STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Alexander-Arnold and Salah score as Rangers fall to 2-0 defeat at Anfield

Liverpool were 2-0 winners in the Champions League group stage game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohammed Salah score as Rangers fall to 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in Champions League SNS Group

Liverpool have beaten Rangers 2-0 in their Champions League group stage game at Anfield.

Goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohammed Salah sealed a win for the hosts, with Rangers falling to their third defeat in three games in the competition.

Suspension and injury had limited Van Bronckhort’s options at the back and he opted to name a five-man defence with teenager Leon King coming into the centre alongside Connor Goldson and Ben Davies. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to name Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah made it clear the Rangers rearguard would have their work cut out to keep the hosts at bay.

Liverpool were ahead after seven minutes. Having already tested Allan McGregor with a smart drive, Nunez was heading towards goal again when Davies fouled the striker and Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the chance to hit the free-kick.

The full-back has been criticised for his defensive play this season, but his accuracy from set pieces has never been in doubt. He got the ball over the defensive wall and picked out the top corner, with McGregor helpless as it hit the back of the net.

With an early goal behind them and no nerves, Liverpool took control and Rangers found themselves with their work cut out to contain the opposition. Diaz shot wide, then Salah forced McGregor into a save as the Premier League side poured forward at every opportunity.

Rangers were struggling to find an out ball, fully engaged with dealing with movement of the Liverpool front four, and relying on McGregor to prevent falling further behind. The veteran goalkeeper denied Nunez three times with impressive saves and was the main reason the visitors were only one behind when they went in at the break.

The second half brought little respite and Liverpool doubled their lead seven minutes after the restart.

Diaz made a darting run into the box but found himself sandwiched between Lundstram and King and the teenager was judged to have fouled his opponent.

Salah stepped up to take the penalty and almost effortlessly guided his spot kick down the middle with McGregor diving to his left.

The goalkeeper was called into action again to get a hand to a thunderous Jota effort, then Goldson had to header clear to prevent another Nunez chance.

Rangers brought on Fashion Sakala and Ryan Jack for Davis and Mailk Tillman and Sakala instantly got his side’s first real shot at goal, the forward’s effort wide of the target.

A raft of changes from both sides disrupted the rhythm of the game and there was little to suggest anything other than a home win as the game entered the final ten minutes.

Joel Matip put a header from a corner wide, then Rabbi Matondo had a shot that Konstantinos Tsimikas had to clear off the line.

Neither side could add to the scoring and Liverpool took the three points with relative ease. The sides meet again at Ibrox next Wednesday.