It’s been a long road to recovery for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. After missing effectively the whole of last season, the Englishman has played two games in a row and looks like he’s finally enjoying football again. He hasn’t been quite at his best, but he looks closer than ever.
“It was nice to be back out there. In a winning performance is always nice as well,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the official Liverpool site.
“In the first half I felt my way into it a bit and got to grips with what’s what. You have to play off triggers; so when Trent [Alexander-Arnold] gets the ball, it’s about getting back into rhythm with my movements off him and Mo [Salah] and the rest of the team. I think in the second half I settled into a bit better.
“I had an alright game, a decent game but the main thing was I wanted to make sure I focused on the defensive duties and making sure I was putting in the work and had the legs to help the boys. I’m glad we did that as a team”.
Speaking more broadly about the overall performance, the midfielder added that he was “delighted that I could help contribute to the team because that’s what I’ve missed so much, being able to contribute and help this set of players to achieve things. It was really nice to be back out there.”
“We knew it was going to be a tough ask but we said straight after the game [in midweek] there were no excuses about playing 120 minutes for some of the lads or travel,” he said.
“The fixtures are there and you’ve got to go and win them. We didn’t want to come off the pitch with any excuses as to why we didn’t get the right result.
“We suffered in patches but we managed to come through them, which we knew was going to happen and we knew we had to do, so that’s really positive.
“We played some really good stuff in parts as well. We were under the cosh a bit at the end. But it was absolutely brilliant from the boys; after a big midweek, to come and do that at a tough place [shows] what we’re made of.”
“The boys had to dig in deep, it was brilliant character from us. That’s what this team is made of and we’re going to have to keep doing that.”
If Liverpool are to really push this season, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be very much needed. Early signs are that he’s getting back to a place where he can really deliver.