Ajax 0-3 Liverpool: Player ratings as the Reds cruise to Champions League win

Jack Gallagher
Liverpool won
Liverpool won / BSR Agency/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Goals from Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott earned Liverpool a comfortable 3-0 win over Ajax in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The Reds put in a professional performance in the Johan Cruyff Arena against a spirited Ajax side who were made to pay for missing a number of chances in the opening 30 minutes.

Inside the opening two minutes Ajax came agonisingly close to opening the scoring. Brian Brobbey laid the ball off to Steven Berghuis inside of the Liverpool penalty are but, after drifting past Andy Robertson with ease, the forward could only find the foot of the post with his subsequent strike on goal.

Berghuis came close once again five minutes later, capitalising on a loose bit of play from Trent Alexander-Arnold to curl a great side-footed effort just wide of the left post.

Liverpool finally started to show some signs of life around the half-hour mark, pinning Ajax back in their defensive third with some controlled possession. This spell of possession almost culminated in a goal for Robertson, who fired off of the side-netting from a tight angle after being played through on goal by Roberto Firmino.

Immediately after that chance, Ajax created - and spurned - and even better one. Following some great number nine play from Brobbey, the ball found its way out to Dusan Tadic on the left of the penalty area. The Serbian, after cutting inside, drilled the ball past Alisson but not Trent Alexander-Arnold who had tracked back well to make a vital block.

The home side were made to rue that missed chance on the stroke of half-time when Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a 1-0 lead. The Egyptian brilliantly looped the ball over the onrushing Remko Pasveer on the half-volley from just outside the penalty area after being found by Jordan Henderson.

Moments later it was so nearly two, with Darwin Nunez hitting the post when he really should have scored after being gifted a chance to tap into an open net from six yards after being squared the ball by the unselfish Firmino.

Nunez would make amends at the start of the second when he was able to double the Reds' lead. The summer signing headed home a wicked set piece delivery from Robertson to spare his own blushes in the 48th minute.

Just two minutes later Harvey Elliott was on hand to make it 3-0. The English youngster was played through on the right hand side of the penalty by a deft pass from Salah, before rifling the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle. A great finish from the youngster.

Despite going three behind, Ajax continued to press forward with real intent and came close to grabbing a consolation goal through substitute Kenneth Taylor - who ballooned over the bar after a sweeping team move.

1. Liverpool (4-3-3)

GK - Alisson Becker - 5/10 - Ajax created chances but actually never forced the Liverpool number one into a notable save.

RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7/10 - Made a goal-saving block in the first half.

CB - Joe Gomez - 6/10 - Solid performance.

CB - Virgil van Dijk - 4/10 - Still not quite at his best and was bullied by Brian Brobbey on occasion. He'll be happy with the clean sheet though.

LB - Andy Robertson - 8/10 - Brilliant. overall performance from the Scottish captain. Bagged an assist and everything. Top stuff.

CM - Harvey Elliott - 7/10 - Scored his second ever Champions League goal in wonderful fashion. Really tidy performance.

CM - Fabinho - 6/10 - A decent performance in the second half after struggling with the pace of the game in the opening stages.

CM - Jordan Henderson - 7/10 - Great play in the lead up to Salah's opener.

RW - Mohamed Salah - 8/10 - Lovely dinked finish to give Liverpool the lead and an equally lovely pass to set up the third.

ST - Roberto Firmino - 7/10 - Liverpool are a much, much better team when he's on form. He was on Wednesday evening.

LW - Darwin Nunez - 6/10 - He missed an open goal in the first half, but was able to find the net in the second with a fantastic header.

SUB - Curtis Jones - 5/10 - Decent when he came on.

SUB - Fabio Carvalho - N/A.

SUB - James Milner - 5/10 - Helped kill the game.

SUB - Stefan Bajcetic - N/A.

SUB - Konstantinos Tsmikas - N/A.

facebooktwitterreddit