victory over Genk ensures Liverpool’s winning run in all competitions stretches to five, with confidence and belief at an all-time high with three of those victories arriving in dramatic fashion.
Liverpool will, therefore, head into the Premier League showdown with Man City with the wind in their sails and an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points.