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Liverpool back in the Europa League with in over LASK

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LASK Linz 1-3 Liverpool; UEFA Europa League
Liverpool players Luis Diaz and Gravenberch celebrating a goal in the match. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Liverpool visited LASK Linz in their return to the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night
  • This was Liverpool’s first match in  the competition since 2016
  • Despite falling behind early on, the Reds made a comeback to seal a 3-1 victory away from home

Liverpool made their return to the Europa League after 2,682 days and had to overcome an early deficit to secure a 3-1 victory against LASK in Linz. While the Reds had been primarily competing in the Champions League in recent years, they adjusted to the challenges of the Europa League as they came from behind, showcasing their resilience and adaptability.

The match began with the Austrians taking an early lead thanks to Florian Flecker’s well-taken goal. Liverpool initially struggled to adapt to the Europa League, but they soon realized that the competition would be just as challenging as the Champions League. This realization triggered Liverpool’s familiar pattern of coming from behind to win.

Liverpool’s manager, Jurgen Klopp, had emphasized that the Europa League was not a competition for providing “opportunities,” yet he fielded a significantly different lineup from their previous match against Wolves. While the team featured key players like Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate in defense, there were younger and less experienced players in midfield, including 21-year-old Ryan Gravenberch and 20-year-old Harvey Elliott.

The match marked a significant moment for 17-year-old winger Ben Doak, who became Liverpool’s fourth-youngest player to participate in a European match. However, Doak was limited in his opportunities due to Liverpool’s struggling midfield and was eventually substituted in the second half.

READ: Darwin Nunez or Gakpo, who should be Liverpool striker?

A defensive lapse, with 18-year-old midfielder Stefan Bajcetic filling in at right-back, led to LASK’s opening goal. Flecker capitalized on the mistake and scored with a well-placed shot. Despite Liverpool’s control of possession, they struggled to create clear chances in the first half.

LASK Linz 1-3 Liverpool - UEFA Europa League

Liverpool forward Luis Diaz celebrates after scoring against LASK in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, September 21, 2023. | PHOTO: ESPN |

Liverpool’s breakthrough came in the second half when Darwin Nunez converted a penalty after Luis Diaz was fouled. This signaled Klopp to make substitutions, introducing summer signings Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister to strengthen the midfield.

Liverpool took the lead after Nunez received a pass from Joe Gomez, setting up Gravenberch for a cross that was turned in by Diaz. As if things weren’t challenging enough for LASK, Mohamed Salah came off the bench and immediately made an impact, creating chances and scoring a goal in the closing minutes.

Liverpool’s victory in their return to the Europa League demonstrated their ability to adapt to different competitions and their knack for coming from behind to win. While they had to work for it, they ultimately secured a solid start to their Europa League campaign, thanks to their depth and resilience.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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