|Image via Sky Sports|
After a somewhat bizarre opening goal from visitors Bordeaux, the Reds managed to seal victory at Anfield on Thursday evening and have secured their place in the last 32 of the Europa League in the process. The evening opened with bad news though after it filtered through that Daniel Sturridge would be sent for a scan on a foot injury in the morning.
The first half for Liverpool didn’t get off to a magnificent start when a lapse in concentration from Simon Mignolet led to a very questionable headed clearance. Luckily Kolo Toure was around to help clean up the mess and the visitors failed to capitalise on the situation.
Christian Benteke had a brilliant game which began with a strike at the side netting, quickly followed by a goal that was ruled offside. The forward was unlucky, mistiming his run slightly but the link up play between himself and the likes of Ibe, Milner and Firmino meant he’d surely get on the scoresheet.
Just after the half hour mark Bordeaux found themselves a goal in rather bemusing fashion. The referee decided Mignolet had kept hold of the ball for too long, to be honest one downfall Mignolet has is his decision making/ability to distribute quickly and effectively, but seriously this time he was pushing his luck. The rule states you can hold the ball for six seconds, obviously keepers hold it for longer, probably on a regular basis but hold it for 21 seconds and you can’t be surprised when the referee decides to actually enforce the rule.
Bordeaux took their free kick from inside the box and Saivet finished strongly to put the French side in the lead.
Liverpool didn’t take long however to cancel out the goal when a penalty was awarded just five minutes later. Christian Benteke was fouled in the box and up stepped captain James Milner, successfully converting the spot kick to the right of goal.
With the Reds now on level terms the game definitely began to swing in their favour and right on the stroke of half time Klopp’s side found themselves a second.
It was a stunning effort from Benteke who received the ball from Clyne on the wing, the ex Villa man controlled, turned and struck home a beautiful strike to put his side into the lead.
It was nothing more than Liverpool deserved and as the second half showed, aside from some half chances from Bordeaux, the visitors never seriously looked like troubling the Reds from open play.
Efforts from Ibe and another disallowed Benteke goal followed in the latter half of the game but Bordeaux spent most of the time inside their own half. A late challenge from Dejan Lovren allowed Saivet to whip in a direct effort from a free kick very late on but Mignolet saved well.
The victory means the Reds will also top the group if they avoid defeat in the final game in Switzerland.
Next up for the Reds is Swansea on Sunday.
Read More: Reds Through To Round Of 32
Source: The Liver Bird