Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was considered an English jewel since he ascended in Arsenal, but sequential injuries kinda broke his rhythm. Signed by Jurgen Klopp back in the 2016-17 season, he proved his value playing major roles in Liverpool’s Champions League campaign, but ended up injured against Roma in the Semifinals and stayed out of the pitch for 1-year-long.
Now the Ox is back in the Liverpool squad, and he seized the opportunity given and led the Reds in a 4-1 away win over Genk in Belgium on Wednesday for the UEFA Champions League Group E.
With the 4-1 win, Liverpool keeps the 2nd place in the Group, with 6 points, as Napoli won RB Salzburg away and has 7. The Austrian team has three points and Genk only one.
In the Belgian city, Liverpool had the return of Mohamed Salah, recovered from injury, and the return of Oxlade-Chamberlain to the starting lineup. In addition, coach Jurgen Klopp made changes in almost every sector of the team. He went with Dejan Lovren in place of Joel Matip and James Milner for Trent Alexander-Arnold, as well as Naby Keita for Henderson.
With this lineup, mainly in the midfield, as Reds supporters are calling as KFC trio. Keita, Fabinho and Chamberlain, it took the Reds only one minute to open the scoring. Ox got the ball down the middle and tried it from long-range. The ball had a slight deflection midway, tricking the keeper Gaetan Coucke. 0-1 Liverpool.
What a way to start the match. What a goal from Ox! After that, Roberto Firmino was orchestrating the Reds, with magical key-passes and stunning dribbles. In one of those passes, Sadio Mane almost scored.
The attack was ok, but back there in the defensive sector, Liverpool was struggling. Genk even equalized, but their goal was ruled out by offside in the VAR.
After the break, the Reds came back more confident and didn’t give chances to the hosts. On 57 mins, Firmino was down the left and passed it to Ox, who magically struck another beauty from long-range. This time, the English curled an extremely improbable ball home using the outside of his right foot. The ball even went off the crossbar before getting in. What a strike. 0-2 Liverpool.
The third goal came in at 76, in a move involving the whole front-three. Firmino started it all by triggering Salah, as the Egyptian wasn’t selfish and assisted Mane, who slotted past the keeper. 0-3.
Liverpool made it four on 86, as Mane assisted Salah, as the Egyptian scored his as well. 0-4 Liverpool.
However, Genk did not let Alisson Becker get away with a clean sheet, as one min after, they scored the consolation goal through Stephen Odey.
A good performance, but not solid to be honest. There’s much room for improvement from the Reds, and they should shift it to the 5th gear as the season goes on and key matches are coming.