Champions League holders Liverpool collected another victory in their relentless campaign by sneaking past Genk at a subdued Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp’s side lost to Napoli in their opening Group E game – their only loss in any competition this season. The Reds have now picked up three straight wins to move towards the knockout stages.
Georginio Wijnaldum stabbed into the roof of the net from close range after captain Sebastian Dewaest made a mess of clearing James Milner’s low cross.
With the hosts failing to build on their 14th-minute lead, Genk’s Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta powerfully headed in the equaliser from a corner five minutes before half-time.
Having scored twice in Belgium when Genk were beaten 4-1 on 23 October, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the match-winner early in the second half when he converted a low strike into the bottom corner.
Liverpool move top of the group ahead of Serie A side Napoli after a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg.
Speaking after the match, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said: “We didn’t finish our situations in the way we could have done. We had a lot of shots and some really big chances that we usually use. We didn’t do that and it kept the game open. That gave them a lot of energy.
“The players came through but you saw after a while it gets hard to get that rhythm and at the end of the game it was not there.
“‘Job done’ is the headline from the game, pretty much. But the group is not decided. We knew from the beginning it’s a tough group. Yes, now we are first in the table but we only really want to be first after the last matchday. We have to play two tough games, two important ones. In each of them we can decide it with a win but that sounds easier than it is because both games will be really tricky.
“We got a little bit of trouble but not really. It was job done. If we had scored two or three in the first half, nobody would have thought that couldn’t have happened. But it went 1-1 and then it got tricky. Now we are all good.”