Liverpool may have felt as though they weren’t at their best against Genk on Wednesday in the Champions League, but the defending European champions still ran out to a 4-1 victory over their Belgian challengers.
It’s a result that had Genk manager Felice Mazzù both praising his opponents and rather ruing his own side’s few mistakes, mistakes the Reds capitalised on as one would expect from defending European Champions.
“This is the second time this season that we conceded very early,” Mazzù noted following the match. “Against a team like Liverpool, who are of an exceptional level, it is necessary to stick to the letter.
“After we played as a good team during the first half in my opinion. We created more opportunities than Liverpool, and even scored a goal, eventually cancelled for an offside position. We were doing well.”
They were doing well, though at times it felt as though Liverpool were aiding their opponents with overly ambitious and reckless passing in the final third as Genk’s stubborn defending made them impatient.
That, of course, was Genk’s plan—based in part on watching the ways fellow underdogs Manchester United sought to frustrate the Reds on the weekend. In the end, though, Liverpool’s attacking qualities shone through.
Genk took a solid approach, one that worked for long stretches of the match. But they weren’t perfect, and the end result was a lopsided scoreline that proves that against this Liverpool side, you almost have to be.