Genk v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice as Liverpool defeated Genk 4-1 on matchday three in Belgium. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were also on target for the Reds in a commanding victory that bolstered their Group E qualification prospects.
Genk come to Anfield on matchday four on November 5.
And here's how our position in Group E is looking.
Napoli defeated Slazburg 3-2 in the other game this evening.
The story of the night, according to Opta...
Genk 1-4 Liverpool
A good night's work for Liverpool in Belgium ends in a commanding victory.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck two long-range goals - his first strikes since April 2018 - to put the Reds into a two-goal lead.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah further added to the scoreline, though Genk had something to cheer when Stephen Odey grabbed a late consolation.
Goal for Genk - Stephen Odey
The hosts pull a goal back as Ndongala wriggles into space inside the box and pulls it back for Odey, who finishes from close range on the turn.
GOAL! MOHAMED SALAH!
Sublime stuff from Salah to make it 4-0.
He offs off Lucumi on the edge of the box and then spins between the Genk defender and his partner, Cuesta, before rolling beyond Coucke and into the back of the net.
Odey booked for pulling back Keita.
Odey booked for pulling back Keita.
Wijnaldum arrows one just wide of the far post after the ball broke for him inside the box.
Onuachu goes off for Genk and on comes Odey.
Divock Origi comes on to a great reception from both sets of supporters, who also chant his name.
The striker replaces Firmino.
GOAL! SADIO MANE!
And it's 3-0 thanks to a wonderfully crafted goal.
Wijnaldum wins the ball back, feeds it to Firmino, who finds Salah. The Egyptian rolls it into the path of Mane's run, who hoists it deflty over the advancing goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's night's work is done. The two-goal hero is replaced by Wijnaldum for the final stages here.
Gomez goes into the book for preventing Ndongala from taking a quick throw in.
For a second consecutive Champions League game, a Liverpool player has assisted a goal on his birthday (Firmino v Red Bull Salzburg, Fabinho v Genk).
Van Dijk heads well over from an Oxlade-Chamberlain corner.
Mane slides in Salah, but he's halted by a challenge from Lucumi before he can shoot.
Ndongala comes on for Bongonda for Genk.
Joe Gomez is on for Andy Robertson.
GOAL! ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN!
Wow... what a goal that was.
Firmino rolls the ball off to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the edge of the area. He arrives almost side on to goal, but bends it over Coucke and in off the cross bar with the outside of his boot.
It was a ridiculous finish.
And now it's 2-0.
Off we go again...
Genk get us back under way in Belgium, where Liverpool lead 1-0.
Salzburg and Napoli are currently locked at 1-1 in Austria.
The tale of the first half, as told by Opta stats...
Genk 0-1 Liverpool
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's strike after two minutes in Belgium has given Liverpool a half-time advantage over Genk.
The hosts had an effort ruled out when Ally Mbwana Samatta's header was chalked off by VAR.
Two minutes of added time to be played at the end of the first half...
Fabinho's snap-volley from a half-cleared cross is claimed by Coucke.
Genk have another chance as Samatta is inches away from reaching Maehle's low cross into the six-yard box. Bongonda's follow-up is then blocked by Milner, but the flag goes up on the far side.
The goal scored by @Alex_OxChambo is the 4th fastest @LFC goal in the Champions League and the 9th time they have s… https://t.co/0nzYka5WkU— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 23rd Oct 19:19
Salah can't connect with a header at close range following a corner. It briefly looked a good opening for the Reds.
Mane's ridiculously skilled dragback sends Robertson hurtling into space inside the box, but his drive is blocked by Coucke.
Salah takes aim with a free-kick from 25 yards out and narrowly clears the top corner.
Genk think they are level as Samatta thumps a header beyond Alisson from close range.
It won't count though... VAR rules out it, we think, for offside.
What a goal that would have been...
Firmino's ranbona plays the ball between two defenders on the edge of the area to Mane, who shoots.
He is, however, denied by a sprawling stop from Coucke.
The ball breaks for Mane inside the area following Van Dijk's lay off at a corner, but his scoop goalwards cannons against a defender and Genk clear the danger.
Another good chance for Genk from a ball over the top. This time it is Onuachu who reaches it; however, Alisson makes a fine block to thwart his effort.
Two decent opportunities for the hosts early on, here.
That was a special moment for Oxlade-Chamberlain; it's his first goal for the Reds since he struck against Manchester City at Anfield in the Champions League on April 4, 2018.
Genk look to respond instantly as Samatta escapes into space on the left of the box, but he drags his bouncing effort wide of the far post.
GOAL! ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN!
Well, that's the start we all wanted.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes aim from 20 yards inside the opening 90 seconds and finds the bottom corner.
Here we go...
Liverpool start the game at the KRC Genk Arena.
Come on you Reds!
Free live commentary
Remember, if you cannot watch tonight's game, you can listen to all the action for free via our live commentary service.
Click here to access it.
