All of Europe’s top sides have had their setbacks this season but Liverpool are probably doing better than most and they can make it two wins from two in Group D against FC Midtjylland tonight.
The main aftermath from the Merseyside Derby was the season ending injury to Virgil Van Dijk – along with a nasty knock for the impressive Thiago – but in the melee afterwards it was forgotten that Klopp’s men were very unlucky not to win a game when they had by far the better of the chances (won xG count 2.85 to 1.35 with Infogol) and also were very unlucky to have Jordan Henderson’s winner ruled out.
Since then they’ve won both their games, battling to a win against Ajax last week when Sadio Mane managed to fashion an own goal for the hosts, Davy Klaassen hit the inside of the post and Quincy Promes had the night’s best chance – before then overcoming Sheffield United after going 1-0 down when Fabinho, covering for Van Dijk at the centre of defence, conceded a very harsh penalty as judged by VAR.
Nevertheless, Liverpool found their way back into proceedings and a 4-2-3-1 appeared to work, with new singing Diogo Jota scoring the winner from a Sadio Mane across and Mohamed Salah unlucky not have a goal from an excellent all round performance, whilst Roberto Firmino scored a rare goal at Anfield.
Absences in the middle of the park are going to be felt for a while – Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still absent, and Fabinho has to cover at centre-back whilst Joel Matip isn’t fit – but Liverpool were deserving of their victory, posting an Infogol rating of 2.76 to 1.69.
Liverpool v FC Midtjylland
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 BT Sport 3 / BT Sport Ultimate
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
First meeting between sides
FC Midtjylland beat Ludogorets Razgrad, Young Boys Berne and Slavia Prague to make it through to the group stages – and for that they are hugely respected – but judged on their opening 4-0 defeat to Atalanta they are going to struggle.
The Italians are amongst the best attackers in Europe but that’s small comfort against a Liverpool team who have all their forward options to choose from and Erik Sviatchenko’s defence were overwhelmed – Atalanta had 18 shots on the Danish goal with Duván Zapata, Alejandro Gomez and Luis Muriel all scoring in the first half, and unless things improve tonight then it’s possible to see them being overwhelmed at some point again.
Liverpool need to keep an eye on Pione Sisto and Sory Kaba, who were two of the better players for Midtjylland against Atalanta, but the hosts would be severely disappointed not to make it two in a row and should be too good for their visitors. A couple of correct score combinations make appeal in a reasonably comfortable win.
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