Jurgen Klopp has hailed Alfred Schreuder’s men after a late minute header from Joel Matip at Anfield secured them their first win in the Champions League this season.
Mohammed Salah opened the scoring for the host in the 17th minutes after connecting with a pass from Diogo Jota, to end his four-game goalless streak.
Mohammed Kudus equalised with a spectacular off-the-crossbar striker for Ajax, ten minutes later. Liverpool created many opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net. The last season’s Champions League finalist also hit the woodwork via a deflected Salah effort.
With one minute of regular time left to play, Joel Matip’s header sent the crowd wild on an evening when it had looked like the Reds were going to share the spoils with their visitor.
Asked if that was the response he (Jurgen Klopp) wanted from his players, Jurgen Klopp said “yes” to BTSPORT after the game.
“Everyone could see we understood. We knew we had to put a completely different shift in tonight. The boys did that. We played against a really hard fighting opponent. We should’ve scored more goals from set pieces, I don’t know how more didn’t go in.
“Ajax didn’t have a lot of attacks. It was an incredible strike from Kuddus. It’s another test and everyone was hoping it would go in the right direction. Half-time it was clear we had to go back to how we started and keep going. Finally one of the set pieces led to the goal. I’m not picky about who scores.
The former Dortmund coach then claimed that the loud celebration from his players signified that ‘nothing is over’ this season, despite stubborn defensive issues that have allowed various opponents to capitalise. “It was a nice celebration and showed what the boys thought today,” Klopp added.
“Nothing is over, neither negative nor positive. It’s an important step for us and now we have a strange break.
“We hope and pray that the boys return to training healthy and Brighton is waiting. I’ll have to watch the Ajax goal back. You can’t avoid all balls in behind. That always happens in football. If Alisson has to make a save then something went wrong beforehand.”