The teams are out, the Champions League anthem is playing and kick off is moments away...
S A D I O ✌️ Warm-up complete 💪 Kick-off 🔜 #UCL | #GENLIV https://t.co/KTrQiuLy3g— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 18:52
Time for final preparations 💪 #UCL | #GENLIV https://t.co/jgDCYheNDj— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 18:35
Klopp explains team selection
Jürgen Klopp has outlined the thinking behind his decision to make five changes to Liverpool's starting line-up for tonight's Champions League tie in Genk.
Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, James Milner and Dejan Lovren have come in for Divock Origi, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip.
"It was clear we needed fresh legs and wanted that and the boys showed up on the weekend,” he said. “Obviously they are in god shape and we wanted to use that, and we don’t have to force Gini and Hendo through all the games. Mo, it was clear since Sunday that he’s able to play and he is completely fine.
“In the back line we had to do it so that’s all OK. So, all good. I like it. We didn’t think about how many changes there are, we only realised later that it’s five, but I still think we have a pretty good team on the pitch.”
👋👋 #UCL | #GENLIV https://t.co/oIxs4NA1pR— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 18:13
The Reds are here...
The Reds have arrived 🙌🔴 #UCL | #GENLIV https://t.co/zZEobeVaBZ— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 18:09
Here's how Opta expect the two sides to line up tonight...
The teamsheet is in and shows five changes for Liverpool from the side that started Sunday’s draw at Manchester United.
Mohamed Salah returns after a knock, while there are also starting berths for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. Meanwhile, James Milner and Dejan Lovren replace Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip in defence after the pair did not travel to Belgium.
Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Gomez, Henderson, Lallana, Brewster, Origi.
When the Reds come to my home country as European Champions, cannot miss! #LFC #UCL #YNWA https://t.co/9dyuvqnh07— Ituralde (Ituralde) 23rd Oct 17:15
*** LIVERPOOLFC.COM OFFICIAL WEATHER UPDATE ***
We might be in continential action tonight, but that doesn't mean our Official Liverpoolfc.com Weather Update™ is taking a break.
Far from it, dear reader.
Our trusty old thermometer was packed in our hold luggage and has made the journey to the KRC Genk Arena.
And the mercury is showing it is currently at 14 degrees after a pleasant day in Limburg, meaning it'll be feeling chilly as the game gets under way tonight.
Thankfully, though, there's no rain forecast by our sources, so an autumnal jacket will do the trick.
KRC Genk Arena. https://t.co/rjVBsQ4I8s— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 23rd Oct 16:46
That's it set, you have to say.
Genk away with the usual suspects #LFCEuroAwayDays https://t.co/RpAFAPWVeP— ABJ_LFC (Andy) 23rd Oct 09:51
#LFC fans in good spirits in Genk ahead of tonight’s Champions League tie. Starting to fill up in the square.… https://t.co/u08tu9N3lu— ptgorst (Paul Gorst) 23rd Oct 13:05
🔜 #GENLIV https://t.co/N9not0B5Yr— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 14:45
James Milner's expectations
"A tough game," the vice-captain told Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the tie.
"They are pretty solid at home. They play football; they are well organised but they want to play football. And they have got some dangerous players up front as well.
"So it's going to be tough. We have to make sure we perform at our level or we won't get a result."
Hear more from Milner's pre-match interview via LFCTV GO below.
Tonight's venue... 📍 #UCL | #GENLIV https://t.co/QDkZRGNXDF— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 14:26
Klopp on potential changes
The manager must make at least two alterations to his XI tonight, and he discussed the possibility of more changes at his pre-match press conference.
"For us it is a very intense period; some of my players have already had 17 games, that's half of a season in Germany, with international games and stuff like that," he said.
"It's no problem, we are not tired, not at all. It's all good, but of course we have two positions we have to change anyway with Joel and Trent. Then let's see what we can do on top of that, but it is never for changing, it's always for being best prepared for the next opponent - and that is Genk.
"We wanted to find a team - and I think we found a team - which can make life uncomfortable for Genk. That's a very important part of the game."
- Genk are Liverpool's 130th different opponent in European football and the 77th in this competition
- The Reds' record in previous meetings with Belgian sides is 10 wins, two draws and one defeat
- Alisson Becker could play his first game in the Champions League since last season's final
- Liverpool have played a European match on this date twice before - they drew 1-1 with Ferencvaros at Anfield in 1974 and lost 2-0 at Auxerre in 1991
- Roberto Firmino has missed just one of the club's 44 European fixtures under Jürgen Klopp so far
Another European adventure
Liverpool U19s have beaten Genk 2-0 in the UEFA Youth League courtesy of goals from Layton Stewart and Curtis Jones. Click here to read the match report as the young Reds maintained their spot at the top of Group E.
The UEFA Champions League is back tonight! 😎 Here's that magical moment in Madrid last June! As inspiration goes,… https://t.co/FaCUroMQN0— LFCSoccerSchool (LFC Intl Academy) 23rd Oct 13:12
Meanwhile, in our U19s' UEFA Youth League clash with Genk, a Layton Stewart penalty has given the Reds a 1-0 lead.
