Liverpool U19s fell to their first UEFA Youth League defeat of the season after Genk scored in stoppage time to claim a 1-0 win at the Academy.
An evenly-matched, end-to-end Group E contest appeared destined to remain goalless with both sides having created, and spurned, a number of chances throughout.
But Genk substitute Sam Krawczyk pounced to put the rebound high into the net following Jakub Ojrzynski’s impressive double save in the 93rd minute.
The result, coupled with Salzburg’s victory over Napoli earlier in the day, means three teams sit on seven points after four pool games.
Bottom-placed Napoli, who have collected just one point so far, are Liverpool’s next opponents in three weeks’ time.
It was the visitors who fashioned the first opportunity, Luca Oyen slicing a half-volley over the crossbar inside the opening two minutes, during a high-tempo start to the game.
Genk’s energetic press was generally disrupting attempts by Liverpool - captained by Rhian Brewster due to Curtis Jones' involvement in the senior set-up for Tuesday's Champions League fixture at Anfield - to establish any rhythm of controlled possession.
However, a quick passing sequence gave Harvey Elliott a sight of goal 15 minutes in, only for the forward’s first touch to prove heavy as he tried to take Yasser Larouci’s sharp ball inside in his stride.
A spell of Genk pressure followed, with Ojrzynski getting down well to tip Elias Sierra’s low, near-post drive wide before Ilias Takidine rattled the underside of the bar with a powerful strike.
Having emerged from that period unscathed, the young Reds set about reasserting themselves and duly forced goalkeeper Tobe Leysen into action for the first time.
Forward from right-back, Neco Williams nearly applied the perfect finishing touch to an excellent move by cutting inside and shooting with his left foot, but Leysen palmed wide.
Elijah Dixon-Bonner then saw a shot deflected off target and Leighton Clarkson’s free-kick was turned away by Leysen on the stroke of half-time.
Lewtas’ team were in the ascendancy in the early stages of the second period, too, with the opening goal close to arriving just seconds after the restart.
Clarkson sprayed a fine pass out to Elliott on the right, with the 16-year-old tricking his marker to get to the byline. His drilled, low cross was spilled by Leysen, but Luis Longstaff was unable to convert the loose ball from close range.
A slide-rule pass from Brewster afforded Longstaff another chance soon after, but Leysen did well to smother as the midfielder attempted to squeeze the ball through the ‘keeper’s legs.
Genk remained a threat, though, and Morgan Boyes’ last-ditch, sliding block was required to deny Arne Cuypers as the forward blasted goalwards prior to Oyen curling narrowly off target.
And, after Liverpool substitute Tom Hill came agonisingly close to connecting with James Norris' cross from the left, Krawczyk was on hand to snatch all three points for Genk.
Liverpool U19s: Ojrzynski, Williams, Van den Berg, Boyes, Norris, Clarkson, Dixon-Bonner (Cain, 65), Longstaff, Larouci (Hill, 65), Elliott, Brewster.
Unused substitutes: Winterbottom, Koumetio, Clayton, Savage, Morton.
Tickets are sold out for Liverpool's Champions League clash with Genk this evening.
Supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel to Anfield for the 8pm GMT kick-off.
Season ticket holders are reminded that if you have purchased a different seat to the one used for Premier League home games, your season ticket card will be activated for access into the stadium and you will not be issued with a barcoded paper ticket. Click here for a full list of FAQs.
Enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme? Important information
Before travelling to the game, supporters enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme are strongly advised to check that they have a seat processed for this match. You can do this by logging into My Account and selecting the ‘Check Your Purchase History’ option.
Tickets are sold out, please do not travel if you have not purchased a ticket. Tickets will not be available to purchase at Anfield this evening.
Liverpool FC has today announced a new long-term agreement for the operation of LFC International Academy SoCal.
The project will initially focus on delivering programmes in Orange County, with plans for future expansion across additional counties in Southern California.
