Home News Liverpool are Europa League “favourites” as “superb” Ryan Gravenberch excels

Liverpool are Europa League “favourites” as “superb” Ryan Gravenberch excels

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Liverpool were highly impressive as they eased to a 5-1 win at home to Toulouse, with Ryan Gravenberch earning the most praise from those in the media.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side were far superior to their Europa League opponents at Anfield, even though they were pegged back after Diogo Jota‘s opener.

Wataru Endo and Darwin Nunez put Liverpool in control before half-time, before Gravenberch and Mohamed Salah finished off the scoring after the interval.

It means the Reds have won all three of the European group games so far this season, putting them in complete control of their own destiny.

Here’s how the media assessed Liverpool’s victory.

 

Liverpool’s imperious form continued at Anfield…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the third goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Guardian‘s Andy Hunter says it was a performance that showed why Liverpool are favourites to win the Europa League:

“Comfortable wins in the first two games had underlined why Liverpool are favourites for this season’s Europa League.

“The gulf in quality between Klopp’s team and their opponents, and absence of jeopardy against either Lask or Union Saint Gilloise, had threatened to make progress from the group stage appear almost mundane for Liverpool.

“Game three brought another emphatic victory, but the visit of French Cup winners Toulouse proved a far more entertaining affair than the previous two fixtures.

“Granted, Toulouse’s terrible defending was a contributory factor to the entertainment, but so too was the midfield presence of Gravenberch and quality finishes for all three first-half goals from the hosts.”

This Is Anfield‘s James Nalton believes there is a “feel-good factor” on show at Anfield right now:

“Liverpool have won every game at Anfield this season by two goals or more.

“The Reds have not lost at home since Real Madrid in the Champions League last season, and in the 15 games at Anfield since then, they have won 13 and drawn two.

“It leads to a feel-good atmosphere around the stadium. That can sometimes result in a quiet atmosphere, but at the same time, fans are absorbed in the game, enjoying the show these players are putting on.

“This includes the new signings, as well as the usual favourites such as Darwin Nunez who is already a cult hero and could well turn into a bonafide one in time.

“Klopp will not want this to turn into complacency, on the pitch or in the stands, but watching Liverpool at Anfield is currently one of the most enjoyable pastimes.”

On X, David Lynch hailed the ease at which Liverpool earned all three points against Toulouse:

 

Gravenberch and Nunez were talked about the most…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo (L) celebrates with team-mate Ryan Gravenberch after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Mirror‘s Matthew Cooper loved what he saw from the midfielder:

“Much like Endo, Gravenberch has taken a while to get up to speed since joining Liverpool this summer due to a lack of minutes at former club Bayern Munich.

“The 21-year-old only made his first Premier League start in last weekend’s Merseyside derby win over Everton and he was particularly superb in the first-half of that game.

“Gravenberch then picked up where he left off against Toulouse, causing them problems throughout with his pinpoint passing and willingness to run at defenders.

“He capped off another impressive display with a well-deserved goal, firing home after Nunez inexplicably hit the post following a brilliant individual run.”

The Daily Mail‘s Lewis Steele also praised Gravenberch, but actually paid special attention to Nunez:

“It feels harsh to pick out one player in a near-perfect display by Liverpool but Nunez starred all over the pitch as he wreaked havoc in the penalty box, both wings, midfield areas and even the last line of defence. Diogo Jota, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch also scored.

“Gravenberch dazzled as the Dutchman, who last week said he styled his game on Zinedine Zidane, glided past defenders with ease to show glimpses of the French icon. Luke Chambers, 19, started, while fellow teens Calum Scanlon and James McConnell debuted off the bench.

“But the biggest roar of the night came when Nunez left the field to a rousing ovation.

“He has benefitted from advice from Uruguay boss Marcelo Bielsa on improving his link-up play, while he has spent the summer stepping up his English language classes to help team-mates.”

The Independent‘s Richard Jolly was enamoured with Nunez’s latest enigmatic display:

“If nothing else, Darwin Nunez found a novel way to create a goal. On a night where goals arrived in copious quantities at Anfield, there were two extraordinary misses.

“And if the Toulouse left-back Gabriel Suazo had seemed to perform an unexpected impression of Nunez, failing to score when confronted by a goal that lacked a goalkeeper, there was a certain, perverse inevitability in the Uruguayan upstaging him.

“It seemed another of the moments that are Nunez in a nutshell, his threat and his profligacy in the space of seconds. A lovely, deft touch to take him past a defender, the pace to burst past goalkeeper Guillaume Restes and then, with an open goal, the shot that hit the post.

“All was well that ended well, for Nunez and Liverpool: as he wreaked havoc, they struck anyway.”

 

Liverpool really are heading in the right direction…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On X, OptaJoe highlighted the excellent form the Reds find themselves in:

Nalton assessed how strong Liverpool’s position is in Group E currently:

“This convincing win puts Liverpool well in control in Group E.

“Going into this round of games, Toulouse were the only other team in the group to have won a game, so defeating them sets Klopp and his players on their way to the knockouts.

“It means there is not as much pressure on the remaining games as qualification is all but assured, barring an unlikely collapse in the remaining games.

“It means guaranteed playing time for anyone not getting starts in the Premier League and will mean time for key players to rest and recover.

“A win in the return game in Toulouse early next month would assure the top spot for Liverpool, who are well on their way to challenging for another European trophy.”

Finally, BBC Sport‘s Joe Rindl focused on Liverpool rebuilt midfield, saying it has made all the difference:

“Liverpool are favourites to lift the Europa League title in Dublin in May, and, even after making eight changes from the side that beat Everton at the weekend, they looked a level above French Cup winners Toulouse.

“Netherlands international Ryan Gravenberch was particularly impressive in the middle of the park and deservedly grabbed his second Liverpool goal after Darwin Nunez had struck the post.

“He was joined in midfield by fellow summer signing Wataru Endo who also capped off an impressive night with a fine headed finish.

“A few months ago it looked as if Liverpool were light on midfield quality after Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and James Milner all left in the summer transfer window.

“Now though, with Gravenberch and Endo competing for spots with Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, the Reds’ midfield is back to being one of the best in Europe.”