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Liverpool vs Ajax (1-0) Match Summary: Reds qualified for the Knockout stages!

How did the game pan out?

Liverpool needed at least a draw to progress to the knockout stages of the competition. Their opponents Ajax had to win to keep up the chance of finishing second in the group. With so much at stake, this was a game which had everything to play for.

Jurgen Klopp surprised the whole world by giving a start to his third-choice goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher. His name in the starting lineup had Liverpool fans nervous even before the ball was kicked.

Liverpool started the game well and pressed Ajax as they like to do. However, keeping in mind that Ajax are excellent at playing out, Liverpool had to press with focus or else they were opened. Liverpool did press them well and in spells allowed Ajax to keep the ball but denied vertical passes.

Despite having less of the ball, Liverpool looked dangerous with the pace of their front three causing trouble. Curtis Jones was having an excellent game in the midfield and was making effective forward runs. Liverpool had 6 shots in the first half with 2 on target while Ajax had only 1 out of 4 on target. However, 3 of the 4 shots Ajax had were from inside the box. Ajax looked slick and smooth in possession but were struggling to open Liverpool up.

At the start of the second half, Liverpool looked more dangerous as Ajax kept pushing for the goal which then left space for Liverpool to counter-attack. Sooner, Liverpool got their goal when two academy graduates combined to give Liverpool the lead. Ajax kept pushing but were getting denied time and time again by the impressive Kelleher.

The game ended with Liverpool confirming their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. For Ajax, it’s now a do or die game against Atlanta who themselves are in a similar situation for the final game for both of them.

Fixture Details: [fixture 17361218]

Eye-Catching Performers

Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool)

After seeing his name in the starting lineup, Liverpool fans were worried. Despite all the pressure, Kelleher was exceptional in goal for the Reds.

The 22-year-old made 4 saves, and 3 of them were from inside the box. Kelleher also completed 12 long balls and recorded 2 high claims.

One of the most memorable and a match-winning performance by a keeper with a bright future ahead.

Neco Williams (Liverpool)

Neco Williams has struggled consistently at the defensive side of his game, and against Ajax, the pressure was on. The 19-year-old played an excellent game and looked composed in every defensive situation he was involved in.

Williams assisted Jones’s winning goal and completed 5 long balls as well. Defensively sound, he completed 2 clearances, 1 interception and also a fantastic 3 tackles.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner out with muscle injuries, Williams has to start performing consistently in the Premier League now.

Curtis Jones (Liverpool)

Another one of Liverpool‘s academy graduate, Curtis Jones was also a key player for Liverpool tonight. The 19-year-old not only scored the winning goal but also had some big moments when he hit the bar from 22 yards and played through some lovely forward passes. His work rate has also been an impressive aspect which is something you need to have under Klopp.

A tight game at Anfield but Liverpool once again find a way to progress

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