The Reds are just 2 points behind league leaders Manchester City, and their Europa League group has been revealed.
The 2023/24 season is Liverpool Head Coach Jurgen Klopp’s 9th in charge of the club, and the target is to secure a return to Champions League football and to be Premier League title challengers. The Reds have had a near-perfect start to the new season, winning three of their first four league matches, drawing the other one.
The opening fixture of Liverpool’s latest Premier League season saw them travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. The two teams had to settle for a 1 – 1 draw in West London after Axel Disasi equalised for the home side (37’) after Luis Diaz gave Liverpool the lead early in the first half (18’).
Klopp’s side then welcomed a Bournemouth side led by Andoni Iraola to Anfield in the Reds’ first home game of the new season. It was a comfortable victory for the Liverpool in the end, beating the Cherries 3 – 1. They had to comeback from a goal down after conceding in the opening five minutes with Antoine Semenyo scoring for the visitors (3’).
It was Diaz’s second goal in as many games that restored parity (28’) before all three points were secured for the Reds by Mohamed Salah (36’) and Diogo Jota (62’), who scored either side of half time.
The third game of the season against Newcastle caught the eye of Reds fans when the fixtures came out, with the Magpies a potential rival for Champions League qualification in the 2023/24 season, and the game itself lived up to expectations. It did not seem to be going the way of the Reds after Anthony Gordon gave Eddie Howe’s side the lead (25’), with Virgil Van Dijk being sent off a few minutes later (28’).
Then, following the introduction of Darwin Nunez, the game was turned on its head. The Uruguayan forward restored parity for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds with a powerful low effort that found the bottom left corner with less than ten minutes to go (81’). He then scored again in second-half stoppage time to clinch all three points for Liverpool in dramatic fashion (90+3’).
Unai Emery’s Aston Villa were Liverpool’s most recent opponents in the Premier League, welcoming them to Anfield where both sides were looking for three wins in succession. The Reds put the Villans to the sword, beating their West Midlands counterparts 3 – 0 in ruthless fashion. Summer signing Dominik Szoboszlai gave the home side the lead (3’) before Darwin Nunez forced an own goal from Matty Cash with a powerful shot on goal (22’). Salah then put the game beyond doubt early on in the second half (55’), and it was Nunez with the assist.
Nunez is one of the Premier League’s most in-form players, with two goals in his last two games with an assist to boot. If the Uruguayan maintains his fantastic form, Liverpool will have a great chance to realise their ambitions for the 2023/24 season.
Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah are all tied as the Reds’ leading goal scorers in the Premier League at the time of writing, with two goals each.
There is optimism for Liverpool’s prospects in the Premier League and positivity for their Europa League campaign, and they now know who is in their group following the draw last week.
Klopp’s side were drawn into Group E, where they will face LASK (Austria), Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium) and Toulouse (France).
Liverpool have a great history in this competition, having won it three times (1972/73, 1975/76 & 2000/01). The Reds’ most recent success in 2001 saw them beat Spanish side Deportivo Alaves 5-4 after scoring a golden goal in the Final. Ryan Babbel (3’), Steven Gerrard (16’), Gary McAllister (40’ – Penalty), Robbie Fowler (72’) and a Delfi Geli own goal (116’) secured victory for Gerard Houllier’s side.
Back to this season’s Europa League campaign, Liverpool will be facing all three of their group opponents for the first time in the history of this competition. The Reds will be looking to top their group, and they are unsurprisingly amongst the favourites with the quality of their squad.
Liverpool are in fantastic form, and they have the quality and the experience to continue this momentum going into the Europa League and the remainder of their Premier League campaign.
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