Liverpool take off in Champions League towards Ajax after Joel Matip’s last-gasp winner, however defensive issues stay

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LIVERPOOL, England — Joel Matip scored a late purpose for Liverpool to safe a win towards Ajax in Group A of the Champions League on Matchday 2.

Jurgen Klopp’s facet began the sport effectively, then fizzled out earlier than their perseverance paid off proper earlier than added time when the central defender headed to place his facet in entrance.

Report: Liverpool 2-1 Ajax | Premier League table | Upcoming fixtures

That is Ajax’s first defeat of the season, whereas Liverpool are again to successful methods after a troublesome begin to the season each within the Premier League and Europe.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy Response

Liverpool are rewarded for his or her perseverance

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat at Napoli final week because the worst sport of his seven-year tenure and the Reds responded with an improved show towards Ajax, in the end rewarded for his or her perseverance in a 2-1 win. Liverpool deserved the Seventeenth-minute lead given to them by Mohamed Salah’s fifteenth Champions League purpose at Anfield — surpassing Steven Gerrard’s report — and will simply have been additional forward by the point Ajax struck again.

Mohammed Kudus took his purpose fantastically towards the run of play and Liverpool palpably misplaced confidence thereafter. But regardless of not being at their riproaring greatest, the house facet saved plugging away and located the breakthrough a minute from time as Joel Matip headed dwelling Kostas Tsimikas’ nook. Klopp regarded extra relieved than ebullient at affirmation the ball had crossed the road. That is solely Liverpool’s fourth win from 9 matches throughout all competitions however it’ll really feel like a giant step in the appropriate path.

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Matip capitalises the place Van Dijk could not

Liverpool ended this sport with 23 photographs however the highest particular person quantity got here from an unlikely supply: Virgil van Dijk. Ajax’s vulnerability from set-pieces — or actually any excessive ball into the field — was apparent and the Liverpool centre-back by no means had a greater likelihood than when left unmarked from Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s Thirty fifth-minute supply.

He compelled Remko Pasveer right into a nice save and labored the Ajax goalkeeper once more two minutes earlier than the interval when assembly Tsimikas’ supply from the other facet. Van Dijk had 4 efforts in all — nevertheless it was Matip who got here good — after lacking an earlier likelihood of his personal — beating Pasveer for his third Champions League purpose and first since December 2013 for Schalke. It was additionally his first match-winning purpose since becoming a member of Liverpool in 2016.

A way of déjà vu about Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses

The cancellation of final weekend’s Premier League fixtures as a result of passing of Queen Elizabeth II could have given Liverpool extra time to work on their defending however the purpose they conceded right here had a definite sense of déjà vu and a failure to study from previous errors. Not for the primary time this season, Alexander-Arnold was discovered wanting. Steven Berghuis drifted in behind him to tug the ball again the place Kudus was given time to show and unleash an excellent effort which crashed in off Alisson‘s crossbar.

The purpose bore marked similarities to Jadon Sancho‘s opener when Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 final month; after one other foray down Liverpool’s proper, the United winger obtained the ball within the field and had an age to search out the web. Liverpool in the end acquired themselves over the road however the sample of vulnerability won’t have gone unnoticed by their rivals. With no sport now till October 1, Klopp may have loads to time to ponder a greater technique to resolve it.

Participant rankings

Liverpool: Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 6, Matip 7, Van Dijk 6, Tsimikas 7, Elliott 6, Fabinho 6, Thiago 7, Salah 7, Jota 7, Diaz 7.
Subs: Nunez 6, Firmino 6, Milner 6, Bajcetic 6.

Ajax: Pasveer 7, Rensch 7, Timber 7, Bassey 7, Blind 7, Alvarez 7, Taylor 7, Tadic 7, Berghuis 7, Bergwijn 6, Kudus 7.
Subs: Sanchez 6, Grillitsch 6, Brobbey 6.

Greatest and worst performers

BEST: Thiago. He used the ball intelligently and helped Liverpool keep stress on Ajax throughout their greatest spells within the sport.

WORST: Elliott. The 19-year-old has been one in all Liverpool’s higher performers this season however he struggled to make a significant impression right here and was substituted as Liverpool chased a winner.

Highlights and notable moments

Mo Salah is now 4 objectives away from being the best scoring African participant within the historical past of the Champions League.

The 22-year-old Ghanaian scored again to again objectives for Ajax within the Champions League for the primary time in his profession.

Matip supplied the late drama at Anfield.

After the match: What the managers, gamers stated

Quotes to come back…

Key Stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)

– Mohamed Salah ends a 7-game scoring drought within the Champions League, the longest of his profession.

– Mohammed Kudus has scored 5 objectives in his final 4 video games for Ajax.

– Joel Matip’s third profession UCL purpose and first since 2013-14 with Schalke. That is his first game-winning purpose since becoming a member of Liverpool.

Up subsequent

Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s facet are off to a sluggish begin in each the Premier League and Champions League this season, and have a troublesome set of matches forward, regardless of their subsequent sport towards Chelsea being postponed. The Reds will face Brighton at dwelling on Oct. 1 within the Prem, adopted by their subsequent Champions League match towards Rangers on Oct. 4, after which a go to to the Emirates on Oct. 9 to face Arsenal, who’re prime of the desk.

Ajax: The Dutch facet are off to a successful marketing campaign within the Eredivisie and in Europe, with no scarcity of objectives. They will face fourth place Alkmaar on Sept. 18, then struggling facet Go Forward Eagles on Oct. 1, adopted by a house sport towards a fired up Napoli facet within the Champions League

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