Rhys Williams came off the bench to help Liverpool maintain a winning start in the 2020/21 Champions League.
The 19-year-old was forced to cover in the absence of Fabinho, who suffered a hamstring problem early in the first half. Williams partnered Joe Gomez and the English duo helped Liverpool record their second consecutive clean sheet in Europe.
Jurgen Klopp entrusted Williams to clock up his second Champions League appearance in the space of a week following his debut in the competition during the 1-0 victory against Ajax six days ago.
It was another assured and combative audition from the Liverpool teenager who is grabbing each opportunity presented to him with both hands with central defensive options currently glaringly thin in Klopp’s squad.
Following the match, Williams took to social media to celebrate yet another run in the team that has seen him already make four appearances for the Reds this season.
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Williams was one of several Liverpool stars to comment on social media following the 2-1 victory under the Anfield lights.
Club-captain Jordan Henderson also sent a message out, expressing his satisfaction in Liverpool maintaining their 100 per cent star in Europe.
The England international was withdrawn at half time for Georginio Wijnaldum and Klopp explained the thinking behind the decision to replace the skipper for the Dutchman was not due to injury.
The boss said: “First, Hendo said at half-time he wants to play on. Before the game I’d decided already we have to share it – 45 and 45 – and all the rest would have been ridiculous.
“Hendo said at half-time, ‘No, boss, I can go on’ and then in these moments, you have to be strong to yourself because I didn’t want to lose him, actually.
“We made the change, Gini did really well and for both, I think it helped that they played only 45.”
Teammates Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri also posted on Instagram after Liverpool’s victory.
Liverpool were certainly far from their best although their continued ability to grind out results despite setback after setback is testament to the character and mental resilience of this outstanding team Klopp has successfully built.
The Reds are now sitting pretty at the top of Group D with all of Atalanta, