(Reuters) – Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrated his return to the Champions League with two goals on Wednesday, 18 months after the England international midfielder suffered a serious knee injury against Roma.
The 26-year-old only returned to make the bench when his team mates outclassed fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in June this year to win the competition and lift their sixth European Cup.
Oxlade-Chamberlain showed he was ready to make up for lost time as he powered Juergen Klopp’s side to a 4-1 victory against Belgian club Racing Genk on Wednesday for their first group stage win on the road for two years.
“I’ve definitely missed it. It’s a special tournament to play in, a competition we all grew up wanting to play in one day,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport.
“It was nice to be back out there (after) seeing the boys do so well last year. I was fortunate enough to get back involved on the bench for the big day in the final and watch them bring it home.
“It’s inspirational, it’s something I’ve wanted to get back to do. It’s just nice to be back in the starting line-up and try to put in a performance to help the team. To get a few goals was a bonus.”
Liverpool host Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday and Oxlade-Chamberlain said his side would look to return to winning ways after a 1-1 draw at Manchester United last weekend ended the leaders’ 100% record in the competition.
“We had a lot to improve on from the game at the weekend, same again tonight. But … we’re getting results which are good and we can still improve. We’ll take a lot from this game,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
“I’m sure the manager has a lot of points he’ll be getting at us … because we’re going need to get them right to put on a good performance and get the right result.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)