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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Liverpool return to winning ways in the Champions League against Rangers

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds needed to show a reaction after another disappointing result in the Premier League on the weekend drawing 3-3 to Brighton and that is exactly what they did against a Rangers side who wanted to cause an upset.

However, Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst did not want to capitalise on Liverpool’s slow start to the season as he went with five at the back which only played into the home side’s hands.

It took Liverpool only seven minutes to open the deadlock and it came from the man who has been hotly debated over the last few weeks due to the fact that Gareth Southgate has not figured out how to use the right-back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold stood over the ball on the edge of the box and placed the free-kick in the top left corner with ease to set the six-time European Champions on their way against the Scottish side.

There was plenty of chances after that goal with the majority coming from Darwin Nunez who was given the chance to start in a new system from Klopp.

The Uruguayan had four shots on target in the first half causing havoc on the right, left and through the middle with his rapid speed.

It was a 4-4-2 from Klopp and it allowed Diogo Jota to be the link from midfield to attack and it worked very well opposed to the altered 4-4-3 which has been used so far this season.

In the second half it again only took seven minutes for Liverpool to get a second goal which was vital in killing the game off.

This time it came from the penalty spot after Luis Diaz was fouled after cutting inside from the left.

Mo Salah stepped up and clipped it down the middle with Allan McGregor diving to his right to silence the away end even further.

Liverpool took their foot off the gas in the last half an hour with one eye being on the massive clash against Arsenal on the weekend which they will be the underdogs for with Mikel Arteta’s side top of the table 11 points ahead of the FA and League Cup holders.

Rangers had two big chances to try and get back in the game after the 80th minute but Kostas Tsimikas’ goaline clearance and Alisson’s close range save to deny Rabbi Matondo and Antonio Colak respectively kept the clean sheet.

Player of the Match: Jordan Henderson

The captain was in a double pivot with Thiago and he excelled with easily his best performance of the campaign as he looked much improved.

The England international didn’t get caught up field and was able to dictate the play in the middle with some lovely defence splitting passe in-behind, which is what got Diaz in before he was fouled for the penalty.

It’ll be interesting to see if Klopp sticks with the formation which he has only used on a few occasions whilst being in charge at Anfield or whether he thinks he will need an extra man in the middle against The Gunners.

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