Liverpool eased the crisis and beat Ajax, today (13), 2-1, with the Anfield stadium full, in a match valid for the second round of the group stage of the Champions League. Fighting against the bad phase, Jurgen Klopp’s team secured the dramatic victory only in the 43rd minute of the second half.
Pushed by the crowd, the Reds opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the first half, with Salah, after goalkeeper Alisson’s launch. At 26, however, Kudus left everything the same. Matip, from a corner, made the English bombing count and secured the Reds’ first triumph in European competition.
After a week of preparation for today’s game – as the Premier League round was postponed by the death of Queen Elizabeth II – Liverpool had flashes of their best days, putting pressure on Ajax, rushing out and taking advantage of the goalkeeper’s long balls Alisson. Despite the pressure, the victory only came in the final stretch of the game, in a corner kick. To add to the drama, the goal was confirmed with the help of technology.
With the victory, Liverpool reach three points and provisionally assume the vice-leadership of Group A of the Champions. Ajax, in turn, falls to third place. The table, however, could still change, as Rangers and Napoli face each other tomorrow.
Liverpool return to the field for the Champions League on October 4, at 16:00 (GMT), to face Rangers at home. On the same day and time, Ajax host Napoli.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II, last week, culminated in some changes to the clubs’ entrance, today, on the Anfield lawn. The teams went to the field in silence and without the children. The competition anthem was not played and the game ball was not placed in the center of the field.
The various changes hampered the teams, who needed the referee’s guidance to start greetings and pose for photos.
Afterwards, both teams gathered in the center of the field, where a minute of silence was respected. During the period, the Reds’ vibrant crowd remained silent. At the end, a round of applause invaded the stadium.
Out of respect, the Liverpool and Ajax players wore a black belt on one of their arms.
To ward off the crisis
Needing to give an answer to the public, Liverpool smothered Ajax in the first half. Pressing the Dutch ball out and exploiting goalkeeper Alisson’s long ball, the Reds reached the goal in the 17th minute of the opening period.
The Brazilian archer made the release, Luis Díaz headed for Diogo Jota, who triggered Salah from the right of the area. The attacker finished with a left-handed finish to open the scoring.
What a goal!
While Liverpool wasted chances to extend the score at Anfield, Ajax began to find spaces to attack and reached the equalizer in the 26th minute of the first half.
Blind triggered Berghuis in depth, who played to the middle of the box. Kudos received the pass, took it from Van Dijk and submitted it. The ball hit the crossbar and went to the back of the net.
Goalkeeper Pasveer shone at the end of the first half of the European derby. With the game tied at 1-1, the archer closed the goal on at least three opportunities, allowing Ajax to go to the locker room with equality.
Pasveer reflexively saved a Van Dijk header from an Alexander-Arnold corner in the 34th minute. At 40, he made two saves in a row on shots from the Liverpool full-back. In the next move, the goalkeeper saved Van Dijk’s header in a corner in two halves.
only gave Liverpool
Liverpool came back for the second half even more connected, and bombed Ajax’s defensive system. Exploring mainly the sides of the field, the Reds tried plays both for long balls and with quick touches, but found a true Dutch wall in the vicinity of the penalty area. Better for Ajax, who kept the score at 1-1.
To increase the pressure, Klopp put forwards Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nuñez on the field at the start of the second half. And it was the Uruguayan’s best chance for the Reds. At 37 of the final stage, Salah received a pass from Firmino and activated Nuñez. The striker finished first, but over the goal.
lack of aim
With Liverpool increasingly attacking, Ajax took advantage of the spaces in the back of the English defense to try to turn in a counterattack move, and almost succeeded.
In the 29th minute of the second half, Tadic crossed on the right and Blind headed Alexander-Arnold’s back. The ball was on Alisson’s counterfoot, who saw the ball go close to the left post.
Liverpool’s bombing of Alfiend resulted in a dramatic victory, and the hero was Matip. In a corner kick in the 43rd minute of the second half, the player climbed into the small area and sent a header into the back of the net.
The goal was confirmed with the help of technology, when the Portuguese referee’s clock informed that the ball had completely crossed the line.
LIVERPOOL 2×1 AJAX
Competition: Champions League, 2nd round of the group stage
Date and time: September 13, 2022 (Tuesday), at 4 pm (GMT)
Place: Anfield in Liverpool, England
Referee: Arthur Dias ( POR)
Assistants: Rui Tavares (POR), Paulo Soares (POR), Antonio Nobre (POR)
VAR: Tiago Martins ( POR)
Yellow cards: Alvarez (Ajax); Matip (Liverpool); Berghuis (Ajax)
goals: Salah (LIV), in the 17th minute of the first half; Kudus (Ajax), at 26 of the first half. Matip (Liverpool), at 43 of the second half.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk and Tsimikas; Fabinho, Elliott (Firmino) and Thiago (Bajcetic); Salah, Luis Díaz (Milner) and Diogo Jota (Darwin Nuñez). Technician: Jurgen Kloop
AJAX: Pasveer; Rensch (Jorge Sanchez), Timber, Bassey and Blind; Álvarez, Berghuis and Taylor (Grillitschch); Tadic, Bergwijn and Kudus. Technician: Alfred Schreuder