LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez applauds the supporters after the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool becoming “comeback specialists” with Gravenberch signs “encouraging”

Numerous Liverpool players impressed the watching journalists in their 3-1 win over LASK in the Europa League, but one major trait is becoming both a positive and a negative.

The Reds picked up all three points in their first European game of the season, overcoming another slow start and stamping their authority on proceedings.

Having been 1-0 down at half-time on Thursday evening, goals from Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah sealed the victory for Jurgen Klopp‘s team.

Here’s a look at some of the best media reaction to Liverpool’s win.


The Reds recovered yet again, but they need to stop conceding first…

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: LASK's Florian Flecker celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Athletic‘s James Pearce admitted that it was the latest Jekyll and Hyde display by Liverpool:

“Ultimately, their greater class shone through but they made life difficult for themselves against their Austrian hosts.

“It was in keeping with their domestic exploits so far this season — plenty of sloppy mistakes but they showcased their powers of recovery as they finished strongly and repaired the damage that had been done. Just like at Molineux last weekend, they looked like a different team in the second half with much greater urgency and intensity.


“Whatever was said at half-time did the trick. Once Nunez fired them level from the spot, there was an air of inevitability about what followed, especially when you’re bringing on subs of the calibre of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah.

“The goals from Diaz and Salah were shows of genuine quality. Klopp had insisted they would embrace life in the Europa League. They did belatedly. Momentum has been maintained.”

Taking to Twitter, the Echo‘s Paul Gorst highlighted how Liverpool’s depth is helping them produce comebacks at the moment:

“Another game that illustrates the strength in depth available to Klopp now. Like Wolves, a poor first half is salvaged by a much better second, aided by the subs.

“Szoboszlai and Salah both excellent. Second goal was quality from Gravenberch & Diaz. There’s goals in this squad.”

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté, Darwin Núñez and captain Virgil van Dijk during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lewis Steele of the Daily Mail was another who touched upon Liverpool’s slow starts being problematic:

Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool were in the Europa League to ‘compete and not give out opportunities’ when asked this week if the competition was a chance to bleed in youngsters and fringe players. For much of this match, the opposite was the case.

“The Reds handed out lots of opportunities by making 11 changes to the side who beat Wolves last weekend. And they did not compete at all in the first half. Austrian side LASK were stronger, well drilled off the ball and capitalised on Liverpool’s many weaknesses.

“But Klopp’s men continued their Jekyll and Hyde theme of the season, by winning a game after going 1-0 down for the fourth time in the last five matches. After falling behind to a superb strike, two second-half goals in seven minutes put Liverpool into the driving seat.”

Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph sees this ability to come back as an asset for the Reds, though:

“It was tougher than it needed to be, but Liverpool are building a reputation as comeback specialists. In truth, they were a class above their Austrian opponents and it was a bit daft they were behind at half-time.

“The win also means Jurgen Klopp is the first Liverpool manager to win 50 European games. Quite the feat given the stature of his peers.”


This was also a night where a number of players shone…

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Athletic‘s Andy Jones lauded the performance of Ryan Gravenberch:

“For the first 45 minutes, it had not been the debut Gravenberch would have been dreaming of, but the attributes that made Jurgen Klopp want to sign him were on display.

“Time and again the midfielder cleverly positioned himself in pockets of space to receive the ball on the half turn.

“The forward-thinking, ball-progressing midfielder who rose to prominence at Ajax drove Liverpool forward. His tall, wiry frame allowed him to change directly quickly and burst forward at pace.

“There were plenty of nice touches and link-up with his teammates, including a one-two with Harvey Elliott in the first half that nearly put the Dutch international in on goal.”

On Twitter, David Lynch hailed the win, giving a special mention to Gravenberch, too:

“A ropey first half for Liverpool tonight but Jurgen Klopp will have got everything he wanted out of that game: A win, minutes for everyone who needed them, and a hugely encouraging full debut from Ryan Gravenberch.”

This is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado assessed the midfield as a whole, claiming that Gravenberch was the pick of the bunch:

Harvey Elliott has been one of the first off the bench for Jurgen Klopp this season and his performance was…alright, good in parts, but naturally lacking the rhythm and precision that comes from non-stop minutes.

“He was involved in plenty of the team’s better moments and certainly deserved his start after impacting off the bench against Wolves, but it’s hard to really argue he did enough to suggest he’ll be staying in the 11.

“That also goes for the other two, though Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch were at different ends of the ‘effectiveness spectrum’, if we can quickly invent such a thing.

“Endo still looks off the pace, on and off the ball, despite a couple of good moments trying to push the team forward.

“This type of game is hard to shine in for a defensive player – there was no team continuity and there were big spaces. The Japan captain is a way off where he needs to be right now.

“As for the Ryan Gravenberch, he was much more impressive, even claiming a fine assist with a great burst and cross for Luis Diaz.”

“Hopefully, a slight injury is nothing of note beyond fatigue, as his bursts forward, ability to carry the ball and willingness to get into the box all bode well for the future.”

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez scores his side's first equalising goal from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Stats guru Michael Reid focused on the impact of Nunez on Twitter, who continues to link-up brilliantly with Salah:

“All 6 of Darwin Nunez‘s assists for Liverpool have been for Mo Salah. It’s only the third time an LFC player has had 6 consecutive assists all for the same teammate in the Premier League era, along with Collymore for Fowler (1996-1997) and Heskey for Owen (2001-2002).”

Finally, Delgado also had to touch upon Liverpool’s two star men currently: Dominik Szoboszlai and Salah:

“Two off the bench were immediately miles better than everyone else and despite it being obvious, it should be noted.

“LASK were tiring, LASK are not as good, LASK were hanging on a little at the stage Dominik Szoboszlai came on. Nevertheless, the Hungarian immediately strolled through everything.

“He is miles better than most in the Premier League, so this was like park football for him.

“The same can be said for Salah, who created two chances and scored even though he was only on the pitch for about 10 minutes.

“Consistency is massive and these two give it to us, even in short spells of games like this.”