Teenager Curtis Jones grabbed a 58th-minute winner as an injury-hit Liverpool certified for the knockout stage of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam at Anfield on Tuesday. The victory ensured high spot in Group D for Juergen Klopp’s facet with 12 factors after rivals Atalanta have been held to a 1-1 draw at house to Midtjylland.
Ajax, with seven factors, are some extent adrift of second-placed Atalanta and want victory over the Italians of their ultimate group sport to succeed in the final 16.
In addition to Jones, Klopp had one other teenager to thank for his or her win as Eire Beneath-21 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher produced a significant save within the ultimate phases of his Champions League debut.
Kelleher had been drafted in after first alternative Alisson Becker grew to become the most recent addition to Liverpool’s prolonged harm listing with a scan revealing a hamstring pressure.
With Neco Williams in at proper again and Jones in midfield there was a youthful really feel to Liverpool, with skilled options briefly provide.
Jones rattled a shot towards the publish within the sixth minute after being set-up by Mohamed Salah however Ajax fought their approach into the sport with former Everton midfielder Davy Klaassen proving influential.
Kelleher was referred to as into motion within the thirty second minute as he tipped over a blast from Noussair Mazraoui.
After the break, Klaassen missed a good likelihood, heading huge on the close to publish, and the Dutch facet ought to have gone forward when David Neres struck the publish after Kelleher had pushed out a Mazraoui effort.
Then got here the decisive second — Ajax keeper Andre Onana badly misjudged a cross from Williams and allowed the ball to drift over his head the place the 19-year-old Jones did properly to information it house on the again publish.
Kelleher accomplished a memorable debut when he pulled off a significant save within the ultimate minutes to maintain out a header from Ajax’s veteran substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
“It was an incredible one for me, to make my debut in a Champions League sport was huge and we received the win and certified. An ideal night time,” stated the Irish keeper.
“That’s what I’m there for, I work on daily basis in coaching to ensure I’m prepared and I used to be capable of make an excellent few saves.”