Liverpool 2-0 Rangers: Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah deliver well-deserved Champions League victory

Although this is far from the highest bar, with the Reds producing a series of poor performances both domestically and in Europe in recent months, the brand’s aggression and intensity have made a welcome return. for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has thrust himself back into the spotlight, this time for reasons he will be much happier with as he curls in a superb free-kick to put Liverpool ahead in the opening stages.

A Rangers equalizer never looked likely but the Reds ensured there was no need for nerves as they doubled the lead after the break, with Mohamed Salah sending in a penalty after Luis Diaz was brought down.

With Napoli keeping firm control at the top of Group A after a 6-1 victory over Ajax, Liverpool will be well placed to progress if they pick up another three points at Ibrox next week. There’s a big test coming up at the Emirates against Premier League top performers Arsenal before that.

Klopp moved away from his preferred formation and opted for a 4-2-3-1 instead, with Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Diaz all entering the squad alongside Mohamed Salah in an attacking formation.

It was no surprise that a flying start followed from Liverpool and they got their reward with seven minutes on the clock. Alexander-Arnold stood over a free-kick 25 yards from goal and duly whipped it over the wall and under the bar to open the scoring in sensational fashion.

From there it was Allan McGregor’s spectacle, the 40-year-old making four saves from Nunez alone in the first 45 minutes as the striker found the veteran between him and a first Champions League goal for Liverpool many times.

The goalkeeper was also called into action as Salah curled an effort towards the far corner, it seems to have escaped Borna Barisic’s attention that the Egyptian was left footed as he regularly left Liverpool’s main man cut inside the right wing.

Jota was close to tapping Virgil van Dijk’s spot-kick from a corner, the defender’s contact putting him out of reach, with the main positive for Rangers in the first half the whistle came with Liverpool’s advantage undoubled.

Liverpool could easily have scored more than one goal in the first half

/ Liverpool F.C. via Getty Images

The Reds had to wait a minute longer for their second-half goal than they did in the first half as Rangers again suffered a blow to their plans.

Diaz was picked off by Jordan Henderson and ran straight at Leon King, kicking a straight leg into the box as the referee was left with the simplest of finishes. Salah stepped in from the spot and lifted him over McGregor to give his team the control they deserved.

The Scottish keeper has continued to add to his personal highlights package, now becoming a feature. Jota spun around in the box and hammered in a shot that was apparently intended for the far corner, but McGregor pulled out a glove to flip it over the bar.

Rangers have been largely unable to put the kind of pressure on the Liverpool defense that so many teams have exerted so far this season, but a minute of chaos threatened a stand finish. Rabbi Matondo pushed an effort past Alisson to see Kostas Tsimikas deflect him incredibly over the bar while returning to his own line, before the goalkeeper made a big save to deny Antonio Colak seconds later.

It was too late for this episode to serve as anything more than a brief reminder of the vulnerabilities at Liverpool’s back, which Rangers will need to be much braver in trying to exploit at home next week.

standard Sport

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