Michael Owen Claims Liverpool Were ‘Very Lucky’ To Get A Penalty In Europa League Win Over LASK

Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp

Former Liverpool ace Michael Owen has said that the Reds were quite fortunate to get a penalty in their UEFA Europa League win over LASK. The penalty allowed Liverpool to change the game’s momentum and eventually come away with a straightforward 3-1 victory.

Liverpool Endured A Poor Start In Their Europa League Clash With LASK

Six-time European champions Liverpool took a while to find their footing in their UEFA Europa League Matchday 1 clash with LASK on Thursday (September 21). Playing in front of a packed Raiffeisen Arena in Linz, Austria, LASK put pressure on their lofty rivals and got their noses in front after 14 minutes of play.

Sascha Hovarth found Florian Flecker at the edge of the box. Left unmarked by Liverpool defenders, Flecker put his foot through the ball and found the back of the net with aplomb, giving Reds keeper Caoimhin Kelleher no chance whatsoever. Liverpool pushed for the equalizer but failed to get it in the first half.

Jurgen Klopp’s side finally got their goal in the 56th minute, courtesy of a well-taken penalty from Darwin Nunez. After Nunez’s ice-breaker, it was one-way traffic for the Reds, with Luis Diaz (63 minutes) and Mohamed Salah (88 minutes) adding one goal each to seal the victory.

Michael Owen Does Not Believe The Reds Should Have Won A Penalty

Owen, who was at Liverpool between 1991 and 2004, believes the Merseysiders were lucky to get the penalty, suggesting the tackle on Diaz, which led to the spot-kick, was not worthy of such grave punishment.

He said on TNT Sports (via Liverpool ECHO):

I thought they were very lucky to get the penalty, I didn’t think it was a penalty at all.”

The former Real Madrid striker then went on to praise Ryan Gravenberch, who assisted Diaz’s goal on his full Liverpool debut.

He added:

There was no question about this one (Luis Diaz’s goal). 

It was a really good run from midfield, Gravenberch makes the run, taking the defender with him and all of a sudden it opens up space for Diaz. Everything about the goal is perfect, if that run doesn’t take place, he doesn’t score.

The win over LASK combined with Toulouse’s draw with Union SG allowed Liverpool to move to the top of the Europa League Group E standings. They will return to Premier League action with a clash against West Ham United on Sunday (September 24).

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