Liverpool 2-0 Midtjylland
It wasn’t as easy an outing as had been made out prior to the game as Liverpool were made to work for a win against Midtjylland on Tuesday night.
The Reds looked short on attacking ideas but came up trumps thanks to a tap-in from Diogo Jota midway through the second half and a late penalty from substitute Mohamed Salah.
The visitors made an accomplished start to the game as they carved Liverpool’s defence open within the first five minutes.
Anders Dreyer ran through on goal and contrived a close-range effort on goal, but Alisson stepped up to the mark to make a crucial save, sparing the Reds’ blushes.
Midtjylland looked especially threatening down Liverpool’s left, who seemed to be far from their best in the opening 20 minutes.
The Reds quelled the Danish champions’ early vigour as the half wore on as they began to control possession. But they didn’t look particularly likely to score as Midtjylland maintained a solid defensive shape.
The Brazilian eventually walked off the pitch clutching his hamstring as he was replaced by 19-year-old defender Rhys Williams, who came on to make just his second Champions League appearance.
Liverpool lacked creativity for the most part, although Minamino came close on a couple of occasions. Milner had an effort blocked after being played through by Shaqiri, but the Reds ultimately failed to muster a shot on target in the first half.
Gini Wijnaldum came on for Henderson at the break as Klopp looked to add another dimension to his side. The substitution paid off within ten minutes as the Dutchman started an attack that led to the Reds’ breakthrough goal.
A well-worked move between Shaqiri and Alexander-Arnold saw the right-back square the ball to Jota, who came running in at the far post to tap the ball home and make it 1-0.
Salah and Mane both came on for the final half-hour to replace Minamino and Origi, with the duo
both failing to catch the eye on rare starts.
Midtjylland looked threatening as the game entered the final fifteen minutes, with substitute Evander coming especially close with a strike from the edge of the box that veered past the post.
Salah was played through on goal in injury time before being brought down, with the Egyptian stepping up to convert the spot-kick and seal a 2-0 win for Liverpool and send them to the top of Group D.
LFC Globe’s MOTM: Xherdan Shaqiri
Next Fixture: West Ham (H) – 31 Oct, 5.30pm