For Liverpool fans, the early stages of the 2022-23 season have felt defined by setbacks and misfortune. The misfortune of injuries, of unlucky breaks, of worse results than deserved on the run of play—and then watching the team start to play just as poorly as the results.
On Tuesday against Ajax there was, finally, both a good performance and in the end a good result to go with it. But even then there were nervy moments, and if the fans felt them, then manager Jürgen Klopp and the players felt them at least as much and probably more so.
“I think the story of the game is kind of a bit typical for the situation we are in,” Klopp said after the 2-1 victory. “You do a lot of good stuff. We played a really good game against a strong side absolutely convinced about the way they play and caused a lot of problems.
“Then you concede, you are 1-0 up and concede the equaliser with the first chance of the opponent. Our reaction was okay. Not perfect, but okay. In these moments you talk about a few more yards or a harder sprint. It’s not a big difference but it makes a big difference.”
It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was a very good one. And one that at the end of they got the deserved result. Aside from their 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth, it’s likely the first time in the 2022-23 season you could say that—and Ajax are much better than Bournemouth.
“It was clear we had to keep playing football because for Ajax it was really tough to defend us today,” Klopp added. “They had to work a lot. But we did really well. Sometimes you have to wait a bit longer, but great goal and the face of Joel showed exactly how we all felt.”