Trent Alexander-Arnold shines for Liverpool in dominant win over Rangers

Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in a lovely free-kick to put Liverpool ahead - Trent Alexander-Arnold impressed after a difficult few weeks - GETTY IMAGES
Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in a lovely free-kick to put Liverpool ahead - Trent Alexander-Arnold impressed after a difficult few weeks - GETTY IMAGES

The next 11 days present Liverpool with the kind of challenge that every fine team with an eye on the important prizes in the game must confront: a visit to the league leaders and, after that, a meeting with the side that seem capable of beating anyone, at any time.

Between those two Premier League games, Jurgen Klopp’s team will venture north to take on Rangers in their Ibrox habitat where the assumption must be that something more serious than was attempted on this evening will be offered by the team from Scotland. Liverpool have been beaten soundly on their only other European away trip so far this season and the game in Glasgow, a week on Wednesday, will surely present more of a challenge than the one Rangers presented at Anfield.

Just two goals although the scope of Liverpool’s victory was much bigger. One of last season’s break-out sides in Europe, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team, the beaten Europa League finalists last time around, scarcely created a chance of note. With the full backing of Ibrox, and not a goal scored yet in three Champions League group game defeats, one can only imagine it will be a different prospect next week.

The thoughts of Liverpool turn to Arsenal on Sunday, the club they have outperformed in recent years now atop the Premier League, and then, seven days after that, Manchester City. The defending champions, their great rival of the era, are a daunting prospect and yet with Liverpool having surpassed them on many pivotal occasions in recent years, away at Anfield counts as one of the few serious confrontations for City this season. Should City win easily, who else might stop them?

Hard to decide whether this was a Liverpool renaissance after such an indifferent start to the season, given the kind of game it became. Just the fourth win in ten games in all competitions this summer for Liverpool. Nevertheless Napoli’s 6-1 victory over Ajax in Amsterdam demonstrated the strength of the Italians in Group A. Klopp was eager to point out this was a different kind of attacking line-up for Liverpool with four attackers and just two midfielders.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - PROPAGANDA
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - PROPAGANDA

Among them, the striker Darwin Nunez for whom there is still no Anfield goal yet. The man who will eventually cost £85 million was denied at least three in the first half by a brilliant performance from the 40-year-old Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Klopp said that the system – a 4-2-3-1 - had been practised just once in training in the days before the game and even then at a low intensity.

There was no charity from Mohamed Salah when Luis Diaz won a second half penalty. Salah was grateful for the goal himself. This is the awkward period of adaptation for Nunez, taking on the mantle of the great strikers who have gone before him and, indeed, play alongside him. He appears to be doing the right things and occupying the appropriate spaces but it will never feel comfortable for him until the goals start rolling in. As for those elusive Nunez goals, Klopp said “I think everybody saw tonight that this will happen.”

There was at least a strong start for Trent Alexander-Arnold, doing what he does best. His free-kick on seven minutes at the Anfield Road end was a thing of beauty and all the more impressive given the performance that followed from McGregor. In the final minutes of the game, Klopp would substitute Alexander-Arnold and let him take the acclaim of Anfield. Later the Liverpool manager was once again at pains to point out that the defensive problems against Brighton and on other occasions were the team’s to share and not Alexander-Arnold’s alone.

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool (H) attempts a free kick for score his goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Liverpool FC and Rangers FC at Anfield on October 4, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom - Getty Images Europe 
Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool (H) attempts a free kick for score his goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Liverpool FC and Rangers FC at Anfield on October 4, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom - Getty Images Europe

“You have to think quicker and do things quicker” was Van Bronckhorst’s analysis of the Champions League challenge for his players. His five-man defence made the general direction of the game something of an inevitability and in midfield the Liverpudlian John Lundstram and 37-year-old Steven Davis found it tough going. Just a goal down at half-time felt like a reprieve.

That was mostly down to McGregor who is evidently not too old for the business of flinging himself in front of the relentless attacks of one of the best sides in Europe. There were three fine saves from McGregor when Nunez hit the target on three separate occasions in the last 11 minutes of the half, guided in by passes from Jordan Henderson, Salah and then Diaz.

The goal had come when Ben Davies, a Liverpool centre-half who never played for the club but arrived to plug the great injury crisis of January 2021, fouled Nunez just outside the box. It could scarcely have been better placed for the right foot of Alexander-Arnold, for whom the spectacular free-kicks have always been less of a problem than the more prosaic question of taking up the right defensive positions. McGregor barely moved toward this one shaped over the wall, outside the post and then back in.

