Jurgen Klopp claimed that Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax was one of the club’s best Champions League nights in its day.
Liverpool claimed the win they needed to get out of their Champions League group thanks to Curtis Jones’ smart finish.
The result means that Liverpool will win their group with one game remaining, giving Klopp a chance to rest a few players in the final game against Midtjylland next week.
But before then he will think about what he saw against Ajax – and he was eager to emphasize how good it was.
“Honestly, since I was with Liverpool, it feels like one of the greatest Champions League nights,” he said BT Sport. “Without supporters, it was the most important, most difficult, most exceptional.
“Given the circumstances, there wasn’t much to laugh about, it was difficult and the boys threw themselves into the game. Robbo [Andy Robertson] gets quite a knock on the ankle and pushes himself through, Hendo [Jordan Henderson] with a sore back, Gini [Wijnaldum] – I have no words for him. “
Another midfielder who impressed was Jones, who scored his very first Champions League goal to separate the two sides.
The academy graduate took full advantage of the opportunities that came his way and showed again what he was capable of by scoring a goal to complete an achievement that made Klopp proud.
“Curtis Jones, what a match,” said the Liverpool manager. “It’s amazing, I’m really proud.
“Curtis is a really good boy, a good player and I’m glad he’s here. Sometimes with injuries there is always a chance and he has seized it. “
Klopp praises Kelleher and Williams
While Jones made the decisive impact on the one hand, fellow academic Caoimhin Kelleher on the other.
The Irish goalkeeper made his first appearance in the Champions League as he had to replace Alisson Becker – and made a few good saves to mark it with a zero.
Klopp explained why he chose Kelleher instead of the older Adrian and praised the younger one for his composure on the big occasion.
“I really think Adrian did a fantastic job for us, he kept a lot of clean sheets, played all over the place,” said Klopp. “But now we needed Caoimhin Kelleher’s natural footballing ability.
“He is also a good bullet stopper. We made that decision, but you never know how they will go about it. I am very happy with how calm he was and how good he was. “
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A third academy player who produced a good showing was Neco Williams, which has recently been criticized but redeemed himself by getting the assist to Jones’s goal.
Klopp revealed that he has talked to the player about his potential – insisting he can get even better.
“We had a long talk with Neco Williams this week,” he said. “We think he has more in the locker than he has shown so far.
“The season started after a difficult summer with lockdown, a short preseason and then Trent Alexander-Arnold is out.
“Neco wasn’t in the best shape, but he’s on the big stage – tonight he showed a glimpse. He could be so much better. “