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Jurgen Klopp takes the positives from Liverpool’s nervy win over Ajax in Champions League

Lawrence Ostlere
·2-min read
Jurgen Klopp was pleased to give minutes to 19-year-old Rhys Williams (AP)
Jurgen Klopp was pleased to give minutes to 19-year-old Rhys Williams (AP)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was satisfied with his side’s performance in Amsterdam as they earned a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League.

Nicolas Tagliafico scored a freak own goal in the first half and it was enough as Liverpool kept a clean sheet in their first match since Virgil van Dijk’s knee ligament injury.

Klopp admitted the display was not one of his side's better ones, but was grateful to come away with all three points in what is, on paper, Liverpool’s toughest game of the group.

He told BT Sport: "Good enough, good enough to win the game. That's what you need. But of course I think both teams can play better football. It was at moments pretty wild.

"The pitch was really tricky, it was deep, muddy a little bit. Maybe you can't see it from outside, but it was like this because both teams looked really exhausted pretty early.

"But you need to score a goal, we did that. We didn't use our chances, which is a bit of a shame. Ajax had a big one with the post directly after half-time and of course when you are only 1-0 up, these things can happen.

"But overall, I'm really fine with the game because it was not our sunny, shining, world-class football day, but then especially in a tournament like the Champions League, you still need a result and we got it."

Fabinho had an outstanding game as a stand-in centre-back in Van Dijk’s absence, acrobatically clearing off the line to bail out his goalkeeper Adrian during the first half.

“I don't know how it happened in the beginning,” said Klopp of the slightly scary moment. "That's a good example of how the boys did today. It was not perfect but they fought brilliantly. I really liked the fresh legs up front. Jordan Henderson – the medical staff told me no 90 minutes – but he did well. Rhys Williams played non-league football last year and now he has some Champions League football so what a moment for him. Some nice stories, three points.

"Xherdan Shaqiri was lively and Takumi Minamino was unbelievable. He is like a machine. It helps when you can make five changes."

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Fabinho leads Liverpool to win and welcome clean sheet at Ajax