The long-term contract will give players the ability to train under the tutelage of LFC International Academy coaches learned in the principles and methodologies that are at the centre of what is taught at LFC’s Academy in Liverpool.
Through the unique coaching methods of Liverpool FC, players will learn to improve technical and tactical aspects of their game while learning key life skills centred on the four values of the Liverpool way: Ambition, Commitment, Dignity and Unity.
Tim Woodcock, Director of Operations at LFC International Academy SoCal, said: “We’re honoured to partner with the current European champions, Liverpool FC. We believe they offer the very best solution in elite European professional soccer and it’s exciting to be able to bring that to our players here in Southern California. It’s an exciting time to be part of the world’s greatest football family.
“Our try-outs begin next month, so that is the first opportunity for young players in the region to join this illustrious football club.”
Dan White, Head of Liverpool FC’s International Academy programme globally, said: “It’s great that we’re now able to offer our international youth coaching program in Southern California.
“We’re confident that this will be successfully implemented and are excited to give young players the opportunity to learn to play the Liverpool way in the area.
“This is a long-term plan and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with the coaches to ensure the coaching delivered on the project is market-leading. Our aim is to deliver an authentic experience at all LFC International Academies with players learning how to play the Liverpool way.
“As is the case with all our projects, we are aiming to have a positive impact on the development of youth soccer in the region. The starting point for this is the opportunity and insight that we will give to the coaches which will ensure a positive all-round experience for participants.”
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Follow all of the build-up, action and reaction as Liverpool host Genk in Champions League Group E.
Liverpool host Genk at Anfield on Tuesday night as Jürgen Klopp's men seek to do a Champions League double over the Belgian side.
The European champions secured a 4-1 victory at the KRC Genk Arena a fortnight ago - so, can we expect a different approach from their opponents in the return match?
We caught up with Belgian football journalist Sven Claes, who covers Genk for Het Belang van Limburg, to find out....
What was the reaction like in Belgium after the first game?
Genk have played their best matches of the season so far at home in the Champions League - against Napoli and Liverpool. The fans were really proud. They kept fighting until the end and were even able to score a goal in the final minutes. The applause for ex-Genkie Divock Origi was wonderful.
What has Genk's form been like leading up to this second match?
Genk are really struggling in the league, they have gained only four points from their last three games. They played a very difficult second half against Cercle Brugge (1-0), a very late draw in the 96th minute against Antwerp FC (2-2) and a surprisingly loss against KAS Eupen (2-0).
Is this a must-win game for the Blauw-Wit?
No, totally not. They have nothing to lose in an away game in the Champions League. Like I said before the first game, any result would be a bonus. Also the players know they have to enjoy these games no matter what the result will be in the end - but hopefully there won't be a punishing scoreline against a struggling team.
Will manager Felice Mazzu go gung-ho?
Not at all. He will be judged more at the weekend - a defeat against AA Gent on Sunday would put him in a tricky position. Tonight against Liverpool, he and Genk have nothing to lose. De Genkies have to fully enjoy this game, nothing more. Without any pressure. The pressure will be on Sunday’s game, that's a must-win for Mazzu.
What has changed since Genk last faced Liverpool?
Mazzu is still searching for solutions. He’s still trying to build again a winning team - like last year - and one that can play with confidence. The patience from some sections of the fans is almost gone.
How do you think they will line up on Tuesday?
Finland international Jere Uronen is out for several weeks with an ankle injury, so Belgian Casper de Norre will start as left wing-back. I expect Mazzu will play again - like in the first match - with target man Paul Onuachu up front.
You chose Ally Samatta as the man to watch in the first meeting - what about for the return match?
This time I would pick Sander Berge, Genk's No.25. The Norwegian defensive midfielder is, at this moment, the best player at the club - very talented and a hot prospect. I expect him to shine in the Premier League one day.
Which Liverpool player do Genk fear the most?
