Liverpool 2-0 Rangers: Champions League – live reaction | Champions League

Key events

That’s a great result for Liverpool. Not the perfect performance, but it’ll nevertheless restore some confidence, and most importantly keeps their Group A campaign on track after its cold start. Napoli’s eye-opening 6-1 thumping of Ajax in Amsterdam – the hosts had their captain Dušan Tadić sent off for two yellow cards as well – helps too. Rangers are still looking for their first point, and their first goal, though those late brief cameos by Fashion Sakala, Rabbi Matondo and Antonio Čolak will give them hope for the return at Ibrox next week.

Trent Alexander-Arnold speaks to BT Sport. “The performance was great. On Saturday it was disappointing, our press wasn’t there. We were slow out of the blocks. It was the complete opposite today. They had their spells in the second half, but overall we played outstandingly. No matter what, I always try to think positively. People say things, but for me it’s about going out there and performing for the team. it’s the only thing that matters. It’s been a slow start to the season for me but I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. The change of tactics definitely helped us today so we’ll see what happens going forward. We’re used to playing three games a week, so when things come thick and fast, it’s exciting for us.”

FULL TIME: Liverpool 2-0 Rangers

Liverpool still aren’t firing on all cylinders, but that’s back-to-back wins in Group A, and a rare clean sheet – only their third of the season – to boot.

Job done for Liverpool at Anfield.
Job done for Liverpool at Anfield. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images

90 min +3: Alexander-Arnold is booked for … well, not sure what. He’s then replaced by Joe Gomez, allowing the Kop to give him a spirit-boosting ovation. Clever Jurgen.

90 min +2: Salah breaks down the right but sends a weak curler towards the bottom left. McGregor smothers.

90 min: There will be four added minutes.

88 min: “Sometimes playing football you play with someone who is technically and physically adept, but in terms of instincts, doesn’t quite know what to do, where to be or who to pass to,” writes Neil Hattersley. “It’s early days yet with Núñez, but I’m starting to form a bit of the same impression. This might contrast with Sadio Mané, whose unorthodoxy was sometimes one of his key strengths.”

86 min: … and from the resulting corner, the ball falls at Colak’s feet on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box! Colak shoots for the bottom right, only to be denied by Alisson’s star jump. Fine save. No luck for Rangers tonight, then, but those chances will give them succour ahead of the return fixture at Ibrox next week.

85 min: Rangers finally do something in attack! And so nearly score! Matondo dribbles down the left, tiptoes along the byline, and forces the ball past Alisson. Sakala prepares to tap in, only for Tsimikas to sensationally hook clear off the line and out for a corner. That looked physically impossible, and it would have been much easier to bundle that into his own net. But what a clearance!

84 min: A Liverpool corner on the left. Matip meets it and sends a powerful downward header inches wide of the bottom right. Most of Anfield thought that was in, and briefly celebrated accordingly.

83 min: It’s an absolute rout in Amsterdam now. Goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Giovanni Simeone have made it 6-1 to Napoli against Ajax. A first European Cup for Napoli coming up? Everyone’s second team this year, I tells ya.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scores for Napoli as the Italians run riot in Amsterdam.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scores for Napoli as the Italians run riot in Amsterdam. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

81 min: Another double change for Rangers. Ryan Kent and Ben Davies are replaced by Rabbi Matondo and Glen Kamara.

80 min: No goal for Nunez, who goes off to a warm reception nonetheless. To be fair, he found Allan McGregor in top form. Thiago makes way too. Harvey Elliott and James Milner come on.

79 min: Another run down the left by Tsimikas. Another misplaced cross. Goal kick.

78 min: Tsimikas is sent into a bit of space down the left by Diaz, but his cross is easily cleared by Davies.

76 min: All a bit scrappy. “Just wondering when the Liverpool fans are going to sing their version of ‘The Fields of Athenry’ to make their visitors feel at home?” wonders Niall O’Keefe, with perfect timing. They’ve just struck up their paean to King Kenny now.

