Liverpool score against Midtjylland: Alexander-Arnold inspires Champions League victory; Fabinho is injured

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Who needs all three when you have Trent Alexander-Arnold? The Liverpool right-back produced a moment of unparalleled quality and creativity to help Diogo Jota and shatter FC Midtjylland’s resolve as the English champions won 2-0 at Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Alexander-Arnold’s excellent exchange with Xherdan Shaqiri earned him space behind the Danish defense for perhaps the first time the night before the England right-back squared up for Jota to crack the balloon in an empty net.

Anders Dreyer came within inches of a brilliant equalizer when his crushed finish on Alisson hit the side net before substitute Mohamed Salah won and scored a penalty to earn Liverpool six out of six points to start Group D.

Key moments

Blessure by Fabinho

Perhaps more important than the result for Jurgen Klopp will be another big blow after Fabinho was forced to leave with what appeared to be a hamstring problem in the first half. Rhys Williams has taken his place and could be pushed into action in the coming weeks.

Losing Virgil van Dijk for the season has been a blow to Liverpool’s hopes of Premier League and Champions League success, being left without partner Joe Gomez’s best assistant is all the more cruel. It also robs Klopp of one of his effective midfielders.

Whether Liverpool can count on Joel Matip’s fitness over the next few months will be a major question for Klopp. The 29-year-old completed 90 minutes for the first time in a year earlier this month, but had to go to hospital for analyzes after the 2-2 draw with Everton.

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Face off without the three before

If there was one game in their fixture list where you suspected Liverpool could face without the three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, this is it. Atalanta had put four over Midtjylland last week, but they had frantic attacking play to put the Danish champions out of form.

Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota did not. It’s not so much that the trio lack quality but understanding among themselves and with their teammates. On no occasion in the first half did they or the rest of the Liverpool squad manage to test Mikkel Anderson in Midtjylland’s goal.

Even though Jota won the match, the under-card shortcomings were apparent when Klopp introduced Salah, Mane and Firmino before the match was over.

Notable performances

Trent Alexander-Arnold: He might not have the same quality of attacking to feast on his crosses, but that didn’t matter when he could put the ball on a plate for them. EVALUATION: 8

Anders Dreyer: On a night when Liverpool had the majority of the ball, Midtjylland was feeding on leftovers, but their young striker did all that could be asked with what serve had come to him. EVALUATION: 6

Takumi Minamino: He has yet to achieve this performance in a Liverpool shirt. There’s reason to believe it will come eventually, but its infrequent playtime can’t help. EVALUATION: 4

following

Liverpool return to the Premier League against West Ham this weekend before heading to Atalanta for a tantalizing clash next Tuesday. Midtjylland welcomes Ajax who are looking to be part of Group D.

You can stream all Champions League matches on CBS All Access. Each match will be available on request shortly after the final whistle. We’ll be with you along the way to provide you with updates, analysis and highlights below.

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