In the first leg Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was really important, with two goals in crucial moments, but I can imagine the Genk defenders fear Roberto Firmino the most. Bobby's rabona in Genk was a lust of the eyes.
How do you expect the match to pan out at Anfield?
Genk have nothing to lose at Anfield but are currently playing with a lack of confidence so I still expect Liverpool to win this game easily, purely on individual class.
Champions League 2019-20 Champions League 2019-20
With under two months to go until the big day, Liverpool supporters can get into the festive spirit with LFC Retail's Christmas offering.
The collection includes Christmas decorations, cards, advent calendars, festive wrapping paper, jumpers and lots more!
Shop in store or online now.
LFC advent calendar: £3.50
LFC Xmas gift bag: £2.50
LFC Xmas tree topper: £10
LFC Santa hat: £6
LFC Elf on the shelf: £10
On this day in 2015, Liverpool beat Rubin Kazan 1-0 to hand Jürgen Klopp his first European victory as manager of the Reds - but can you recall his starting XI from that night?
Jordon Ibe's debut goal for the club proved decisive in the Europa League group game and helped Liverpool continue their march to their first European final under Klopp.
Can you fill in the rest of the Missing Men from that November evening at the Kazan Arena?
Fill in the blanks in the quiz below, or click the Next button at the bottom of this article to reveal the Missing Men...
Alisson Becker is eagerly anticipating his first European match at Anfield for six months.
The goalkeeper has not featured in a Champions League tie at Liverpool’s home stadium since the drama of the 4-0 win over Barcelona in last season’s semi-finals.
But, having returned last month from an enforced lay-off due to a calf injury, Alisson is set to be between the posts for the visit of Genk this evening.
And with Group E still an open race at its halfway stage, the No.1 wants the Reds to put on a performance to match the occasion.
“European nights are always special,” the Brazilian told Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the clash. “The atmosphere here is always incredible and we show in every game what we can do here.
“We showed it last season with big moments, like against Napoli and against Barcelona. We showed how strong we are here at home.”
Liverpool claimed an impressive 4-1 win at Genk a fortnight ago to strengthen their ambitions of qualifying from the section to the knockout rounds.
The hosts were in that game until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second goal of the night shortly before the hour mark, though, including a disallowed equaliser in the first half.
Alisson saw enough in Belgium to know the Reds cannot allow their level to drop tonight.
“We know what we need to do,” said the stopper. “We know if we don’t come into the game 100 per cent concentrated, if we aren’t fully in the game, you can have problems with Genk – and with every opponent.
“So we need to be 100 per cent focused to win the three points that we need.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side head into the clash on the back of successive come-from-behind Premier League wins, which sandwiched the thrilling Carabao Cup defeat of Arsenal.
Alisson revealed confidence has been raised by the Reds’ recent run of form but reiterated his message in the pre-match press conference: improvements are possible and necessary.
“Everyone is really excited about the things we did in the last three games,” he added. “We’re in a good run and in a good mood.
“We need to keep that. We need to keep our focus in every game and I also think we can do better in some moments. We are working to make it happen.”
Liverpool's never-say-die mentality is one of the team's most striking characteristics, but Jordan Henderson insists the squad remain committed to challenging themselves to improve by looking at both sides of their comebacks.
The Reds have recovered from losing positions to record victories in each of their last three matches – most recently, and perhaps most dramatically, at Aston Villa on Saturday.
And while the team’s ability to stage such fightbacks is clearly a positive, Henderson has revealed the players are eager to cut out the errors that have led to them falling behind initially in those fixtures.
In his column in the official matchday programme, the captain wrote: “The gaffer’s quote about this team being ‘mentality monsters’ is one everyone likes to jump on and after the weekend at Villa Park it was readily used again in both the mainstream and social media.
“And it’s right, of course. I think one of our biggest strengths as a squad and club at the moment is our ability to never give in and have total belief in what we are doing and that we can turn things around in any game or situation.