Van Bronkhorst said that his team had to confront the reality that they were “competing with one of the best sides in Europe”. “The gap is there, it doesn’t mean you have to lose the game,” said the Rangers manager and what he meant was that there was always a chance, however slim. His team are playing for third place now and a qualifying spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League in the New Year. There was a brief moment when Ryan Kent, the former Liverpool academy boy, took the ball on the turn and left Henderson wondering where he had gone. It was a lonely furrow tended by Alfredo Morelos up against Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip a long way from the rest of his team-mates.

With Liverpool stuck on one goal for most of the first half, Diaz got the breakthrough seven minutes after half-time when he surged past Lundstram in the area and was tripped by Leon King. Salah never looked like missing from the spot.

Rangers did not threaten the goal of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson until the very end when the substitute Rabbi Matondo squeezed a shot past the Brazilian from the left and it was brilliantly lifted over the bar by another substitute, Kostas Tsimikas, who used his shin as he hurtled towards his own goal. Such is the premium on a Champions League goal for the Scottish side who are finding this a difficult return to the big competition.

Liverpool 2 Rangers 0, as it happened

10:33 PM

Thanks for following

That's it from us tonight. Read Sam Wallace's report above and relive the match below.

Are Liverpool back? Perhaps it is too early to say but victory this evening is a step in the right direction.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SHUTTERSTOCK
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SHUTTERSTOCK

10:16 PM

More from Alexander-Arnold

We went back to a basic 4-4-2 and played it really well, shifted across the pitch well. We made it compact, they couldn't play through us, they were playing long balls and we picked them off. This year is going to be very intense. It's what we're used to, three games a week. There's no excuses. With the games coming thick and fast, its exciting for us."

10:03 PM

Alexander-Arnold speaks to BT Sport

No matter what, I try and think positively. People say things but I come out and perform for the team. It's been a slow start to the season for me but I'm looking forward to the rest of it.

10:00 PM

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe at Anfield

In the end it was not so much a Battle of Britain as a one-sided minor skirmish in a northern county. Liverpool eased to victory thanks to a virtuoso performance from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Rangers should be a different beast at Ibrox next weekend, but Liverpool have moved second in their group as it looks like a straight shoot-out with Ajax for the qualifying spot behind Napoli.

09:52 PM

FULL TIME: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

The whistle blows at Anfield. A warm embrace between the two managers and it is a confidence boosting win for Liverpool.

2-0 doesn't do justice to their dominance.

09:50 PM

90+3mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Final Liverpool change:

Alexander Arnold given a standing ovation by Anfield as he is replaced by Gomez. He got a yellow card just before coming off.

09:47 PM

90mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Four minutes added on here at Anfield.

09:44 PM

85mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

What a clearance off the line by Tsimikas. Matondo bursts through, shoots through Alisson's legs but the Greek defender clears off the line.

From the resulting corner, Liverpool fail to clear the ball and it falls to Colak, who's shot is blocked by Alisson.

The subs have made an impact for Rangers.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP

09:41 PM

83mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Into the final 10 minutes and Rangers are yet to have a shot on target.

Matip gets above King from a corner but glances his header just wide of the post.

09:39 PM

80mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Double change for Rangers:

Davies and Kent off, Kamara and Matondo on

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP

09:37 PM

79mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Double Liverpool change:

Nunez and Thiago off, Elliott and Milner on

09:35 PM

75mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Elsewhere in this group, Napoli lead Ajax 5-1 in Amsterdam. That's 12 goals in 3 games so far.

09:31 PM

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe at Anfield

So far this is exactly the kind of performance Liverpool needed after recent troubles, Rangers proving accommodating opponents. There is a gulf in class between the teams.

09:30 PM

72mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Change for Rangers:

Morelos off, Colak on

09:27 PM

69mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Two changes for Liverpool:

Jota and Henderson off, Firmino and Fabinho on

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - GETTY IMAGES
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - GETTY IMAGES

09:24 PM

66mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Immediate impact from Sakala as he takes a shot at goal but drags his effort wide.

09:23 PM

64mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Two changes for Rangers:

Davis and Tillman off, Sakala and Jack on

09:19 PM

61mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Rangers are having a bit more of the ball but aren't able to sustain their attacks. A double substitution is incoming.

09:17 PM

58mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Fine save from McGregor to tip over Jota's thunderous left footed shot.

That's his best of the night.

09:12 PM

54mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0

Two early goals in each half and Liverpool are now in complete control of the match.

