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Liverpool beat Ajax as unsung hero steps up for Jurgen Klopp and Kudus haunts Everton

Liverpool, Anfield and late goals in the Champions League. We’ve been here before. This was another European night where the Reds had to dig deep to pull all three points out of the bag but Jurgen Klopp’s side delivered the perfect response to last week’s disastrous Napoli defeat that their manager labelled the “worst performance” since his arrival.

Matip the man for Klopp

Joel Matip remains Liverpool’s unsung hero and that was once again evident as he headed home a late winner for the Reds.

The centre-back has played such an integral role for Liverpool over the years since signing from Schalke on a free transfer in 2016 and his return to the side was essential in helping Jurgen Klopp’s side over the line.

Joe Gomez was all at sea last week against Napoli and Matip brings a much-needed calm to the Liverpool backline whenever he plays.

Yet he always offers something offensively too with his mazy dribbles and towering presence from set pieces.

His fitness could prove the key to Liverpool’s hopes of silverware this season – tonight showed exactly that.

Darwin Nunez concern

While patience is certainly required with any mega-money signing – there is already an element of concern with Darwin Nunez.

When you’re paying £85million for a player (if add-ons are fulfilled) – some form of impact would at least be expected yet so far, it’s been a rocky ride for the Uruguayan.

He was named on the bench once again at Anfield before entering the fray on 65 minutes.

Once again though, Nunez is not seemingly a natural fit for this Liverpool side as Diogo Jota got the not through the middle.

There was hope he would make the centre-forward role his own but that has not yet been the case with both Jota and Roberto Firmino ahead of the record-signing in the pecking order.

Liverpool will bide their time and back their big man in attack but he is yet to showcase exactly why FSG forked out a significant sum on his series.

A golden chance fell to Nunez with around eight minutes to go but he could only fire wide of the target before he flashed another strike across the face of goal before Matip’s winner.

Kudus comes back to haunt Everton

Mohammed Kudus has come back to haunt Everton – a matter of weeks after the transfer window closed.

The Toffees thought they had a deal in place for the Ghanaian, who skipped Ajax training to try and make the move happen but the deal was eventually blocked due to Antony’s move to Manchester United.

Still, Kudus remains a player on Everton’s radar but now he looks set to price himself out of the move.

He hit a rocket in off the post last week against Rangers and really caught the eye and the same applies on Tuesday night at Anfield.

Kudus smashed home the leveller for the Dutch giants when he blasted home the ball in off the crossbar.

It’s clear he would have been a huge asset for Everton had the transfer got over the line.

Trent defending suspect again

Trent Alexander-Arnold was heavily criticised for his poor defensive showing in Naples this week and he did not do his World Cup hopes any favours again at Anfield against Ajax.

Kudus’ leveller came from a ball in behind the right-back, who failed to show the desire to get back in and defend and the Ajax star steered home.

He does not look his usual self on the right side of the Liverpool defence at the moment and it seems the England international is struggling for confidence.

Alexander-Arnold will have to up his game and start showing more quality defensively than what he offers in attack, if he wishes to secure his place for Qatar.



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