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Ibe scores his first goal in Liverpool win in Europa League

Friday 6th November , 2015 8:28 am
Match winner: Jordan Ibe (Image credit: Reuters)
Match winner: Jordan Ibe (Image credit: Reuters)

Liverpool gave themselves the chance to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League with a game to spare with victory over Rubin Kazan.

James Milner shot against the crossbar early on for a dominant Liverpool after Roberto Firmino’s through ball.

The deserved opener came after the break when the impressive Jordon Ibe struck home his first goal for the club from 20 yards.

Milner and Ibe had shots saved before the visitors held off late pressure.

Second-placed Liverpool now trail Group B leaders Sion by two points but are three ahead of Bordeaux, who visit Anfield on 26 November.

The Reds will qualify for the knockout stages if they win that match, with their last game a trip to Switzerland to face Sion.

Europa League Group B

So far, so good for Klopp?

Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as Liverpool boss was greeted with almost universal excitement by Reds fans after a disappointing start to the season under Brendan Rodgers.

Thursday’s win – their first in this season’s Europa League – was their third in succession and supporters will have seen nothing to suggest their belief in Klopp is misplaced.

A new high-tempo, direct pressing style left Rubin Kazan with just 32% possession and seven shots – none on target – compared to Liverpool’s 23.

The result means Klopp is unbeaten in his opening six matches, a positive start to his tenure.

New era still a work in progress

With Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings still injured and Christian Benteke only just back, Liverpool looked a little toothless in the final third.

Their approach play and continual pressing of their hosts resulted in total domination, but just six shots on target from 23 attempts.

The hosts looked disinterested offensively for large periods but Liverpool’s failure to kill them off almost cost them dear as the Russians pressed late on.

A new approach in Europe?

Rodgers made a host of changes for Liverpool’s opening two Europa League matches of the season

But Klopp named a strong side for the second successive match, despite leaving Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho on the substitutes’ bench.

Securing Champions League qualification has to be the main aim, but not even a 4,000-mile round trip persuaded Klopp to leave some of his stars in Liverpool.

Man of the match: Jordon Ibe

Jordon Ibe

Liverpool’s 19-year-old winger was a threat throughout and his performance was rewarded with his first goal for the club. He was also given a post-match hug by Klopp, who ran onto the pitch shouting “Ibeeeeeeee” before embracing him (Image credit: AFP)

Manager reaction

Klopp told the Liverpool Echo:  “Jordon is a skilful player and a big talent – fast, strong, good at dribbling

“He has to learn so much but has a real good base. He feels good. You could see it in this match.

“Like everyone, he has a long way to go. If he’s prepared to listen then he will be very good.”

Stats you need to know

  • Rubin Kazan changed their official name to FC Rubin last month
  • They had only lost once previously in the Kazan Arena, a stadium that will be used in the 2018 World Cup
  • Liverpool are the first English team to win in Kazan, with the Russians having beaten Wigan, Chelsea and Tottenham by one-goal margins
  • Liverpool have not lost an away European game they have scored in since April 2010, a run of 10 matches

What next?

Liverpool will attempt to make it four straight wins in all competitions when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.

 

 

Source: BBC

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