Jurgen Klopp concerned with Liverpool’s ‘concentration’ in Genk win

Jurgen Klopp wasn’t entirely satisfied after Liverpool beat Genk 4-1 away in the Champions League.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain announced his return to the Champions League after an 18-month absence with two goals in the win. The England international missed all but 20 minutes of last season with a serious knee injury sustained in the semi-final win over Roma in this competition in April 2018.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also scored – substitute Stephen Odey grabbed a late consolation for the hosts – as Liverpool recorded their first away win in the group stage in five matches and only their second in 10.

But there were some shaky moments at the back, and the hosts created a number of good scoring opportunities.

Genk could – and probably should – have scored at least once.

Two changes in defence, with midfielder James Milner and Dejan Lovren replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold (illness) and Joel Matip (knee), contributed to the lack of cohesion but the hosts missed the chance to take full advantage.

Boyhood Manchester United fan Ally Mbwana Samatta screwed a good chance wide under pressure from Keita and Milner’s brilliant recovering, full-stretch tackle took the ball off the toes of Paul Onuachu after he too had raced clear.

Genk had the ball in the net midway through the half from Samatta’s far-post header but after an interminable wait VAR upheld a late assistant referee’s offside flag.

“There were good moments,” said Klopp, speaking to BT Sport.

“The start was brilliant, we were kind of fluent and asked them a lot of questions but then we started – I’m not sure why – to lose patience and some easy balls. But all four goals were brilliant and we had chances to score more. Job done.

“In the years before we would have drawn it, maybe even lost, but all’s OK. It was intense, we needed concentration. Our opponent brought in their tallest player and they did well from the first and second balls.

“We played with speculation when do we really need to go there? Then they won the second balls. So I didn’t enjoy the game too much, but I enjoyed the result.”

The German also looked ahead to the Reds’ upcoming fixtures.

After their 17-match winning streak came to an end with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, Liverpool play Tottenham next, their opponents in last season’s Champions League final.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had an indifferent start to the season, sitting 7th with just three wins from nine, but they looked better in midweek with a 5-0 win against Red Star Belgrade.

“We’ve just had two away games that were both difficult for different reasons. I don’t know where we are now but I know where we need to be on Sunday.

“It’s a refreshed Tottenham. Of course the second they meet us they’re back on track! But we’re a different team to Red Star Belgrade, just like Tottenham are different to Genk.”

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