A fine Curtis Jones goal was enough to give Liverpool a 1-0 win over Ajax with the victory confirming the Reds’ progression into the Champions League knockout stages.
The game got off to a pulsating start with Jones hitting the post five minutes in. Ajax had several chances of their own in the first half with Champions League debutant Caoimhin Kelleher being kept busy in the Liverpool goal.
After the break, the Reds managed to poke their noses in front with two academy graduates combining; Neco Williams swung in a looping cross and a stranded Andre Onana could only watch as Jones provided a cute finish from the angle to put the Reds 1-0 up.
After substitute Roberto Firmino missed a gilt-edged chance, the Reds had Kelleher to thanks late on with the Irishman making a point-blank save to keep out Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s header.
Here are your Liverpool player ratings from Anfield…
Caoimhin Kelleher (GK) – 8/10 – Looked very much at home on his Champions League debut. Made one particularly impressive save in the closing stages that won his side the game.
Neco Williams (RB) – 8/10 – Tireless performance. Always keen to support his teammates going forward, but did not neglect his defensive responsibilities. Great assist as well.
Joel Matip (CB) – 7/10 – Certainty not a perfect display but he was solid enough. Tadic caused him a few issues by playing between the lines.
Fabinho (CB) – 7/10 – Felt like he was attracting the ball with a magnet at times. In the end he finished the game with eight clearances.
Andrew Robertson (LB) – 7/10 – First-half injury scare aside, he enjoyed a fairly routine night, defending well and supporting the Reds’ front three.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – 7/10 – Toasted being nominated for Sports Personality of the Year with three points. Nothing too flashy but he did his job well – standard.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 7/10 – Broke things up in the middle and used the ball fairly smartly in possession, only committing two turnovers.
Curtis Jones (CM) – 8/10 – Continued to look at home in the first team. Picked up some promising positions and went close to scoring twice inside the first five minutes. Eventually got his goal and what a finish it was.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 6/10 – Something of a frustrating night for the Egyptian. Often his clever runs were not spotted by his teammates and he only managed two shots.
Diogo Jota (ST) – 7/10 – Got into a few promising positions but often made the wrong final shot or pass. Kept possession circulating nicely though, finishing with a team-high 91% pass completion rate.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 6/10 – Played his part in the Reds’ ultra-fluid front three which caused Ajax problems.
Roberto Firmino – 5/10 – Missed an absolute sitter that would have put the game beyond all doubt.
Rhys Williams – N/A