“The numbers back up that ‘Never Give Up’ is more than just a slogan on a T-shirt for us – we’ve taken more points from losing positions than any other Premier League team in this moment. Of course that’s a positive, but it’s important we look at the other side of that stat as well.
“Part of being ‘mentality monsters’ is that you challenge yourselves and always look at where you can be better. As a team, do we like the fact that our mindset is ‘keep going and never submit’? Yes, of course. But I would also like to think we’d look at those numbers and set ourselves the task of not putting ourselves in the position in the first place.
“Comebacks make for great television, but it’s on us as a squad to address the issue of falling behind in games. We want to be a side that dominates teams and takes total control of a game. We’ve proved time and time again we can do that, but clearly at the moment we haven’t been doing enough to make sure we are in a dominant position on the scoreboard for longer periods.
“There are many reasons you can find yourselves behind in a game and some of them are beyond your control. The opposition might be on fire and have a player who scores an absolute ‘worldie’. You can also get bad luck, by which I mean a bounce of a ball or a poor decision.
“But the truth is, the majority of the time a team goes behind is because they haven’t done the right things in that moment. And we as a team will look to address that.
“To be clear, this isn’t just about conceding. The issue is from front to back – every single department of the team – in terms of us not being ruthless enough in those moments. In some of the games we’ve gone behind in, we have probably not shown the intensity of play that characterises our best qualities. That’s a team issue, the entire 11 selected to start.
“I think everyone knows and trusts that with this side it is never a case of lack of commitment – that will never be an issue with this group. But it might be other issues that we are all guilty of, such as a slight dip in concentration, making the wrong decision or not taking enough care.
“Regardless, if we really want to achieve the things that we all think we are capable of – as a team and club – we can’t just rest on our laurels and take for granted that we’ll always make the comeback.
“There isn’t a member of our squad who isn’t determined to improve every single day. Part of improvement is being able to identify the correct areas to work on and find a way to address it. That’s one of the most impressive things about this group of players: there is always a desire to improve and a desire to do better, even with the smallest of details.
“It’s nice to get the praise for the comebacks, but we’ll be far more satisfied when we get to the point that the comeback isn’t necessary.”
Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.
Jürgen Klopp believes every team in the Champions League is capable of delivering a knockout blow to their opponents, but he has no concerns Liverpool will take their eye off the ball against Genk.
The Reds welcome the Belgian champions to Anfield tonight as Group E duties resume on matchday four.
Victory for his team would put Klopp’s side another step closer to qualification, but he is well aware of the threat Genk will pose to those hopes given the standard of opposition in the tournament.
He wrote in his column in the official matchday programme: “There is work for us to do tonight and we cannot and must not have our focus anywhere but here. We must be in the moment.
“We saw just how tight the group was last season. The very last kick of the very last group game could have put us out. If you for even half-a-second lose sight of how hard this competition is and how precious each and every point is, trust me, we will not have the experiences like we enjoyed the last couple of seasons.
“A Champions League game, be it group or knockout, is a heavyweight world-title fight every time. Every team you face has the quality to beat you and to knock you to the canvas. These teams don’t just have a puncher’s chance, they are winners with a winner’s approach.
“If you have the wrong attitude or the wrong mindset you will lose. There is no question of this.
“I’m not particularly interested what happens elsewhere in the other groups but I am pretty sure it is the same in all of them. The final answer for group standings will almost certainly go to the last game again.
“I have no worries about our approach tonight because I know this team and this club is streetwise enough to know what is needed. We have that institutional knowledge ingrained in us that a Champions League night, be it at Anfield or away, is an occasion to relish and respect. As a club we don’t take these nights for granted and that must show in our performance.
“And by ‘our performance’ I mean all of us. Players, management, staff and supporters. We all come here and show our best face.
“Genk absolutely will – so if we don’t, we risk our future in a competition we are in love with. If last season taught us anything it is that the European Cup isn’t just won on the night of the final. It is won in each and every minute you play in the tournament.”
Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.