Premier League champions Liverpool had been helped by an personal purpose from Nicolas Tagliafico to get off to a profitable begin within the Champions League towards Ajax.
Jurgen Klopp’s injury-hit facet, who had been with out talisman Virgil van Dijk, had been examined by Ajax however did sufficient to depart Amsterdam with a clear sheet.
Tagliafico sliced Sadio Mane’s cross into his personal web with 10 minutes of the primary half remaining, moments after Liverpool keeper Adrian denied Quincy Promes from shut vary.
Liverpool’s Fabinho then acrobatically cleared Dusan Tadic’s lob off the road, earlier than Davy Klaassen’s highly effective effort bounced off the within of the publish within the second half.
The Reds, who additionally face Atalanta and Midtjylland in Group D, had been returning to Europe as English champions for the primary time since 1984-85.
Van Dijk’s presence missed however not expensive
All eyes had been on Liverpool’s defence within the absence of Van Dijk and the injured Joel Matip.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who began at centre-back within the victory over Chelsea final month, lined up alongside Joe Gomez in defence, whereas Adrian continued to deputise for primary keeper Alisson.
There have been nerves early-on – Gomez and Adrian had a mix-up which resulted within the keeper clearing it towards the England worldwide inside their very own space inside three minutes.
And Ajax seemed to take advantage of any weak spot out of possession by dropping deep, encouraging Liverpool’s defence to have the ball and forcing them to make use of Adrian as a passback choice.
They’d some success within the first half, as Liverpool rode intervals of stress – Fabinho needed to produce a wise deal with to dam Tadic, whereas Tagliafico nearly escaped from Gomez earlier than Adrian pushed him extensive within the field.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reacted frantically on the touchline, waving his arms and shouting at his gamers as he demanded extra urgency and communication.
However as the sport wore on, Liverpool seemed extra snug out of possession, with midfielder James Milner dropping deep to offer added help.
Adrian’s sensible save from Promes and Fabinho’s goalline heroics in the end proved essential and Klopp will little question be delighted with a clear sheet and a win of their first group sport of what has been a irritating week for his squad.
Klopp’s gambles repay
Klopp’s ways and rotation had been put to the check in Amsterdam as he managed the accidents in defence with a weaker squad.
Liverpool-born teenager Curtis Jones was handed a primary European look in midfield, whereas Milner made his third begin this season.
It meant Liverpool’s well-practised defensive excessive line was extra conservative and the entrance three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane had been extra reliant on alternatives on the break.
The purpose got here from nothing – Mane turning sharply within the field and scuffing his cross earlier than getting a lucky contact from Tagliafico – however Liverpool maintained that menace from the counter-attack all through.
Klopp, who gambled barely along with his midfield choice – leaving skipper Jordan Henderson on the bench – took one other danger with the slim lead when he pulled all three of his forwards off on the hour.
However the danger paid off and as Ajax pushed for an equaliser, substitutes Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino confirmed glimpses of high quality and each had probabilities to attain late-on.
Extra to observe.
- 3SchuursSubstituted forTraoréat 84′minutes
- 6KlaassenSubstituted forEkkelenkampat 74′minutes
- 17BlindSubstituted forHuntelaarat 83′minutes
- 7Neres CamposSubstituted forLabyadat 74′minutes
- 20KudusSubstituted forPromesat 9′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 80mins
- 7MilnerBooked at 38minsSubstituted forR Williamsat 90+2′minutes
- 17JonesSubstituted forHendersonat 45′minutes
- 11SalahSubstituted forShaqiriat 60′minutes
- 9FirminoSubstituted forJotaat 60′minutes
- 10ManéSubstituted forMinaminoat 60′minutes
- 46R Williams
- 76N Williams
Reside Textual content
Match ends, Ajax 0, Liverpool 1.
Second Half ends, Ajax 0, Liverpool 1.
Try missed. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp (Ajax) proper footed shot from the centre of the field is simply too excessive.
Try blocked. Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the field is blocked. Assisted by Takumi Minamino.
Quincy Promes (Ajax) is proven the yellow card for a nasty foul.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick within the attacking half.
Foul by Quincy Promes (Ajax).
Substitution, Liverpool. Rhys Williams replaces James Milner.
Nook, Liverpool. Conceded by André Onana.
Try saved. Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) proper footed shot from a tough angle on the fitting is saved within the centre of the purpose. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.
Try saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) proper footed shot from outdoors the field is saved within the centre of the purpose. Assisted by Diogo Jota.
James Milner (Liverpool) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Lassina Traoré (Ajax).
Try saved. Lassina Traoré (Ajax) with an try from the centre of the field is saved within the high centre of the purpose. Assisted by Klaas Jan Huntelaar with a headed go.
Try blocked. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) proper footed shot from outdoors the field is blocked.
Try blocked. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left facet of the field is blocked.
Foul by Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool).
Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax) wins a free kick on the fitting wing.
Substitution, Ajax. Lassina Traoré replaces Perr Schuurs.
Substitution, Ajax. Klaas Jan Huntelaar replaces Daley Blind.