Liverpool 2-0 Midtjylland: Jota and Salah goals hand Reds victory
Diogo Jota of Liverpool scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield on October 27, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Diogo Jota and Mohammed Salah second-half strikes were enough for Liverpool FC to overcome FC Midtjylland at Anfield to stay top of UEFA Champions League group D.

Jota opened the scoring for the Reds when he tapped home from close range at the start of the second half.

Liverpool lost Fabinho early on as their injury crisis in defence continued, leaving them with only one fit first-team centre back.

Substitute Salah was taken down in the box in the last minutes of the game and dispatched his penalty to hand the Reds all three points.

• Story of the match

It was nearly the perfect start for Ulvene four minutes in when Anders Dreyer got in-behind the Liverpool back-line and was clear on goal, however his effort was tame and was saved with ease by Alisson Becker.

The Reds came close to taking the lead themselves when a trademark Trent-Alexander Arnold cross was fizzed towards Takumi Minamino but the Japanese forward couldn't connect and Midtjylland cleared their lines. 

Liverpool's defensive injury crisis continued when Fabinho was forced off with an injury halfway through the first period, with 19-year-old Rhys Williams taking his place alongside Joe Gomez at the back. 

The Premier League champions had their best chance of the half right before the break when Alexander-Arnold floated a ball towards Minamino in the box, however his header lacked power and direction as it rolled out for a goal-kick.

The second half started slowly for Klopp's side but the Reds took the lead 10 minutes after the restart through  Jota.

Alexander-Arnold was once again involved in the Liverpool attack as he played a quick one-two with Xherdan Shaqiri on the right-hand side of the box before unselfishly squaring it to Jota to tap into an empty net.

The goal was the 23-year-old's third of the season for the Reds and his first Champions League goal of his career.

Substitute Evander Ferreira was inches away from leveling the scoring with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining when he brought down a cross from the left, turned Joe Gomez and took aim for the bottom left corner, however his shot was dragged just past the post.

Substitute Roberto Firmino could have put the game to bed late on when the Brazillian skied his effort from inside the box after some good work from Alexander-Arnold on the right-hand side.

Dreyer could have - and should have - equalised in the last few minutes when he brilliantly gilded past Gomez in the box, however his dinked effort was sent into the side netting.

The game was put to bed in the last minute of added time through substitute Salah when he was dragged down in the box as he raced through on goal by Paulinho.

The Egyptian stepped up and lashed his effort into the bottom right corner as he guaranteed his side all three points.

Takeaways:

Fabinho injury hands Klopp more defensive worries

Another week, another injury for Liverpool as their woes continue in defence.

Liverpool were forced into an early change when Fabinho – Liverpool’s stand-in centre-back for the injured Virgil van Dijk – had to leave the field with an injury.

It looked to be a muscle injury for the Brazillian which will potentially see him out of action for a few weeks, meaning Liverpool currently only have one fit first team centre-back.

Rhys Williams – who came on in place for Fabinho – had a decent game when he came on and didn’t put a foot wrong, but it will be a lot of pressure for the 19-year-old to become a first-team regular.

The England Under-21 international has made the step up from the England National League North Divison to Champions League football in a year – so no pressure, kid.

Jota impresses again

A drastically changed forward line saw Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane all rested, with Shaqiri, Minamino and Divock Origi all taking their place.

It was a somewhat rare start for the trio, however bar Shaqiri, they didn’t really have a big impact on the game, whilst Jota, who started once again, got himself on the scoresheet and proved himself once again as a potential week-in week-out starter for the Reds.

That’s now three goals in five games in all competitions for the Portuguese forward, giving Klopp a selection headache if he wants to move forward with the 4-3-3 formation.

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