Liverpool defender heaps praise on Jordon Ibe and Simon Mignolet

Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno admits Besiktas are difficult to play against

Alberto Moreno reserved special praise for Jordon Ibe and Simon Mignolet after Liverpool were 1-0 winners against Besiktas in the first leg of the Europa League last-32 clash.

The Reds goalkeeper was called into action at the end of the first half after Demba Ba ran clear of Liverpool defence but the Belgian managed to push the striker’s effort wide.

Brendan Rodgers’ side appeared to be heading towards a first-leg stalemate, but Ibe won an 85th-minute penalty thanks to his late burst into the box before Mario Balotelli converted the spot-kick.

Speaking to Uefa.com following the narrow win, Moreno singled out Ibe and Mignolet for their decisive contributions in the Europa League tie.

“They’re defensively very hard to open up and score against, and if they’d gone in front it would have been very tough to get back,” Moreno told UEFA.com.

“But that is what Simon is there for, to make that great save. He is a good goalkeeper and we were also fortunate that at the end Ibe got us the penalty and we got the advantage.

“He is very fast, physically strong and he was one of the best players in the game, and thanks to him we got the penalty and the victory.”

Liverpool ended a five-game winless run in European competitions thanks to their 1-0 victory over Slaven Bilic’s side.

The Reds make the trip to Istanbul next Thursday as captain Steven Gerrard returns to the stadium where he captained Liverpool to Champions League final glory.

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