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Ajax 0-1 Liverpool - full-time score and highlights

Fabinho and Gomez prove there's life for Liverpool after Virgil van Dijk

Verdict - Liverpool begin to prove Jurgen Klopp right and get centre-back boost

Klopp explains subbing his front three

We had to defend together in 4-5-1. Wingers need to be involved in defending. Big spaces for counter. It made sense for fresh legs. All 3 who came on were fresh. They helped a lot. Shaq, Taki, and Diogo is a machine. All fine.

Klopp not surprised at Fabinho performance

In our situation it helps when the boys ease the pressure on the situation. Fab can play this position, he likes it. He wouldn't enjoy right-back as much! We have to keep these boys fit and they can help. Fab I am not surprised he plays well otherwise we'd need a solution

Klopp on the clean sheet

We are not dumb enough to think we didn't need a bit of luck. Fabinho needed to stretch off the line, we could have done better. Now we don't hang the clean sheet too high. That's it.

We brought on Rhys and he is pretty strong in the air. This won't be on the front page of our history but a nice result.

Saturday is different challenge, tonight Sheffield Utd had legs on the sofa.

Klopp: Fabinho was good but even he can play better

Good but even he can play better. This combo with Joe they'd never played together. They need to get used to each other and the verbal demands of that position to help midfielders. There's a lot to improve but that's good.

Sadio Mane update

Sadio has a dead leg and deals with it. It's still painful but not a problem. When he doesn't play he has ice on it

Klopp explains the substitutions

Curtis was tactical. Medical dept told us Hendo cannot start, 45 mins was possible. We wanted an experienced midfield as that helps in this type of game. 3 up front, it was intense, it was hard for those 3. I was happy we could make 5 changes tonight.

Klopp: It was a deserved win, we were dominant

It was not the easiest on the eye for both teams. Both can play better but when you play away, the medical dept made the lineup and we had to win the game.

I think it was deserved. They had moments but we were dominant on a difficult pitch for both teams.

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Liverpool's players celebrate after Ajax scored an own goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D first-leg football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on October 21, 2020

The Debrief

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FINAL SCORE - Ajax 0-1 Liverpool

Tremendous win for Liverpool to get their Champions League campaign up and running. Fabinho and Gomez and Robertson excellent, Jota good from the bench. Big clean sheet given everything that's been said since Saturday.

Late chance for Ajax

Adrian could only punch a high cross under pressure to the edge of the box but shot flew well over the bar

European debut for Rhys Williams

Replaces Milner, last season the young defender was playing for Kidderminster on loan in the National League. Liverpool go five at the back for the last few minutes.

Should be two nil

Magnificent play for Jota who picked the ball up in his own half and carried the ball well before finding Wijnaldum with a stunning crossfield pass which Wijnaldum couldn't convert, eventually broke for Minamino who couldn't beat the keeper at his near post.

Five added minutes of which we've already had a minute and a half

Milner down

For the second time in a few minutes, seemed to have cramp earlier and now got a bang on the head in an aerial duel. The 34-year-old Yorkshireman has put a big shift in for his side as ever.

Second goal would kill it

Liverpool will get spaces here in the final five minutes of normal time. Ten Hag has gone for it with the changes, so Liverpool need to be strong and firm and they can counter.

Reds just need to play smart and see this out

Liverpool have been wily old campaigners the last few minutes, taking the sting out with some time wasting. Here’s Huntelaar and Traore for Schuurs and Blind by the way. Not like for like in the slightest. Batten down the hatches

Liverpool pressing for a second

Big counterattack on which the Reds didn't really capitalise on as they might, Henderson managed to find Jota in the middle but he couldn't quite get his shot away and eventually the hosts scrambled it clear.

Five minutes plus stoppages left as the rain hammers down in Amsterdam.

Double Ajax change

Huntelaar and Traore for Blind and Schuurs. Two forwards for two defenders. The hosts going for it.

Robertson goes close

Sliding in on the edge of the six yard box but couldn't quite get on the end of Minamino's right wing cross

Great pressing from Jota

Charged the goalkeeper who was almost on the edge of the centre circle and got a block in but the ball skewed out to the left flank and was cleared by Schuurs

Good run from Jota

Cut in from the left and had a right foot shot deflected over for a corner, from which Wijnaldum guides a header narrowly over the crossbar

Adrian not troubled

Schuurs has leathered one slightly closer than the other from the halfway line but it’s still easily 30-35 yards out. Well struck but nowhere near Adrian’s goal. Liverpool will be content to see those more often than not.

As bizarre a break in play as you will ever see

Minamino denied

Space opened up for the Japanese forward and his well-struck but too close to the goalkeeper shot was shovelled behind for a corner

Klopp taking advantage of new rule

Klopp used the five substitutions rule to the full towards the end of last season and he’s likely to do it again in the Champions League given how much of an advocate he was for it.

We will have to get used to that kind of multiple substitution.

Liverpool kick off their 2020/21 Champions League campaign with a trip to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam for a mouth-watering showdown with Ajax.

The Reds will be hoping to make a good start to their European season after a draw with Everton and heavy defeat to Aston Villa in their last two games.

They'll have to do it without star centre-back Virgil van Dijk after a horror knee injury suffered during the Merseyside derby. The big Dutchman is expected to miss most, if not all of the season to come.

Joel Matip is also sidelined and Thiago Alcantara hasn't travelled either, meaning Liverpool are likely to line up with Fabinho and Joe Gomez in the centre of defence.

Join the ECHO's team of Paul Gorst and Ian Doyle for live team news, goal updates and analysis.

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