Joel Matip’s late header ensured Liverpool sealed a much-needed 2-1 win over previously-unbeaten Ajax.
Liverpool came into this game after suffering the mother of all collapses against Napoli, and the Reds needed a big response.
However, it was not going to come easy, especially not against an unbeaten Ajax team.
Jurgen Klopp’s men started the game on the front foot. They piled the pressure on Alfred Schreuder’s side from the first whistle, and it finally paid off in the 17th minute.
Luis Díaz’s flick-on from Alisson’s long ball forward found Diogo Jota, who slipped Mohamed Salah through on goal. The Egyptian made no mistake slotting past Remko Pasveer to end his four-game goalless streak.
Liverpool’s lead lasted just ten minutes before the in-form Mohammed Kudus levelled the scores.
Patient build-up play saw Daley Blind release Steven Berghuis down the left wing. The Dutchman then found Mohammed Kudus, who smashed an unstoppable rocket in off the underside of the crossbar for his fifth goal in four matches.
Liverpool managed to restrict Ajax to just one shot on target while chasing the winner, and it came in the 89th minute when Matip headed home a Konstantinos Tsimikas corner.
It was his first Champions League goal for Liverpool, and the euphoric Anfield crowd could not have asked for a better time for it to come.
Liverpool record a much-needed win
Liverpool have endured an indifferent start to the new season, and their humiliating 4-1 defeat to Napoli last week did not help.
Klopp had spoken about the need for his side to reinvent themselves after the thrashing in Naples, and the Reds responded in thrilling fashion.
While they struggled to break down Ajax for most parts of the game, they showed clear improvements in their desire and hunger to win which was sorely lacking in their Group A curtain raiser.
Klopp’s side deserved to take maximum points from this encounter against an Ajax team who had previously won all of their matches so far in this campaign, and Matip’s late header ensured it.
Liverpool will not play again until after the international break following the postponement of their Premier League fixtures, so it will be tricky to take much momentum from this hard-fought win into their next game.
However, they have eased the pressure on themselves while laying a new foundation that they can look to build on as they prepare for a tough October period.
Mohammed Kudus lights up Merseyside
Kudus has been in superb form this season since he scored in his 45-minute cameo against SC Cambuur in the Dutch league.
He had scored four goals in his last three games before today and continued his fine Champions League form with a stunning strike after scoring against Rangers in the opening group game.
The Ghanaian was linked with a loan switch to Everton on deadline day, but the Eredivisie giants refused to sanction the move.
He now has six goals to his name this season, and it will not be long until the European giants come calling for his signature.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defensive woes on display yet again
Arnold has been called out more often than not for his defensive naivety, and it was on display yet again.
Making his 50th European appearance for Liverpool, he put on a cracking performance that was marred only by his defensive contribution or the lack thereof.
The Englishman was a spectator when Steven Berghuis ghosted in-behind him to pull the ball back into the box, leading to THAT Kudus strike.
Arnold’s defensive awareness was left wanting once again, and it is becoming ever clearer that it is something he certainly needs to work on.
Take nothing away from the Ghanaian’s sublime finish, but Arnold could have done better in tracking Berghuis’ run to avoid that goal.
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