Oxlade-Chamberlain 8/10 as Liverpool ease past Genk in Champions League matchday four

Liverpool survived a minor blip to beat Genk 2-1 at Anfield and go top of Group E in the UEFA Champions League.

Georginio Wijnaldum's scrappy opener put the hosts 1-0 up in the opening quarter of an hour before Mbwana Samata pounced on some poor Liverpool defending to head home a corner against the run of play just before half-time. The Reds dominated the ball again in the second half and won the game courtesy of an excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal in the 53rd minute.


With a Premier League showdown against Manchester City just five days away, Liverpool were able to get the win without having to rely on the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who both started the game on the bench, meaning both should be fresh ahead of Sunday's clash.


Jurgen Klopp's defence has been anything but tight this season and Genk took advantage of some static defending to head themselves level from a first-half corner, and Manchester City will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a back line that looks edgy at set pieces.

Manager rating (out of 10)

6 -- Klopp will be relieved his under-strength side were able to get the job done against a plucky Genk outfit that had its chances to steal a point late on.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 7 -- The Brazilian has bemoaned silly goal concessions from his side this season and some sloppy defending for Genk's equaliser means the Reds remain without an Anfield clean sheet this season. The former Roma man was assured throughout, though, and made a good save to deny Bryan Heynen in the second half.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Provided a vital interception to deny Samata a certain tap-in, but it was all in vain as the Genk striker headed in from the resulting corner. The England man was always available in the opposition half and provided some excellent set-piece deliveries.

DF Joe Gomez, 6 -- The 22-year-old defender still looks like he's working his way back towards full match sharpness following a long-term injury last season. Not quite at his imposing best.

DF Virgil Van Dijk, 6 -- The imperious Dutchman found himself in excellent positions in the opposition penalty area on several occasions and could have bagged himself a couple of goals on another night.

DF James Milner, 6 -- The stand-in left back provided the cross for Wijnaldum to steer home the game's opening goal, but he was caught on his heels and beaten in the air by Samata for his goal.

MF Fabinho, 6 -- Quietly went about his business, allowing for the more forward-thinking Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wijnaldum to express themselves in the final third.

MF Naby Keita, 7 -- Initiated the interplay for the opener as he glided through midfield and released the ball for Milner, and almost scored one himself as he forced a decent save from Genk goalkeeper Gaetan Couke in the first half. A good display from the Guinean, before he was replaced by Andy Robertson after 74 minutes.

MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 8 -- Always positive on the ball and willing to drive the team forward, and capped off a fine display with an excellent finish on the turn early in the second half. Withdrawn for Sadio Mane for the final 16 minutes.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- A well-improvised finish from an awkward bouncing ball put his side on its way to victory, but the former Newcastle man didn't make the most of some other promising openings.

FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- The Egypt international had several glimpses of goal and will be disappointed he was unable to find the net when he dragged wide from 10 yards out in the first half, before excellent centre-forward play saw him tee up Oxlade-Chamberlain to drive home the winner.

FW Divock Origi, 6 -- Played his part in the game's opener when he released Milner in space for his full-back to provide the cross for Wijnaldum, but he really should have scored just before half time when he screwed wide in the penalty area. Replaced by Roberto Firmino for the closing stages.


Andy Robertson, NR -- Slotted in at left back and saw the game out.

Sadio Mane, NR -- Didn't get a sight of goal in his short cameo.

Roberto Firmino, NR -- Introduced too late to make an impact.