Liverpool wins game, loses Fabinho

Liverpool - Midtjylland
Photo by PETER BYRNE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Liverpool – Midtjylland: Diogo Jota scored for a second-choice Liverpool side who lost Fabinho to injury in a 2-0 win over Midtjylland.

Mohamed Salah won and converted a late penalty to finish the scoring as Liverpool improves to 2-0 in the Champions League this season.

[ UCL: Full lineups, stats, box scores ]

The Reds lead Group D with six points to Atalanta’s four and a visit to the Serie A side coming up next week.

Jota’s goal was the 10,000th goal in Liverpool history, and it was the third in seven outings since the Reds bought him from Wolves. Jurgen Klopp brought Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino off the bench in the win.

It’s survive-and-advance for Liverpool, at least in a ‘Get to the January transfer window’ sense, and Liverpool – Midtjylland was very much one of those outings.

Three things we learned from Liverpool – Midtjylland

1. Fabinho-oh-no: Fabinho immediately knew he’d need a replacement when he felt a twinge in his upper leg, and the Brazilian midfielder-turned-center back left the pitch with the trainer’s guidance after just 30 minutes. Liverpool will certainly be dreading more bad news after Virgil van Dijk was lost for the season earlier this season.

“We have to wait for the scan but when someone’s going off with a muscle problem, it’s pretty rare that the doc calls then next morning and says false alarm,” Klopp said on TV after the match. “So it’s just a matter of how long. Absolutely not cool.”

2. Get it on frame! At the 54th minute, Liverpool had 73 percent possession but just five shots and not one on target. That’s when the Reds found their way into the box via a 1-2 between Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri that ended with a Diogo Jota tap-in.

3. An American abroad: Midtjylland center midfielder Jens Cajuste is a Swedish youth international but eligible to represent the USMNT and rumored to be set for a Gregg Berhalter call-up. Cajuste turned 21 late this summer and was bust at Anfield, making two interceptions, three tackles, and a clearance on what could’ve been the most difficult challenge of his young career. He was his team’s second-best rated player in the loss according to SofaScore.

Man of the Match

Alexander-Arnold was the Man of the Match with his assist and set-up of the play that saw Salah awarded a penalty. Jota was also very good and involved in the goal, but let’s also note the performance of Joe Gomez. The last veteran center back standing, at least while we wait on Fabinho’s status, had over 100 touches and won all but one of his duels in a clean sheet win.

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