Liverpool earned their first Champions League victory of the year thanks to Joel Matip’s late header against Ajax at Anfield.
This was undoubtedly a significant improvement from the “horror show” that was their 4-1 loss to Napoli in their group opener, as requested by manager Jurgen Klopp.
As a result of several opportunities Liverpool produced and Mohamed Salah’s goal after a ball from Diogo Jota, Liverpool grabbed the lead.
Mohammed Kudus’ fierce drive hit the underside of the bar and went in to tie the score, but Matip scored in the 89th minute.
Late in the game, Daley Blind squandered a fantastic opportunity to give Ajax the lead before Matip, who hadn’t scored in the Champions League in nine years, rose to head the winning goal, which was verified by goal-line technology.
Liverpool’s persistence pays off.
Even if they were far from their best, Liverpool wanted to bounce back from the disastrous loss to Napoli, and the goal here was to win so that Klopp’s team would seem more favorable in Group A of the Champions League.
Long before Ajax’s cool demeanor and Liverpool’s lack of inventiveness, it seemed like they would only have one point from two games as they prepared to face Rangers at home and away.
Instead, Matip’s goal gave the defeated finalists from last season a crucial three points, and Klopp will be hoping it is the beginning of their comeback from the setback in Italy, which he called the worst performance of his time in charge at Anfield.
There was a brief moment of silence before the game in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, and although there were a few dissident voices, the great majority of fans inside Anfield honored the homage with respect.
Once play got underway, match-winner Matip and Thiago Alcantara were crucial to Liverpool’s progress from last week against Napoli.
The defender wasn’t only sturdy at the back and brought the ball out of defense in his customary daring fashion.
With his crucial late contribution, the former Schalke defender concluded an exceptional performance and gave Klopp’s defense a far more sturdy appearance than it had in Italy the week before.
Thiago’s ability to control the pace of the game has been greatly missed while he has been out, and his performance was an indication of how crucial he will be as Liverpool tries to bounce back from a lackluster season debut.