Liverpool got their Europa League campaign underway as they fought back from an early deficit to secure a 3-1 win in Austria over LASK. I’m going to go through some of the most important takeaways I had from the match. To quote Fabrizio Romano, here we go!
Ryan Gravenberch with a positive full debut – A late injury aside that we all hope is not serious, Gravenberch showed what he is capable of for Liverpool.
He was a constant threat going forward as he carried the ball with confidence at the LASK defense. He formed a real connection with Harvey Elliott as well which was nice to see. His pinpoint early cross setup the second goal for Luis Diaz.
This could be the biggest takeaway from the match that he settled in so quickly in a makeshift side.
Darwin Nunez with another positive outing – Nunez will never not be a willing runner for his teammates which is an admirable trait. On Thursday, he used his pace and power to put himself in very dangerous situations.
He could have had a hat-trick on a different day. Elliott put a wonderful cross onto his forehead that he should have done more with and he had a second point blank header stunningly saved. That was more on the goalie making a great move.
The biggest takeaways from his performance are he bagged a goal and looked a constant threat. More of that from Darwin is required going forward.
Youngsters struggle to make a big impact on the match – Ben Doak, Stefan Bajectic and Harvey Elliott all made starts in this one. While Doak was his usual aggressive self on the right wing and put in a few dangerous balls, he did not make a lasting mark during his hour of work.
Bajectic was played at right-back which was very surprising. When doing these takeaways articles you have to take everything into account before passing judgment. Bajectic was making his first start in almost 7 months and it was in a foreign position for him.
He did the best he could in a situation that would allow him some leeway. It was nice to see his biting tackles have not gone away though.
Elliott showed some good things and he connected well with Diaz and Gravenberch. It was another step for the youngster as he works towards more playing time.
The Europa League will be a tougher fight than some anticipated – While many pundits and fans alike have Liverpool as a firm favorite to win this competition, the win against LASK showed it might not be smooth sailing to the final.
There are always big takeaways to glean from every Reds match, but this is one to remember for me.
They are probably not going to field their strongest XI until later in the tournament. However, the depth and quality of the squad will certainly be tested as will their will and passion to get fired up for tough road trips on Thursdays.
It was a winning start which is the best result but it showed that the lads need to be turned on from the get-go every time going forward.