Liverpool fans
Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

74 min: Salah releases Nunez down the inside-right channel. Nunez draws McGregor and cuts back for Diaz, who can’t slide home under pressure from Goldson. Then the flag goes up for offside, correctly this time, undeniably so.

73 min: Alfredo Morelos is replaced by Antonio Čolak.

72 min: Alexander-Arnold, quarterbacking from a deep position on the right, curls a sensational pass into the road of Diaz, free on the left. But Diaz miscontrols and the flag goes up for offside anyway. Had Diaz gone on to score, VAR might have overruled that decision, but it’s all academic now.

71 min: Kent dribbles into his own box and suddenly realises he’s in a spot of bother, surrounded by red shirts. He slyly clatters into Firmino and gets the benefit of the doubt from the referee.

69 min: Now Liverpool make a double change. Diogo Jota is replaced by Roberto Firmino, while the captain Jordan Henderson makes way for Fabinho. Henderson doesn’t look particularly happy at being hooked. He gives his armband to Van Dijk and shakes his head as he departs.

68 min: Morelos slips Barisic into space down the left. Barisic reaches the byline but floats his cross and it’s an easy pick for Alisson. Liverpool go up the other end through Diaz, who cuts in from the left and sends a low shot wide right. He should get a corner, the ball taking a slight deflection off Jack, but it’ll be a goal kick to Rangers.

Borna Barisic in action for Rangers.
Borna Barisic in action for Rangers. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/Shutterstock

67 min: Sakala gets involved immediately, dribbling in from the right before dragging a poor shot miles wide right of goal.

66 min: A double change for Rangers. Fashion Sakala comes on for Malik Tillman, while Ryan Jack replaces Steven Davis.

65 min: Rangers can’t get out of their final third right now. Jota nearly opens up a packed box with a lively dribble down the left, but there are only so many men he can beat. He’s eventually crowded out and Rangers clear.

63 min: Alexander-Arnold crosses from the right. Nunez prepares to head home from six yards. Goldson eyebrows out for a corner just in time. It really hasn’t been Nunez’s night so far. It’s not been for the want of trying.

62 min: Nunez romps down the middle and thinks about shooting. He should shoot, really, and the Kop encourages him to do so. But at the last minute he tries to release Salah into the box down the inside right. The pass is no good, and Anfield groans in unison.

61 min: Lundstram plays a blind backpass that nearly lets Jota in. McGregor is once again the hero as he lashes clear just in time.

59 min: Anfield has been quiet and anxious for much of the match. But the home fans have found their voice since Liverpool’s second. And the decibels nearly go up again, as the ball breaks to Jota, who spins down the inside-left channel and fires a rising shot towards the top left. It’s a pearler, but McGregor, who is having one hell of a game, fingertips over. What a reaction! Nothing comes of the resulting corner.

57 min: Goldson’s able to continue as well. All good, after that accidental clash. Napoli are now 4-1 up at Ajax, Giacomo Raspadori getting his second of the night just after the break.

56 min: Diaz took a sore one there, but he looks OK to continue. In fact, it’s Goldson who looks to have come off the worst, having landed awkwardly on his ankle as the pair fell.

55 min: Diaz dribbles hard down the inside-left channel and slams straight into Goldson. He goes down clutching his jaw. Play goes on, and Salah, sailing in from the right, attempts a curler into the bottom left. That’s blocked, and then play stops so the physio can take a look at Diaz.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Rangers (Salah 53 pen)

Salah waits for McGregor to jump to his left, then lashes down the middle. The keeper had no chance. Liverpool have a cushion.

Salah tucks away the penalty. Hard to see Rangers coming back from here.
Salah tucks away the penalty. Hard to see Rangers coming back from here. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Penalty for Liverpool

52 min: Kent dribbles with purpose down the middle of the park. Liverpool’s defence backs off. Thiago slides in to whip the ball away and Liverpool counter. Diaz scuttles into the Rangers area from the left. He’s upended clumsily by King, and the referee points to the spot.

Penalty to Liverpool!
Penalty to Liverpool! Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

50 min: Nunez tries a curler towards the top right. Always high, always wide. The Kop chant his name by way of support anyway.

