Alexander-Arnold and Salah beat Liverpool to beat Rangers | Champions League

The first competitive meeting between two of Britain’s most successful clubs captured the imagination, returning Steven Gerrard to his beloved Anfield and even luring Sir Alex Ferguson into enemy territory. It only proved appropriate on paper. The dispute between Liverpool and Rangers in terms of Champions League The experience, revenue and quality were reflected on the pitch where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team absolutely excelled.

Jurgen Klopp’s 60th Champions League match in the name of Liverpool The coach – playoffs ruled out – was just the elixir his team demanded in their quest for defensive confidence and toughness. Trent Alexander-Arnold has reminded Gareth Southgate of the attacking prowess the England coach might decide not to play in the World Cup with a stunning free kick. Mohamed Salah added the second goal from a penalty kick. Reducing defeat twice was the Rangers’ best achievement on a night when they owed their enduring excellence to goalkeeper Alan McGregor.

Van Bronckhorst’s team did not seriously threaten Alisson’s goal until the 85th minute when substitute Rabbi Matondo hit a shot from the goal line by Kostas Tsimikas. God Save the King’s outdoor fan deliveries have caused more consternation among the home crowd than anything players produce on the field. Notice They were mediocre in the extreme and were goalless and goalless upon their return to the Champions League stage.

There was a rehabilitation of some kind for Darwin Nunez. Klopp took the Liverpool forward aside in training on Sunday and asked the Uruguay international not to worry about the difficult introduction to his Anfield career. He backed up that reassuring message by handing the 23-year-old only his third early in the season, and as a focal point of a squad that was more attacking than usual.

“If we can help the boys in a different way to defend, we will do it,” the Liverpool boss said in his pre-match press conference. The answer was to dispense with Liverpool’s usual three-man midfield and load up the attacking third with Salah, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz all operating from Nunez, whose movement and work across the frontline has affected from the start. Jota, who celebrated the void between the three Rangers defenders and central midfield, was also integral to Liverpool’s complete dominance in the first half.

It made perfect sense to reintroduce Nunez against a team that, after the opening two games, had the worst combined defensive record in the Champions League. The £64m summer signing first caught McGregor’s goal after just two minutes. It was a shot of Jota’s touch directly on the veteran goalkeeper.

Trent Alexander-Arnold kicked a free kick over the wall and past Rangers
Trent Alexander-Arnold kicked a free kick against Rangers. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Moments later, Nunez was fouled out of the box by former Liverpool defender Ben Davies, who had never played for the club prior to his £4m move north of the border this summer. It was a major area for Alexander Arnold. Liverpool’s right-back was denied his release from recent criticism when Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saved his late free kick from a similar position on Saturday. It will not be thwarted again.

Alexander-Arnold’s intentions were clear as he put the ball into the line of the group but McGregor, who left plenty of space on his right, was powerless to block a superb free kick shot into the top corner. Alexander-Arnold, Klopp, everyone from the Liverpool squad at Anfield, enjoyed in time what the defender has to offer as an attacking force. But this was not in doubt.

Salah was on the verge of doubling Liverpool’s lead after hitting the right flank by Nunez’s first beautiful flick. The striker curled low towards the far bottom corner but McGregor saved it brilliantly. The 40-year-old denied Nunez three times before the first half ended: from close range after Jordan Henderson smashed a delightful ball over Rangers’ defense, and slashed his legs when Salah made a fine pass into the area and from distance. Flowing movement includes Diaz and Utah.

Rangers did not present anything as an attacking threat. Their opponents have been weak defensively all season, but they were rarely tested on that score with Alfredo Morelos, who favored top scorer Antonio Colak, isolated from a Rangers midfield lacking legs and quality of possession to stem the tide. Any concern Klopp had about the tiebreaker – and should be fleeting at best – disappeared early in the second half when Diaz stormed into the area between John Lundstram and Leon King. The Colombia international was stopped by the 18-year-old defender for an apparent penalty. Salah swept the resulting penalty in the middle of the goal as McGregor ran to his left.

McGregor made an excellent save to clear a Jota shot that was headed into the top corner and Joel Matip headed a good opportunity away from a corner kick from Tsimikas. Nunez’s display deserved a goal, and his confidence could have scored, too, but he had to be content with a standing ovation from all four sides of the field when he was substituted late. Rangers desperately need a response of their own at Ibrox next Wednesday.

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