Since Saturday, there’s only been one real point of focus for Liverpool and the club’s fans, with attention—and anger—collectively focused on a legal Luis Diaz goal in the Reds’ 2-1 defeat at Tottenham denied due to VAR error.
It’s been a difficult moment to let go of, especially given Liverpool’s close title losses in recent seasons due to controversial officiating, but Europa League action on the menu for Thursday provides a much needed distraction.
“Our focus is on the game now,” said right back Trent Alexander-Arnold. “There’s nothing we can do as players about what has gone on. Now we focus on a different competition and a big three points for what we want to achieve.”
Resetting for the Europa League, Liverpool won their group stage opener against LASK two weeks ago and now face Belgium’s Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, or Union SG, who finished third last season and currently lead the Pro League.
While LASK were Group E’s second pot team, Pot 3’s Union SG and Pot 4’s Toulouse have been identified by many as the more difficult opponents for the Reds in their European group stage campaign for the 2023-24 season.
Union and Toulouse recorded a 1-1 draw in their opener two weeks ago and will arrive at Anfield as underdogs—but underdogs who will believe they can win if they play their best game and the Reds’ minds are perhaps elsewhere.
“Our motivation now is that we have two games before the international break and we feel like we need to win both,” added Alexander-Arnold. “It will be difficult but we think we’re capable of doing that. That’s where our focus is.”