49 min: Matip slips Tsimikas into the box down the left. Tsimikas thinks about crossing, then about shooting, and achieves neither. The ball twangs out for a corner, from which Rangers break. Davies slips the ball wide left for Kent, who looks for Morelos at the far stick. The low cross sails harmlessly out for a goal kick.

48 min: McGregor zips out of his box to kick clear. He shanks wildly, and is very fortunate that the ball drops into a big gap between Jota and Salah, neither of whom can get there quickly enough to shoot towards the unguarded net.

46 min: Liverpool immediately launch it long down the left. Nunez wins a header against King, but wipes out his man in doing so. It looked accidental, though King doesn’t seem too happy about it when he finally gets back up. Anyway, just a free kick, nothing more.

Liverpool get the ball rolling for the second half. They’re kicking towards the Kop in this second half, just as they like it. No changes.

The second half begins.
The second half begins. Photograph: Ian Stephen/ProSports/Shutterstock

In the other Group A game, Napoli have taken total control against Ajax in Amsterdam. Giovanni Di Lorenzo scored the Azzurri’s second goal on 33 minutes, and Piotr Zielinski made it 3-1 on the stroke of half time. Are Luciano Spalletti’s exciting all-new Neapolitans this season’s neutrals’ choice? All signs point to yes!

Half-time pop platter. Seeing we’re in Liverpool, and it was 60 years ago tomorrow …

The greatest #17 single of all time.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-0 Rangers

Liverpool lead at the break thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fine free kick. Darwin Nunez has threatened a second goal, but Allan McGregor has denied him on several occasions. Rangers will be happy enough to have weathered the early storm.

45 min: Henderson launches Diaz on the attack down the left. Diaz checks and waits for Jota on the overlap before feeding his man. Jota fires low and hard towards the near post, the ball twanging off Nunez and out for a goal kick. To be fair to Nunez, he had no time whatsoever to react there … and he’s claiming the ball came off Davies anyway.

43 min: Diaz flicks Nunez into space down the middle. Nunez reaches the edge of the box and bashes goalwards. McGregor again gets in the road. This is getting personal now!

Darwin Nunez
Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

41 min: More angst for Nunez, though this was much better. Salah draws a couple of folk before slipping a pass down the inside-right channel. Nunez, timing his run perfectly, in the style of Ian Rush, whips a first-time shot towards the bottom right. A very decent effort, but there’s a save to match: McGregor kicks away brilliantly. Nothing comes of the resulting corner.

40 min: Nunez bustles down the right and makes a bit of space for a cross, only to blooter clumsily over everyone’s head.

39 min: Salah’s movement earns Liverpool a corner on the right. Alexander-Arnold and Salah attempt a short training-ground number, but over-elaborate and fail to get the ball into the box. Anfield sighs.

37 min: Now it’s Rangers’ turn to string a few passes together. Suddenly Kent tries to burst clear down the left. Alexander-Arnold isn’t having any of it, intercepting and starting a counter. Jota prepares to release Diaz but is crudely raked on the ankle from behind by Lundstram, who goes into the book. That’s as cynical as it gets, really.

35 min: Diaz is allowed to sashay into the Rangers box from the left. A route opens up in front of him. He’s got time and space to line one up, but doesn’t catch his shot properly, and it’s an easy smother for McGregor.

34 min: Henderson loops down the inside-left channel for Nunez, who brings it down nicely but isn’t so adroit with his shot. McGregor saves without fuss.

33 min: Liverpool pass it around to little effect. Rangers will be reasonably happy right now.

31 min: Kent sends an outside-of-foot pass down the left in the hope of releasing Barisic. It’s not particularly accurate, and bounces out harmlessly for a goal kick. A chance to launch a rare attack spurned.

29 min: Liverpool are racking up the corners. Another won down the left. Tsimikas takes this one. Van Dijk gets his eyebrows on it again, but can’t send it goalwards. Liverpool try to recycle possession but eventually run the ball out for a goal kick.