Create
Notifications
New User posted their first comment
Advertisement

Ajax 0-1 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points as Tagliafico own goal hands Liverpool a narrow win| UEFA Champions League 2020-21

Liverpool kicked off their 2020-21 Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over Ajax
Liverpool kicked off their 2020-21 Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over Ajax
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 22 Oct 2020, 03:50 IST
Feature
Advertisement

Premier League champions Liverpool got their 2020-21 UEFA Champions League campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 win over Ajax in Amsterdam. 

The two sides created several scoring chances during the game but were eventually separated by an own goal from Ajax’s Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico who turned Sadio Mane’s scuffed shot into his own net in the 35th minute.

The first half saw both sides carve out decent chances without really testing either goalkeeper. It was an unfortunate error from Tagliafico that brought about the half’s only goal and gave Liverpool a 1-0 lead going into the break.

The second period continued in much the same way as the first, with both teams creating promising opportunities but lacking the finishing touches. Both sides also made changes galore, with fatigue seemingly as big a concern as scoring goals.

However, there were no more goals in the game as Liverpool wrapped up the win and the three points with a solid defensive effort in the second half.

In their next Champions League fixtures, the Reds will welcome Midtjylland to Anfield while Ajax travel to Atalanta.

On that note, here are the five major talking points from Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax in Amsterdam.


Advertisement

#1 Liverpool's squad depth comes to the fore in the absence of key personnel

Van Dijk was one of a few key absentees for Liverpool against Ajax.
Van Dijk was one of a few key absentees for Liverpool against Ajax.

After a hotly-contested Merseyside Derby last weekend, Liverpool were left rueing not just the result but also the long-term loss of Virgil van Dijk among other notable absentees.

Following on from the draw against Everton, Liverpool lost midfielder Thiago Alcantara and defender Joel Matip to injuries as well, while first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker continues to have a spell on the sidelines.

The English champions, who went into their Champions League season opener against Ajax with a few big names missing, can scarcely afford to lose any more players due to injuries or suspensions.

In Liverpool's upcoming domestic and European fixtures, Jurgen Klopp will have to rely heavily on squad depth to negotiate this tricky patch and carefully manage the workload of those returning from injuries.

That was quite apparent in Klopp’s decision to make a change at half-time before replacing all three of his forwards at the hour mark even when the match was far from won as he seemingly had one eye on the fixtures to come.


Advertisement

#2 Ajax production line continues to churn out talent

18-year-old Ryan Gravenberch made his Champions League debut for Ajax against Liverpool.
18-year-old Ryan Gravenberch made his Champions League debut for Ajax against Liverpool.

In May 2019, Ajax were a few seconds away from securing a place in the Champions League final against Liverpool, only for a last-gasp winner from Lucas Moura sending Tottenham Hotspur through instead.

A little over a year later, Ajax have lost a large chunk of the side that faced Spurs, with no less than six players from that starting-eleven moving on since then.

Nevertheless, the Dutch champions continue to produce one promising talent after the other as their side has a nice blend of youth and experience.

The likes of 18-year-old Ryan Gravenberch and 20-year-olds Perr Schuurs and Mohammed Kudus took to the field aganst Liverpool in the new-look Ajax side that also included veterans like Daley Blind and the returning Davy Klaasen.

Ajax have also been extremely astute in picking the right time for allowing their top talents to leave, which means that players like Andre Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico are still at the club despite attracting interest from other European clubs during the last couple of seasons.

1 / 2 NEXT
Published 22 Oct 2020, 03:50 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now
❤️ Favorites Edit