Liverpool started out the night against Red Star Belgrade a little awkwardly. A changed midfield—and a changed midfield shape—meant some feeling out time for the hosts, and that combined with a fired up opponent led to some uncertainty.
The players settled, though, and by the time first goal was scored there was something of an air of inevitability beginning to form. In the end, the Reds’ victory seemed confident and secure, and few will have felt that quite like the man in their goal.
“The game started out quite difficult,” noted Alisson after it had ended 4-0, with Liverpool outshooting Red Star 21 to four—and with 11 on target to Red Star’s zero. “They pressed high and made moves but after the first goal the game became easier.”
By the final whistle, it looked like perhaps this Liverpool side’s most convincing victory of the season so far, a massively encouraging sign after looking poor—but still managing to get the win and three points—against Huddersfield on the weekend.
So far this season for Liverpool, the biggest talking point has been that they’ve been getting results without looking their best. Whether it was the change in personnel or team shape or just individuals finding form, by the end against Red Star they did look it.
Now, they have a pair of league games—against struggling Cardiff and in-form Arsenal—to prove Wednesday night wasn’t a one-off before facing Red Star again with the chance to preserve their place at the top of their Champions League group.
“We became confident and created more space,” Alisson added. “We played focused for the 90 minutes and that was really important. Away against Red Star we have to be smart, they are really strong in their stadium and the fans will be intense.”