Liverpool’s perfect start to their Europa League campaign continued with a 2-0 victory over Union Saint-Gilloise, writes Liv Heslington at Anfield.
Ryan Gravenberch’s first goal for the Reds gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a deserved lead just before half-time. And it was Diogo Jota who left it late to make certain, slotting home in injury time.
The Belgians kicked off the first Europa League game at Anfield since 2015, but it was Mohamed Salah with the first chance. The Egyptian striker latched onto a deflection only for Anthony Moris to be equal to the effort, pushing it over the crossbar.
Liverpool then had the ball in the back of the net just 10 minutes in, courtesy of Darwin Nunez, but the assistant referee’s flag denied the home side the lead.
Nunez was then off target, failing to convert a sweeping attack that saw Harvey Elliot find Salah on the right whose low cross was somehow sent wide by the number nine.
It took until the 42nd minute for Liverpool to break the deadlock. Gravenberch was alert to a spilled shot from Moris which allowed the Dutchman to seize the opportunity to get his Reds account up and running following his summer move from Bayern Munich.
Union were straight out of the blocks in the second half and could have equalised after Allison fumbled Cameron Puertas’ corner, but Jarell Quansah was the fastest to react and cleared the danger.
Substitute Alexis Mac Allister, playing against brother Kevin, swung in a beautiful cross to Jota, who’s flying header was denied brilliantly by Moris. Moments later, fellow sub Curtis Jones’ deflected effort landed on top of the net.
Star of the show Gravenberch came close to adding a second, as a one-two with Luis Diaz saw his shot saved by the impressive Moris.
Diaz could have wrapped it up with 10 minutes to go as he ran through on goal, but the Kop’s jubilation was cut brutally short as his effort struck the post.
It was left to Jota to ease any last minute nerves. Played through following a challenge on Diaz, Jota finished coolly past the out-rushing Moris as Liverpool consolidated their place at the top of Europa League Group E.