GOOALLLLLL!! Layton Stewart converts the penalty to give the young Reds the lead!! #UYL https://t.co/dIP8thJCIB— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 23rd Oct 12:23
It's @ChampionsLeague day. 🔴🙏🏾 https://t.co/sEfiimg3uf— _fabinhotavares (Fabinho) 23rd Oct 11:40
We've looked at three individual battles that may determine where this contest is won and lost. Click here to have a read.
Happy birthday my brother, have a blessed day 🙏🏾❤️ (As a present I’ll let you win next time 😜) https://t.co/pm5Vjhky0g— GWijnaldum (Gini Wijnaldum) 23rd Oct 11:03
'Against the strongest team in the world'
As you'd probably expect, the visit of the European champions is big news here in Belgium.
The sport section of the Het Belang van Limburg newspaper leads with a photo of Mo Salah and the headline 'Against the strongest team in the world'...
The absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip will require Liverpool to make at least two changes tonight.
Both players have not made the trip to Belgium as Alexander-Arnold is out because of a virus and Matip sidelined with a sore knee.
The Reds are, however, boosted by the return of Mohamed Salah after he missed the weekend's match at Manchester United through an ankle injury.
On the No.11's fitness, Klopp said: "We have to wait [to see] how he reacts overnight. We will not go [for] any risk. [On Tuesday] it looked really good, that was important."
Xherdan Shaqiri remains unavailable, Nathaniel Clyne is a long-term absentee, and Ki-Jana Hoever is away with the Netherlands for the FIFA U17 World Cup.
Genk, meanwhile, will continue to be without Neto Borges (foot) and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic (Achilles).
In the other dugout...
Genk boss Felice Mazzu is looking for his side to build on their goalless draw with Napoli in matchday two, but is fully aware of the challenge that awaits his players.
He told a press conference on Tuesday: "If we play with the conviction that we showed against Napoli, I believe we can do something.
"Although I fear that Liverpool are even better [than Napoli]. Their attackers in particular are so dangerous. Speed, efficiency, scoring ability and then that almost continuous high press."
This is Liverpool's first trip to Belgium in over a decade. So, can you remember the Reds' starting XI that faced Standard Liege back in August 2008?
On that night, Rafael Benitez's side were held to a goalless draw by Liege in the first leg of a Champions League qualifier.
Click the graphic to reveal the answers...
U19s in action
Our U19s are in UEFA Youth League action this afternoon as they also face Genk. Here's the team news from that game...
Liverpool U19s: Ojrzynski, Williams, Van den Berg, Boyes, Larouci, Clarkson, Dixon-Bonner, Cain, Elliott, Stewart, Jones.
A vintage 🇧🇷 @_fabinhotavares display to mark his 26th birthday! 🥳 #UCL | @LFC https://t.co/kONmmazE6I— ChampionsLeague (UEFA Champions League) 23rd Oct 08:37
Genk v @LFC As you are no doubt aware there is no public transport after 22.00 in Genk. The local authorities / pol… https://t.co/wgHQtJltHM— MerPolLFC (MerPol Liverpool FC) 23rd Oct 10:05
What's the plan?
It's matchday in Belgium, so what's planned for the Liverpool squad ahead of kick-off tonight?
Well, there was a light training session this morning to run through final preparations prior to the clash with Genk.
The squad are now back at the team hotel and enjoying some lunch before a rest period this afternoon.
Prior to departing for the KRC Genk Arena, there'll be a final team meeting and then it's off to the stadium for kick-off.
Do you want to know more about tonight's opponents? Check out Scott Fleming's in-depth look at the Belgian champions by clicking here.
Jürgen Klopp was joined by James Milner at a press conference yesterday evening to preview the affair. Watch everything the pair had to say in the video below...
⚽️⚽️ https://t.co/pksR94IwvI— MoSalah (Mohamed Salah) 22nd Oct 17:01
Jürgen Klopp's side trained at Melwood before flying out to Belgium. Check out the workout in the gallery below...
Did you know?
It's Fabinho's 26th birthday today and should he score, the Brazilian would be the first Red to find the net on his birthday since Daniel Sturridge, who did so against Manchester United in September 2013.
Training & talking done - now time to get 3 valuable away points 💪🏻🔴 #UCL #allezallezallez https://t.co/BCRSgSyG1z— JamesMilner (James Milner) 22nd Oct 20:33
Here's how Group E looks ahead of the third round of matches...
Last time in Europe
A thriller. The Reds edged Salzburg 4-3 at Anfield in their second Group E fixture. Watch the highlights from that match in the video below...
Welcome to our live blog of Liverpool's Champions League encounter with Genk this evening.
Stay with us throughout the day as we bring you the best of the build-up, action and post-match reaction from the Belgian province of Limburg.