Liverpool 2 - 1 Ajax summary: score, goals, highlights, Champions League 2022-23
Liverpool push past Ajax
Liverpool 2 - 1 Ajax (match report)
Joel Matip headed in an 89th-minute winner as Liverpool beat Ajax Amsterdam 2-1 in their Champions League Group A match at Anfield on Tuesday.
Mohamed Salah fired the home side ahead in the 17th minute after being picked out by Diogo Jota, the Egyptian beating Ajax keeper Remko Pasveer with a trademark finish.
But the lead lasted just 10 minutes before Ajax pulled level with a stunning strike from Mohammed Kudus who worked himself some space in the box before hammering the ball into the top corner.
Liverpool enjoyed the bulk of pressure after the break but Ajax fullback Daley Blind wasted a great chance to put the Dutch side ahead when he was left unmarked at the back post but headed wide.
Substitute Darwin Nunez should have won the game for Liverpool in the 83rd minute after he was slipped in by Salah but the Uruguayan striker scuffed his shot wide from a great position inside the box.
A deflected effort from Salah then struck the post before, from the resulting Kostas Tsimikas corner, Matip rose to head in the winner.
Liverpool had lost their opening game in the group 4-1 at Napoli while Ajax had thrashed Scottish team Rangers 4-0. The next game in Group A will be Rangers v Napoli with the result either keeping the group in the balance or pushing Napoli into a three point lead with four rounds of fixtures to go.
Result - Liverpool 2 - 1 Ajax
The final whistle blows and its a really important win for Liverpool.
They are now equal on 3 points with Ajax and Napoli, though the Neapolitans are yet play their second game in Group A.
Setfan Bajetic comes on Thiago. It's the 17 year old's first appearance in the competition.
GOAL - Liverpool (Joel Matip)
I think the third time that I have been immediately proved wrong.
A deflected Salah shot knocks off the post and the resulting corner is planted into the bottom corner by a towering Matip. Liverpool have looked dangerous from corners all game but this was the first that one was met with any conviction.
Liverpool's siege of the Ajax goal is proving to not be so fruitful. They are creating chances but except the Nunez one they could all be classed as half chances.
Biggest chance for Darwin Nunez of the game but his scuffed shot is well wide.
Ajax continue to look dangerous on the break despite the Liverpool possession.
HUGE chance for Ajax as no one picks up Daley Blind at the back post. All he has to do is direct Dusan Tadic's cross back across Alisson but he angles it millimetres to the left of the far post.
Ajax get their first chance in nearly half an hour as Kudus is played in, though he is well offside.
Jota and Elliott come off for Firmino and Nunez as Liverpool push for the win.
From one end to the other Liverpool break. Bergwijn is well tackled by Alexander-Arnold who sprays a long ball out to Diaz. A little shimmy gets him free and into the box but the tight angle allows the tackle to come in.
Immediately after saying that Liverpool have their best chance of the half as Salah is squeezed in one-on-one with Pasveer but is denied with the follow-up from Elliott hitting the side netting.
Salah is then blown for offside though replays shown it to be very close.
Two yellows in quick succession as Edson Alvarez picks up the first yellow card of the game. Two minutes later Joel Matip joins him in the book.
Second half still hasn't really got going, as opposed to what is going on in Bavaria.
Van Dijk meets yet another Liverpool set play but his header is over the bar.
Both sides come close immediately!
Kudus breaks into the box before tripping on the ball and Liverpool pounce. A breakaway led by Jota and Salah results in a shot straight at Pasveer.
Second half begins
No changes at the break for either side and Liverpool force an early corner.
Some stats to tide you over
- Salah's goal was only the second time this season that liverpool have taken the lead in a game, despite playing eight games so far.
- Ajax conceded for the first time in over nine hours of football and their first in six games.
Honours even at the break, though Ajax will likely be the happier team.
Van Dijk meets the resulting corner though his bouncing header is easy pickings for Pasveer.
Pasveer to the rescue again, twice, as Joel Matip forces a Liverpool attack. Alexander-Arnold flashes two shots at the veteran keeper who is more than a match for both.
Ok, scratch the one shot on target each.
A deep Liverpool corner reaches Van Dijk whose powerful header is saved well by Pasveer.
Liverpool have looked to hit back against the visitors but have yet to come close. Alexander-Arnold hit a dipping volley but it was never going in.
One attempt on target for each side and a goal apiece.
Goal - Ajax (Mohammed Kudus)
Trent Alexander-Arnold is caught out again and Kudus picks up the following cross before smashing it in off the crossbar.
Ajax are caught on their left and a low cross to the front post is poked wide by Salah under big pressure by Daley Blind.
Liverpool keep the pressure on Ajax as Thiago dances past two in midfield before being brought down. The developing play leads to a big chance for Luis Diaz who pulls it wide from inside the box.
Another Liverpool chance as Jota hits a shot wide.
Ajax pinned in their own half here.
Goal - Liverpool (Mohamed Salah)
A long goal kick from Allisson is not dealt with by Ajax with the ball falling to Diogo Jota, who plays in Salah to slot home.
It's his first goal in seven Champions League games, despite Liverpool reaching the final last year.
Ajax afford far too much space to Alexander-Arnold who whips a ball fast into the six-yard box. No one gets on the end of it and Pasveer gobbles up the ball
The first chance for Ajax sees Kudus take the ball into the Liverpool box though the chance is snuffed out by Joel Matip.
A foul from Luis Diaz on the half-way line breaks up an Ajax break, though little is made of the following free kick.
Neat Liverpool play works the ball into the box once more though Ajax clear their lines.
