Both sides started the game well, with the game taking a good flow to it. Liverpool did well to create decent chances but were left frustrated by the end of the first half.
Story of the Match
Just when the game was beginning to lose its tempo, Liverpool broke the deadlock. Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the 14th minute. James Milner, who played at left-back, made a clever overlapping run on the wing and fizzed in a dangerous ball.
This was poorly defended by Genk who didn’t clear the ball, leaving Wijnaldum time to get a slight touch to put the ball in.
Liverpool went on to control the rest of the half and created a few good chances. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side began to lose focus and conceded in the final stages of the half.
In the 40th minute, Mbwana Samatta equalised. Genk won a corner and Samatta fired a header in from the near post.
This put Liverpool under pressure to up the ante in the second half and play with more drive in attacking areas of the pitch. This was something that the Reds did as they began to create a lot more chances with some fantastic play in the oppositions half.
In the 53rd minute, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired Liverpool back in front. Divock Origi fizzed a powerful cross into the box, which fell for Mohamed Salah.
He was able to control it and hold off his defender before slotting it across to Chamberlain. The Englishman hit a powerful shot on the turn to put Liverpool 2-1 up.
After the goal, Liverpool continued to create chances with well-worked play but couldn’t take their chances to wrap the game up.
Chamberlain continues to impress
Chamberlain had another superb game for Liverpool tonight and topped off his performance with the winning goal.
He played in a variety of positions during the game, starting the match in the ‘false nine’ position. Chamberlain held the ball up well and effectively put other attacking players, like Origi and Salah in good shooting positions.
In times when Liverpool lost the ball, Chamberlain showed fantastic drive to win the ball back.
This allowed him to make fast, driving runs into the oppositions half. Chamberlain is Liverpool’s only midfielder to be able to drive forward so effectively and once again showed this.
Klopp has often been criticised for not having a back-up player for Liverpool’s normal ‘front three’. Origi has often been the player to cover Sadio Mane on the left-wing.
But Chamberlain showed that he can also play in that position. The left-wing position is ultimately where he found himself for his goal, which he took very well. This will please Klopp as he looks ahead to Liverpool’s busy Christmas period.
Another player that impressed tonight was Salah. The Egyptian looked very sharp, especially considering he has just come back from a minor injury.
Salah played the majority of the second half as Liverpool’s main striker and was a constant nuisance to the Genk defenders.
Although not scoring himself, he did set up Liverpool’s second goal.
The only thing that will dampen Klopp’s mood is his side’s failure to keep a clean sheet.
Liverpool fell asleep defensively, giving away a cheap corner, which was subsequently converted.
Centre back, Joe Gomez had an okay game but made a couple of mistakes that better opposition could have turned into goal scoring opportunities.
This could concern Klopp as he now looks ahead to the weekend where Liverpool will face Manchester City on Sunday.