Liverpool News – Klopp Expects More From Oxlade-Chamberlain
It was a successful week in the Champions League for Liverpool as they recorded a big away win to put one foot in the next round of the tournament.
Liverpool faced little problem dismantling Genk and ran out 4-1 winners.
There were goals in the game for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but it was another player that caught the attention on Wednesday evening.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has endured a difficult 18 months, but on Wednesday night he showcased his best performance of the season as he scored twice and set up another.
It has been a difficult time for the Englishman as an injury picked up on the club’s run to the Champions League final in the 2017-18 season effectively left him on the sidelines for the whole of the 2018-19 season.
Jurgen Klopp was happy for Oxlade-Chamberlain but admitted that he still needs to improve. The German manager said: “It was absolutely a great moment for him, but I would say with Ox his performance was exactly the same as the performance of the team – the goals were great, but all the rest could have been better.”
“That’s how it is, but it’s no problem. The (second) goal was sensational and very important for us. Wonderful.
“On Sunday, Adam (Lallana) scored the goal, and now Ox has scored two goals. It’s really nice. Absolutely great, a great story.”
Liverpool led 1-0 after a messy opening half in which the hosts could have scored at least three times.
Part of that was due to Klopp fielding an untested midfield of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Fabinho and also because he was without 50 per cent of his regular back four with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip absent.
“We had good moments, a lot of good moments, and made a very good start,” said Klopp.
“Then had another 10 or 15 minutes absolutely okay, exactly as we had to do it. The plan worked okay then not any more because we lost completely unexpected balls we were not ready for, which in the formation was not possible.
“Sometimes we took in the wrong moments a risk, passing a one-two in a very tight situation makes not too much sense.
“We had to defend their balls with legs and had to run for it. They got a bit of momentum which after our start was completely unnecessary, but that’s what happened.
“It was a pretty stiff first half. Then we scored the second goal, by the way, the first goal was very brilliant, and the second goal even nicer, and all our goals were unbelievably beautiful.
“After the second it was a proper knock for Genk it looked like, and we scored the third and fourth.
“We conceded one which wasn’t cool, but it’s not the biggest problem in the world. We won the game, job done. That’s it.”
Speaking after the game, ex-Liverpool winger Harry Kewell stated that he felt that the squad, in general, must be improved if the Reds are to compete for the Premier League title and the Champions League.
The Australian said: “Personally, I feel Liverpool need another striker. I know it sounds crazy because the front three are amazing, but I think they need another one to test the top three.
I’ve got nothing against Divock Origi – and I think he’s a fantastic player and does his part.
“But I would love to see someone challenge their front three to really keep them on their game. Sadio Mane is on fire at the moment, Mohamed Salah has been, but he’s not at the moment, and Roberto Firmino does a lot of the dog work but still doesn’t score enough.”
Regardless, the Reds are still the favourites for the Premier League title and have been the second favourites since the draw was made at the beginning of the season.