Result Liverpool vs. Rangers: final result, goals, highlights and match report of the Champions League

In the clash between the clubs from the banks of the Mersey and the Clyde, the real winner was Trent. Mohamed Salah scored with casual ease but Trent Alexander-Arnold put Liverpool on the path to the win they expected. Perhaps he effected a rapid transformation from scapegoat to top dog, and certainly his celebration of a cathartic goal had an air of justification.

Whether a brilliant free-kick was an eloquent response to criticism or simply a display of the gifts that make him a unique right-back, it brought him respite on an evening that ended not with further investigation but with a standing ovation.

It was also a relaxing affair for Liverpool. A continental season that began at the nadir of their worst performance under Jurgen Klopp now appears on course to end somewhere in the knockout stages. Napoli’s win over Ajax helps Liverpool qualify if not win Group A and they can plan the return trip to Ibrox next week as they need more points in the Premier League than in the Champions League.

On a night when Liverpool were comfortable and commanding, if not clinical, they took a two-goal lead for only the second time this season – the first netted a further seven goals against Bournemouth – but it has to be a relatively small strike context of the limitations of the rangers.

Ajax and Napoli both recorded major victories over Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side. The Europa League finalists appear destined to beat an early Champions League exit; They’ve been goalless and pointless so far, and when a 5-4-1 signaled an intention to keep a clean sheet, they were soon back.

The fact that Liverpool started with pace and scored first, two things they have done too seldom during the difficult months, should be encouraging. Thus, several performances, be it Thiago Alcantara’s passing game or Luis Diaz’s energetic run, while Klopp’s rare decision to switch form to 4-2-3-1 could in itself be an admission of troubles by the prominence of a front four -Who was justified held back the Rangers.

And yet the opening goal came from a player whose job description as a defender is deceptive.

Trent’s trade-off is that the cost of his defensive failings is far outweighed by anything else he gives Liverpool. And if that hasn’t always been the case this season, it has been here, as it has in every previous season and his Anfield career. Indeed, it was his third goal in 11 games, the kind of return some strikers might envy.

Some would try to play their way out of poor form with unassuming reliability, but Alexander-Arnold is unable to remain anonymous. not for him the quiet reliability of some inconspicuous full-backs.

For the second time in four days he was involved in the opening goal at Anfield. This time Liverpool scored and he did it, curling in a free-kick with expert precision. Allan McGregor, who made his debut for Rangers when Alexander-Arnold was three, gasped when the right-back’s shot entered the top corner. The set piece was conceded by some sort of former teammate. Ben Davies never played at Anfield in his ill-fated Liverpool career. His first notable action on the ground, which he never actually called home, was the foul on Darwin Nunez.

If Liverpool were dominant after that, the fragility of their confidence meant a second goal was necessary and Salah delivered it belatedly, saving a penalty from McGregor after a raging Diaz was brought down by Leon King.

However, the more sustained attack on the Rangers goal had come from Nunez. Klopp was confident he would start for the second time since being sent off against Crystal Palace amid a change of plan caused by Liverpool’s mistake against Brighton.

A terribly out of shape Fabinho was dropped amid a system change. The recalled striker could have scored after two minutes and could have scored four goals by half-time.

And yet he found his nemesis in the oldest man to play at Anfield since Elton John in June. McGregor, 40, was outstanding. In between, he thwarted Salah and won a personal duel with the sharp-witted Nunez. The Uruguayan unleashed an early snap that was parried by the keeper, nabbing Jordan Henderson’s lob over the Rangers defence, controlling skillfully and getting a second shot on target while McGregor again showed the reflexes of a younger man. When Salah released Nunez in the inside right channel, McGregor came to Rangers’ rescue, just like when Diogo Jota let him run away.

Darwin Nunez in action for Liverpool

(Action Images/Reuters)

His opposite number had less to do, although Alisson marked his first game since turning 30 with a beautiful save from Antonio Colak while Kostas Tsimikas scored an acrobatic goal-line demolition.

But while Rangers fans sang the national anthem to the annoyance of their Liverpool counterparts, all they could enjoy on the pitch was tenacious defending and good goalkeeping.

This was a historic first gathering of clubs claiming to be the most successful ever north and south of the border. It was a sign of the magnitude of the occasion that among those in attendance were a particularly respected former Rangers forward, Sir Alex Ferguson, who made a rare trip to Anfield, and their former manager, Steven Gerrard.

It can be assumed that the ex-Liverpool captain left happier with the result than the ex-Manchester United manager. Result Liverpool vs. Rangers: final result, goals, highlights and match report of the Champions League

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