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Ajax 0-1 Liverpool: Hits and flops as Tagliafico's own goal separates the sides | Champions League 2020-21

Tagliafico
Tagliafico's own goal sufficed for Liverpool, who picked up all three points at Ajax
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 22 Oct 2020, 07:05 IST
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Liverpool edged past Ajax in their first Champions League game of the season after Nicolas Tagliafico scored a crazy own goal. The Argentine couldn't get his bearings as Sadio Mane cut inside the box and ended up nudging the ball into his own net from barely five yards out.

De Godenzonen never recovered, even though the Reds didn't create many attacking opportunities and weren't particularly dominant either. Here are the five hits and flops from the Johan Cryuff arena.

Hit - Fabinho

Fabinho was massive at the back for Liverpool
Fabinho was massive at the back for Liverpool

Let's get the most obvious one out of the way. Fabinho, starting at the heart of the backline, had an absolute stormer for Liverpool.

Filling in for the injured Virgil van Dijk, the Brazilian stepped up to the plate to ensure the Dutchman isn't missed. His excellent positional awareness and distribution skills kept everything sound at the back.

The wonderful goalline clearance in the first half is what has everyone raving about his performance. Fabinho read the danger and got back quickly to clear Dusan Tadic's chipped effort off the line to keep the score 1-0.

The Reds need not worry about van Dijk's lengthy spell on the sidelines, as long as "Flaco" continues in this vein.

Flop - Liverpool's attack

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Firmino was ineffective, but so were Salah and Mane
Firmino was ineffective, but so were Salah and Mane

This was one of those rare outings where none of Liverpool's front three had a particularly great night. Sadio Mane, of course, forced the own goal which proved decisive in the match, but otherwise, there was nothing to write home about his performance either.

Frankly, the Reds never really got out of second gear. Having created few clear-cut chances in the first half, they were content to pass the ball around for much of the second stanza until the introduction of Minamino brought some vigor to the attack.

The young Japanese international took the game to Ajax with his high press and swift movements in dangerous areas, even attempting two good shots. Both were saved by Onana, but at least he brought the visitors really close to extending their lead.

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Published 22 Oct 2020, 07:05 IST
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