Ajax 0-1 Liverpool: Reds overcome injury setbacks in CL opener

Champions League Group Stage Game 1
Wednesday 21 October 2020 - 8:00 pm
Johan Cruijff Arena
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Kudus off, Promes on ↔️9'
35'own goal ⚽️
38' Milner
45'↔️ Jones off, Henderson on
60'↔️ Salah off, Shaqiri on
60'↔️ Firmino off, Jota on
60'↔️ Mane off, Minamino on
Neres off, Labyad on ↔️74'
Klaassen off, Ekkelenkamp on ↔️74'
81' Alexander-Arnold
Schuurs off, Huntelaar on ↔️84'
Blind off, Traoré on ↔️84'
90'↔️ Milner off, Williams on
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Liverpool overcame their injury setbacks to post a competent opening European away win in the Champions League group stages.

The English champions revamped the midfield for the trip to Ajax, with Fabinho slotting into central defence alongside Joe Gomez, and came away with a clean sheet for their efforts.

Fabinho himself had an excellent game and it will go some way to reassuring supporters that even with Alisson and van Dijk currently missing the reds can still equip themselves well in the backline.

In fact, it can be argued that the only unchanged part of the team - the front three - was the one that didn't rise to the challenge.  It was an own goal that provided the reds with the win - Tagliafico putting the ball past his own keeper after a wild off-target Mane shot.

James Milner captained the side, joining Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones in an unexpected midfield pairing.  Milner covered the most distance of any player on the pitch in the Johann Cruyff Arena, but Curtis Jones struggled to make a significant impact and was replaced at half time by Jordan Henderson.

Gini Wijnaldum occupied something of a deeper role than usual, but spent most of the final five minutes outside the Ajax area as you could see his increasing desperation to grab a goal against his countrymen.

The triple threat of Salah, Mane and Firmino were all replaced on the hour - Jota, Shaqiri and Minamino on as replacements as Klopp made full use of the five allowed changes in this season's Champions League campaign.  Jota, in particular, looking a constant threat although no further goals were added to the scoreline.

As it happened: Ajax 0-1 LFC

At the back, Joe Gomez performed well.  Adrian hit and miss.  He did intercept a ball from Gomez in the early stages of the game but produced two fine saves that denied genuine goalscoring chances - one in each half.

He was lobbed at one point but the effective Fabinho was thankfully on hand for an overhead kick goalline clearance.

Ajax made several attacking subs late on as they tried to camp in the Liverpool area and attempt to smash down the door for an equaliser but Liverpool were resolute and will take this solid three points to kick off their Champions League campaign.

The reds will now hope for improving injury news off the pitch with continuing development of Thiago, Joel Matip and Alisson all expected over the course of the next days and weeks.

In the other game, Atalanta steamrolled FC Midtjylland 4-0 away from home so they too start with three points in the competition.

One comment on
Ajax 0-1 Liverpool: Reds overcome injury setbacks in CL opener

  1. Klopp is the best Manager to date. I hope he gets more money to buy a central striker and a centre back. He will turn Liverpool into an unbeatable team.

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