09:11 PM

52mins: Liverpool 2 Rangers 0 GOAL Salah

No heroics from McGregor this time. Salah clips his shot down the middle as McGregor dives to his left.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - PROPAGANDA
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - PROPAGANDA

09:09 PM

51mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0 PENALTY

Diaz bursts past King, who can't keep up with him and brings him down. Salah to take.

09:08 PM

50mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Nunez is desperate for a goal. Perhaps too desperate. He shoots over when a better option may have been a pass to a team-mate.

09:05 PM

47mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Rangers didn't test Alisson in the Liverpool goal at all in the first half. Will they show more attacking ambition?

09:03 PM

Second Half: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Liverpool get the second half under way.

08:59 PM

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe at Anfield

Two-star performers in the first half - Alexander-Arnold and Rangers’ Allan McGregor. Darwin Nunez must feel the keeper has a personal vendetta as he produced four outstanding saves to deny the Uruguayan. Liverpool are in total control but need the second to ensure the lack of confidence of recent games does not return.

There will be more opportunities for Nunez in the second half. Perhaps he is saving his first Anfield goal (in a Liverpool shirt) for the Kop end.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP

08:48 PM

HALF TIME: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

No time added on. A perfect half for the home side but they would have liked more goals to highlight their dominance.

08:45 PM

43mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Nunez vs McGregor part 4.

Nunez latches onto another through ball from Jota and takes the shot early but the keeper makes a low save.

08:43 PM

40mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

It's a personal battle between Nunez and McGregor.

Salah slips a nice ball down the side of the Rangers defence. Nunez runs onto it and shoots at the near post but the keeper blocks again.

08:39 PM

37mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

So far Klopp's gamble with just Henderson and Thiago has worked.

First booking of the match goes to Lundstram for a poor challenge on Jota.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS

08:37 PM

35mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

McGregor is forced into another save, this time from Diaz. 11 attempts at goal from Liverpool so far.

08:36 PM

33mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Another chance for Nunez. Henderson flicks a ball over the top of the Rangers defence. Nunez has time and space but he shoots straight at McGregor.

The Liverpool striker has to do better there.

08:32 PM

30mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

We've reached the half an hour mark at Anfield. The game is starting to settle. Rangers are trying to play but keep giving the ball back to Liverpool.

08:30 PM

27mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Another corner to Liverpool after they cut through the Rangers defence. Rangers fail to clear the ball after Tsimikas' cross and concede another corner.

This time Alexander-Arnold whips the ball in, Van Dijk gets his head on it but the ball escapes Jota's dive at the far post.

08:26 PM

23mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe at Anfield:

And so the debate about Alexander-Arnold goes on… a defensive performance to feed the naysayers last weekend, and a textbook free-kick to show England what they are missing tonight. Whether you think he is a flawed full-back or not, there can be no argument about his extraordinary talent.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - AFP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - AFP

08:20 PM

19mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Tavernier takes it but shoots straight into the wall. The ball falls to Kent but he lashes over the bar.

08:19 PM

18mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Kent spins past Henderson and is brought down by Alexander-Arnold. Free kick in a promising position for the away side.

08:18 PM

17mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Via Opta -

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Alexander-Arnold has scored six direct free-kick goals in all competitions, more than any other Liverpool player in this period.

08:17 PM

14mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Rangers have barely been able to get out of their half in the opening stages. Liverpool have complete control.

McGregor is now forced into a save by Salah, who was allowed to carry the ball a long away, cut inside and shoot towards the far post.

08:13 PM

10mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0

Perfect start for Liverpool and Alexander Arnold, who has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent weeks.

08:09 PM

7mins: Liverpool 1 Rangers 0 GOAL Alexander Arnold

Alexander-Arnold takes it and whips it into the top corner. Stunning set-piece from the right.

David Beckham-esque!

08:08 PM

6mins: Liverpool 0 Rangers 0

Davies fouls Nunez 25 yards out. It's in a dangerous position...

08:06 PM

4mins: Liverpool 0 Rangers 0

This is Klopp's 97th match as a manager in the Champions League. A fine achievement.

08:04 PM

2mins: Liverpool 0 Rangers 0

The home side dominating the ball in the early stages. And the first chance of the match goes to Nunez, who tests McGregor with a snap snot.

08:03 PM

Analysis from chief football writer Sam Wallace at Anfield

Liverpool fans drowning out the Uefa Champions League anthem with booing - in light of the fiasco of the Champions League final in Paris in May. Thousands of Liverpool fans were locked out and some teargassed.

Others were left at the mercy of local gangs. Blamed by the French authorities in the aftermath - and then exonerated -  they have made their point. The other club that does this - for different reasons - is Manchester City.

