Joel Matip scored a late goal for Liverpool to secure victory over Ajax in Champions League Group A on matchday two. Liverpool faced a poor start to the UEFA Champions League group stage after they last lost 4-1 to Napoli in their Group A opening game, and Ajax beat Glasgow Rangers. Before Matip’s last Champions League goal, the evening threatened to disappoint Liverpool as Ajax remained stubborn. Liverpool wouldn’t have been turned down as Joel Matip, who put on a fantastic performance, scored the winning goal just a minute before standard time.
Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat at Napoli last week as Jurgen Klopp’s worst performance in seven years, and the Reds responded with a better performance against Eredivisie’s team Ajax, which was ultimately rewarded for their perseverance in victory with a score of 2:1. After a late goal requiring confirmation with goal-line technology, Liverpool beat Ajax to get Liverpool’s first points in this Champions League. Even though European nights at Anfield are typically passionate events, this one was a touch different due to the demise of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. No anthem from the Champions League. Instead, there was a moment of calmness, which was flawlessly observed with the exception of a few lone cheers from a small group of supporters.
After a strong opening period, Liverpool earned a lead when Diogo Jota set up Mohamed Salah for a close-range goal after 17 minutes. Quickfire opportunities for the hosts nearly doubled their lead, but Salah, Luis Diaz, and Jota all missed the goal. After 27 minutes, Eredivisie League‘s table toppers Ajax put together a fine play that concluded with Kudus unleashing a fantastic strike past Alisson, punishing Liverpool for their lost opportunities. After the equaliser, the Premier League team reacted brilliantly, but Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were stopped by Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer.
Mohamed Salah’s opening goal was his first in the Champions League since February versus Inter, snapping the tournament’s longest goalless streak (seven games). Joel Matip’s game-winning goal was his tenth overall goal for Liverpool, and the Reds have won all ten of those games in which he has scored. Thiago Alcantara demonstrated how much his absence was felt upon his return to the starting XI. Always in charge and able to find the ideal pass after taking a few additional touches. Maybe he became exhausted in the second half, but that makes sense. He gave his squad excellent support. Although a substitute did not score the goal, Liverpool’s bench strength did make a difference, and they anticipate having more players back from the international break who are healthy and rested.