“You can’t win anything with kids.” Remember that adage. And yet, in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Ajax, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, and Caoimhin Kelleher produced a performance to say anything but that.
Williams, so often maligned as not being good enough, was a constant outlet down the right. And so it proved, with a telling assist. A raking right-wing cross-field ball was turned home by Jones, which turned out to be the winner.
But it was defensively that Williams stood out— being more than a match for Ajax’s David Neves. A clean sheet and a victory marked an impressive night for the youngster.
With a deserved man of the match performance, Jones looked far from a 19-year-old. Head and shoulders above the rest, the midfielder was composed, combative and had an end product.
A lovely finish at the far post with the outside of the boot led the Reds to victory. With injuries keeping out key midfield personnel, Jones could claim a real stake in the team.
With Alisson’s name absent from the team sheet, there was uneasiness at the thought of Adrian starting. But Klopp rolled the dice and went with Kelleher. The decision was immediately vindicated.
The young Irishman was commanding, adept with the ball at his feet but most of all, error-free. A key save from a point-blank Klaas-Jan Huntelaar header capped off an impressive display.
One thing the victory showed us is that the future looks bright. The question remains: how far can the holy trinity go?