Liverpool FC 2 - 0 Union St. Gilloise
Reds: Gravenberch 44’, Jota 90+2
Kloppo sends out a very strong lineup. The attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Núñez would terrify any defense in Europe. Trent Alexander-Arnold makes his first start since his hamstring injury, joined by Konate, Quansah, and Tsimikas in defense. Alisson Becker makes a surprise start between the sticks, as Kelleher picked up a knock in training. And the midfield of Gravenberch, Elliott, and Endo feels like a good balance between skill and steel.
The first big chance falls to Mo Salah of Liverpool, which is unsurprising. It is slightly more surprising that he didn’t bury it, but there should be more opportunities for Mo to add to his growing collection.
The hosts are off to a great start in the opening fifteen, already creating 6 shots and putting Union SG under substantial pressure with nearly every venture forward. Darwin really should score, but puts a shot from about 6 yards out just wide when it honestly looked easier to score. Chaos Himbo gonna Chaos Himbo.
Just as it looked like the Reds were going into the half on level terms, Ryan Gravenberch opens his account after poking home a rebound from a Trent Alexander-Arnold shot from distance.
Gravenberch capped off an impressive first half with a goal, but it was all one-way traffic. The Reds have created 1.89 xG compared to just 0.38 for the visitors. The scouting team might’ve spotted something with the opposing goalkeeper, because we’ve taken more shots from distance than usual, and he has spilled the ball twice, including one that led to the opening goal.
Klopp makes a rare halftime triple sub: he brings off Endo, Darwin, and Mo (brave move, gaffer) for Jones, MacAllister, and Diaz. Jones and Jota have the chance to do the funniest thing in the second half if they each get sent again.
It’s a pretty quiet opening 15 minutes of the second half. Trent makes a fantastic tackle when Union SG try to counter, and then is immediately hooked for Joe Gomez (I assume as a planned substitute).
With about 15 minutes remaining, Klopp makes his final substitution, bringing on Dominic Szoboszlai for the goal scorer, Ryan Gravenberch. Take a bow, Ryan, you’ve been phenomenal tonight.
Jota ties a bow on the whole endeavor, winning a header in midfield and finishing off a counter with a pinpoint finish.
It was more convincing than the score line indicated, but it was a controlled and confident win, and one where the Reds never really had to get out of third gear.