08:01 PM

Kick Off: Liverpool vs Rangers

The away side get this match under way.

08:01 PM

Minutes silence

The two sides will pay their respects to the victims of the stadium riot in Indonesia over the weekend.

07:58 PM

Here come the teams

Incredible atmosphere at Anfield for this 'Battle of Britain'. It is the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Red flares are going off in the away end.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS

07:55 PM

A reminder of the teams

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Diaz, Nunez.

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, King, Barisic, Tillman, Lundstram, Davis, Kent, Morelos.

07:51 PM

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe at Anfield

It is a mix of passionate Glaswegians and passionate Scousers in Liverpool today - the city centre enjoying a mood to the mother of all stag or hen parties. Naturally, there is a strong police presence at Anfield but nothing too out of the ordinary as yet. The most intimidating gesture by the Rangers so far could be interpreted as a rendition of ‘God Save The King’ on bagpipes.

Fans were escorted from nearby Goodison Park an hour before kick off, the overwhelming majority in place ahead of kick off. Rather like Liverpool fans on away European trips, however, there is a good chance many away supporters will have located some tickets for the home areas. That will become clearer should Rangers score a couple of goals.

Those who travelled south without tickets appear to have stayed in the city centre bar to watch the match. In truth, the Battle of Britain narrative has not really caught fire around this fixture, Liverpool supporters with a tendency to put ‘Scouse’ rather than “English’ on their passports. That said, there should be the passion of a derby when the game kicks off.

07:43 PM

Will Jurgen Klopp be smiling at the end of the match?

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS

07:35 PM

Rangers midfielder John Lundstram, a former Everton player, who grew up a Liverpool fan

Obviously being at Everton I had to hide it. You can't really show you're a Liverpool fan but when I left the club I got back to trying to support the team.

Going back to my own city to the club I grew up supporting is a special occasion for myself and I want to go there and get a decent result.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - GETTY 
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - GETTY

07:17 PM

Rangers have arrived at Anfield

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - PA
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - PA
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - SNS GROUP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - SNS GROUP
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - REUTERS
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - REUTERS

07:08 PM

Analysis from Merseyside Football reporter Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp's response to Liverpool's defensive issues is to go all out attack even more. Rather than bolster his midfield, he has gone with four attackers which means all eyes wil be on Darwin Nunez, who makes his first start since the Merseyside derby.

liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest  - GETTY IMAGES
liverpool vs rangers live champions league score latest - GETTY IMAGES

07:01 PM

Team news from Anfield

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Tsimikas, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Diaz, Nunez.

Subs: Gomez, Fabinho, Konate, Milner, Firmino, Adrian, Elliott, Ramsay, Carvalho, Bajcetic, Phillips, Kelleher.

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, King, Barisic, Tillman, Lundstram, Davis, Kent, Morelos.

Subs: Yilmaz, Jack, Colak, Matondo, Kamara, Scott Wright, McCrorie, Sakala, McLaughlin, Arfield, Devine.

Referee: Clement Turpin (France)

06:56 PM

Good evening

Hello and welcome to coverage of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Rangers at Anfield.

It is a pivotal night for Jurgen Klopp's men after a mixed start to the season. At the weekend, they drew 3-3 at home to Brighton, having gone from 2-0 down to 3-2 up. It was a match that highlighted the up and down confidence levels at the Merseyside club and Klopp insists even greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are not immune from issues with belief as he seeks to find a solution to his side's inconsistency.

"People can ask how could it happen that these players are not full of confidence?" said the German. "Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo (reduced to a substitute role at Manchester United) at this moment is top of his confidence levels?

"He was for ages the best player in the world and now it is not going his way and it is not exactly the same. That happens to all of us.

"Lionel Messi played last season (his first at Paris St Germain) where it was not exactly the same because these kind of things are really important to all of us and you have to work for it.

"You have to take the little things to take a step in the right direction and be really ready for the moment when it is back and that is what we are doing."

Darwin Nunez will be hoping for a start after his struggles since joining in the summer from Benfica.

"Only yesterday we had a long talk - with Pep Lijnders (assistant manager) because my Portuguese is still not better - and we just told him we are really calm," said Klopp.

"It's really important in our situation that he isn't looking like he is worrying or whatever. The team is not flying, and that makes it not easier for a striker, especially not for a finisher.

"It's not that we aren't creating chances, but it's not like everything is clicking and we put in one player and he finishes our situation off. That's not our situation at the moment as much as I wish it would be. That's all."