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Liverpool 2-1 Ajax: Talking points as Merseysiders return to winning ways

Liverpool managed to get off the mark at the second time of asking in the Champions League this term, booking the first points in Group A by beating Ajax at Anfield on Tuesday. Mohamed Salah broke the deadlock in the 17th minute and Mohammed Kudus slammed a fantastic equalizer for the Dutch champions 10 minutes later. But just as the visitors started believing they would go back home with something in their bag, Joel Matip scored a rare Champions League goal with a minute left on the clock to keep all three in England.

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Back to basics for Liverpool

Speaking after the painful Napoli defeat last week, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he and his team needed to “reinvent” themselves, which many took to mean to find a way to return to a previous point in time; one where they were good and were actually winning matches.

It’s safe to say that that’s exactly what Liverpool did, and it seems the postponement of their match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday helped. Klopp made three changes to the team that started in Naples, all injury related as Joel Matip returned to full fitness and got the nod ahead of Joe Gomez, as did Thiago Alcantara over James Milner, while a fresh injury picked up by Andy Robertson forced Kostas Tsimikas to come in on the left defensive flank.

But the Reds were a completely different team. Every player, except, maybe, young Harvey Elliott who didn’t have the best of evenings after a number of fine performances, played better than at the Diego Armando Maradona in the opening round. The result was astounding, if not altogether unexpected. A team that was overrun and utterly outplayed now kept the contest under control and dominated all its aspects, forcing a good opponent to play differently than they’d have liked.

Holes plugged at the back, pressing, counter-pressing, admirable work rate, intricate and accurate passing – it was all there. Though the Merseysiders needed a late…


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Author : Veselin Trajkovic

Publish date : 2022-09-14 17:15:09

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