Liverpool 1 Anzhi 0: Downing is an important player for us – Rodgers

Liverpool 1 Anzhi 0: Brendan Rodgers heaps praise on Stewart Downing after the England winger scored a "wonderful" winner

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Liverpool
1
Anzhi
0

Brendan Rodgers insisted Stewart Downing is a very important player for Liverpool after the winger scored a “brilliant” winner against Anzhi Makhachkala at Anfield in the Europa League.

Jonjo Shelvey spurned the best chance of a tight first half when the England international miscued his shot with only the Anzhi goalkeeper to beat.

Downing was switched to left-back after half-time with the introduction of Raheem Sterling, and the former Aston Villa winger cut in from the wing to fire past Vladimir Gabulov in the 53rd minute.

“It was a brilliant goal,” said Rodgers.

“We asked him to cut inside from left-back. He’s a wonderful technician Stewart – he’s got great technique off either foot, his strike was wonderful.

“He’s had a rough ride here really and it’s been a difficult time for him, but he got a great round of applause from the Kop, and if you can get that from the Kop, it will give you a massive lift going forward.

“He’s a good guy and he’s working very hard and he’s a very important member of our team.”

Rodgers’ men are now top of Group A after Young Boys beat Udinese, and the Liverpool manager revealed Sunday’s Merseyside derby never played a part in his decision to field an almost full-strength side against the Russians.

“It was great credit to the players. To be fair, I haven’t been thinking about the derby,” he added.

“For us, it’s about taking one game at a time at the moment and Anzhi are a very good side with some outstanding players.

“But tonight was about the team and the group, some of the guys who have played in early rounds have been brilliant for us.

“I’ll always pick a team who I think can win the game and tonight it was an excellent performance.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Man United react to Jose Mourinho-Paul Pogba bust up – report
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Cincinnati Masters 2018: Novak Djokovic finally masters Federer in Cincy to claim Golden accolade
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho urges Paul Pogba to make Man United transfer decision – report
The Sport Review
Cincinnati Premier 2018: Kiki Bertens powers to biggest title over No1 Simona Halep