Home Soccer Liverpool’s much-needed win boosts UCL hopes, as Nunez struggles for form

Liverpool’s much-needed win boosts UCL hopes, as Nunez struggles for form


LIVERPOOL — Jurgen Klopp’s team improved their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages after a 2-0 win over Rangers at Anfield.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a stunning free kick after being criticized lately for defensive errors. Luis Diaz called a second-half foul in the penalty area, which was then converted by Mohamed Salah to seal Liverpool’s victory.

The Rangers are in terrible shape as they sit bottom of their group and have failed to score in any of their three Champions League matches this season.

JUMP ON: Player Ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and Notable Moments | Post match quotes | Key statistics | Upcoming matches

Fast reaction:

1. Liverpool made it easier for Rangers to boost Champions League hopes

Liverpool secured a much-needed victory over Rangers as a free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold and a penalty from Mohamed Salah completed a comfortable victory at Anfield and secured second place in Champions League Group A. After a 4-1 defeat to Napoli on their debut last month, last season’s Champions League runners-up extended their group renaissance by three points clear of Ajax in the play-off race. And while there were few incidents and field goals in the game, a win was much needed for Liverpool after a disappointing start to the league season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently in ninth position in the Premier League.

Klopp said his team needed to get back to basics and just focus on getting the job done after his side drew 3-3 at home to Brighton on Saturday. Fabinho was left out of the starting XI to be replaced by Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara as Klopp switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation, but it was Liverpool’s superior quality, not tactical stratagem, that proved Rangers’ demise. The Scottish club struggled to compete with the English side and Liverpool were never threatened by Giovanni van Bronkhorst’s team. And after a series of indifferent results, Rangers provided Liverpool with the perfect matchup to return to winning ways. Next week may be a different story at what will likely be a rowdy and intimidating Ibrox, but another victory in Glasgow will give Liverpool a solid qualifying lead and it’s hard to imagine Rangers upsetting a Premier League team.

2. Darwin Nunes in search of form and confidence

Darwin Nunes looked like the best player in the world on his debut against Manchester City at Liverpool less than two months ago but Benfica’s £75m summer deal failed to score from the first day of the season after another goalless game against Rangers . Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said ahead of this game that he and his assistant Pep Linders spoke to the Uruguay international and tried to reassure him that his performances would improve quickly. But the 23-year-old lacked confidence against the Rangers and a string of missed chances will do little to bolster his confidence.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor made three key saves to deprive Nunes of a much-needed first-half goal at Anfield. attacking teammates. A three-match suspension he had to serve after a red card against Crystal Palace and then two postponements due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II combined to rob Nunes of games and the momentum he needed to find some consistency. Nunes went six games without a goal. With Arsenal out on Sunday, Liverpool need him to start scoring as soon as possible.

3. Rangers are not up to par in the Champions League

Rangers shocked Europe last season by reaching the Europa League final, but the Scottish club had to face a painful reality check in their first Champions League campaign since 2010. Giovanni van Bronkhorst’s team lost to Liverpool at Anfield Both teams were huge despite Jurgen Klopp’s side still far from their best form in the Premier League. Aside from goaltender Allan McGregor, who made a string of saves to maintain a respectable scoreline, every Rangers player struggled to hold his own against their direct rival and they looked like a shadow of a team that had beaten Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig on their way to a loss. . Europa League final on penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

Just making it back to the Champions League group stage this season was a big achievement for Rangers, who have seen rivals Celtic enjoy a number of campaigns in the competition over the years. But despite being a club with a rich history and massive backing, Rangers look like newcomers to the Champions League and their challenge now is to keep six straight defeats in Group A. After three games, they have none. wins, no points, no goals, but it won’t be easy to change that trend in the remaining games against Liverpool, Napoli and Ajax.

Player Ratings

Liverpool: Alison 6; Alexander-Arnold 7, Matip 7, Van Dyck 7, Tsimikas 6; Henderson, 6, Thiago, 7, Salah, 7, Jota, 7, Diaz, 7, Nunez, 6.
Subscriptions: Fabinho 6, Firmino 6, Elliott 6, Milner 6

Rangers: McGregor 9; Tavernier 5, Goldson 6, Davis 5, King 5, Barisic 5; Lundstram 5, Davis 6; Tillman 5, Kent 6, Morelos 4.
Subscriptions: Sakala 6, Jack 6, Colak 6, Camara 6, Matondo 6.

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Allan McGregor

The Rangers goalkeeper made a U-turn at the end of last season and decided to stay another year at Ibrox, and the 40-year-old justified the decision with a defiant performance at Anfield. The Rangers could have been humiliated if not for McGregor.

WORST: Alfredo Morelos

The Colombian striker has scored at the rate of a goal in almost every two games for Rangers since arriving in 2017, but despite his record in Scotland, he has failed to make any impact at Liverpool, allowing Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matipu to show his best side. game of the season.

Highlights and Notable Moments

A great free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold put Liverpool ahead in the 7th minute.

Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead after Luis Diaz was fouled in the box.

After the match: what coaches, players said

Key statistics (provided by Sportzshala Stats & Information)

– Since 2010-11, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been the only Englishman to score more than 1 free kick in a Champions League game. Tuesday was his second goal after scoring one against Hoffenheim in a qualifying match in August 2017. Marcus Rashford, Steven Gerrard and Jadon Sancho have each scored one free-kick in Champions League competition since 2010-2011.

– Mohamed Salah is now 1 goal short of setting the record for most Champions League goals scored by a player representing an English club.


Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s side have tough matches ahead of them as they face an in-form Arsenal, currently top of the Premier League, on 9 October, before a Rangers visit on 12 October and then a home game against Manchester City. . Liverpool are in contention for 9th place in the Premier League and will look to turn things around in domestic competition after winning their last two Champions League fixtures.

Rangers: Rangers are currently second in the Scottish Premier League before taking on St Mirren on 8 October before taking on Liverpool in the Champions League and then Dundee in the Scottish League Cup quarter-finals.

Source: www.espn.com