The game looks like Ajax will be sitting deep and trying to hit Liverpool on the counterattack.
An early chance for Liverpool left back Kostas Tsimikas is blazed over from the edge of the box
Match kicks off after the moment silence, largely well observed.
Liverpool play in their traditional red while Ajax are in their away strip of white and black.
"I don't think our people need any kind of advice from me for showing respect," says Klopp
There are some concerns that Liverpool fans will boo the tribute to the death of the British monarch before kick-off tonight, though manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the possibility.
"There are plenty of examples where people showed exactly the right respect; one which surprised me and I was really proud of that moment was last season when we played Manchester United around a very sad situation with Cristiano Ronaldo's family," he said in the programme notes.
"That is what I expect. For me, it is clear that's what we have to do. That's it."
Liverpool fans have regularly booed the national anthem at fixtures like the FA cup final and the Community Shield. With the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, a minute's silence will be held before kick off.
Alexander-Arnold under pressure
The right-back, considered by many to be one of the best in the world, has been found wanting defensively in a number of games this season. While Liverpool as a whole are yet to really get going, Trent's attitude was questioned after the game versus Napoli where he wandered into position with not a lot of hurry, despite Napoli targeting his flank.
Boss Jürgen Klopp has been stalwart in his defence of one of his star players over the years, keeping him in the starting lineup for the Ajax game. However, there is little competition for his place in the side with a lack of a quality backup.
A phoenix from the ashes (again)
With long-term boss Erik ten Hag leaving the club for Manchester United at the beginning of the Summer, Ajax fans would not be faulted for feeling slightly worried. Indeed, with the club producing so much young talent it is somewhat inevtiable that Europe's fat cats would splash the cash.
Alongside ten Hag, defender Lisandro Martinez and Brazilian winger Antony left for Manchester United. Sebastien Haller, who found his shooting feet after a disappointing spell at West Ham United, joined Borussia Dortmund. A host of young prospects departed too including Ryan Gravenberch. In total, the club made €218 in player sales.
But this does not mean the club is depleted. A reinvestment in players such as Steven Bergwijn and Calvin Bassey has kept up the pressure on the big clubs and the highly regarded youth team continues to produce talent. Mohammed Kudus has become a key part of the team despite his young age. €105 million of those funds has gone back into the team. It was not long ago that Ajax were in a similar position after having their team raided at the end opf the 2018/19 season with a number of key players departing. But here they are again, ready to compete in the Champions League.
New boss Alfred Schreuder has yet to drop points this season and it looks like Ajax's model for running a club continues to prove a success.
Want some incredibly grainy classic football?
Helpfully, or perhaps unhelpfully due to the quality. Ajax have posted the footage of their 5-1 humbling of Liverpool back in 1966. It became known as ‘De Mistwedstrijd’, or the fog match.
The defeat is Liverpool's largest in the competition.
Few meetings between Liverpool and Ajax
Despite the pedigree of both sides in Europe, Liverpool have faced Ajax just four times in Europe's premier club competition. The most recent times the two faced each other was the 2020/21 season in which Liverpool won both the home and away fixture 1-0. Nicolas Tagliafico scored the own-goal in the first game while Curtis Jones, injured for this season's first game, scored the winner in the latter.
The other season they played each other was the 1966/67 season. The first game saw Liverpool get hammered 5-1 in the Dutch capital and they could only muster a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Celtic won the European Cup that year.
... followed by the Liverpool XI
As predicted Thiago and Jota start. Tsimikas comes in for the injured Robertson at left back.
Ajax team released...
Former Tottenham player Steven Bergwijn starts and he'll be hoping to continue his electric start to the season. The winger has scored 8 goals in 8 appearances in all competitions this season.
Injury struck Liverpool will have to rely on more rotation as their depleted squad looks to overcome a tough opponent. Andy Robertson joins an injury list which includes Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ibrahima Konaté, Calvin Ramsay, Curtis Jones and Caoimhin Kelleher.
Possible XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Elliott, Thiago; Salah, Luis Díaz, Núñez.
Klopp offers condolences for the death of Queen Elizabeth II ahead of tie
"The loss of Queen Elizabeth II is a significant moment for the country and an incredibly sad moment for her family and all who cherished her, so playing football against this backdrop gives everyone involved a different kind of responsibility. As a club, we always take these responsibilities very seriously because it is the right thing to do. At the time of writing these notes it is too early to say what the gestures of respect will be, but whatever they are we will observe them as we always have."
"On an occasion like this one, how we conduct ourselves matters and so do the words that we say, so I would like to take this opportunity to pass on our condolences to everyone who has been affected by the death of the Queen, particularly her own family who clearly had an incredible amount of love for her as a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. "
Contrasting seasons for two of Europe's greatest
Ajax will be facing a Liverpool team low on confidence after a number of poor performances and results. Despite beating Bournemouth 9-0 back in August, a sluggish start to the season has seen them fall five points behind rivals Man City and were also on the receiving end of a bruising 4-1 defeat in their opening Champions League fixture against Napoli.
Ajax on the other hand are top of their league, the Eredivise, with six wins from six games
The game will be kicking off at 20:00 BST (local time) or 3:00 pm (ET) / 12:00 pm (PT).
Liverpool vs Ajax live: welcome
Hello and welcome to you wherever you are joining us from around the globe. My name is Oli and here at Anfield we are all set for another big night in the Champions League as Liverpool host Ajax in Game 2 of Group A.
Our build up starts here, which will include team news from both camps as soon as its announced, and then from kick-off I'll be keeping you across all the action.