Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: It's so nice to be back in the Champions League
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain described his two goals at Genk as 'a bonus' to the opportunity to help Liverpool in the Champions League again.
The No.15 made his first appearance in the competition on Wednesday night since the serious knee injury he sustained against AS Roma in April 2018.
Watch: Genk 1-4 Liverpool in 90 seconds
He needed just two minutes to put the Reds in front against the Belgian title-holders with a low shot across the goalkeeper from 20 yards.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then doubled the advantage before the hour mark by producing an exquisite lofted finish off the crossbar – and Jürgen Klopp’s side went on to win 4-1.
Is right, @Alex_OxChambo 🙌 A message from Ox after his brace tonight 👊🔴 https://t.co/onxQ5D2Up0— LFC (Liverpool FC) 23rd Oct 21:24
“I’ve definitely missed it,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport post-match. “It’s nice to be back out there. It’s a special tournament to play in, a competition we all grew up wanting to play in one day.
“It was nice to be back out there [after] seeing the boys do so well in it last year. I was fortunate enough to get back involved on the bench for the big day in the final and watch the boys bring it home.
“It’s inspirational, it’s something I’ve wanted to get back to do. It’s just nice to be back in the starting line-up and try to put in a performance to help the team. To get a few goals was a bonus.”
An end-to-end first half gave way to a more commanding Liverpool performance after the interval, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah stretching the lead before Stephen Odey’s late consolation.
But Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted Klopp’s men – who now have six points from three matches in Group E – can identify more areas for improvement from their trip to KRC Genk Arena.
“The first half, we got a bit sloppy and we’ve got to do a lot better than that if we want to go further in this competition,” said the midfielder.
“Second half, it was quite mature and we controlled the game. We’re disappointed to concede but it was a good night all round really.”
Looking ahead to the Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday, he continued: “We can take confidence from the whole season, not just this game.
“We had a lot to improve on from the game at the weekend, same again tonight. But at the minute we’re getting results which are good and we can still improve. We’ll take a lot from this game.
“I’m sure the manager has got a lot of points he’ll be getting at us about to improve for the weekend, because we’re going need to get them right to put on a good performance and get the right result at the weekend.”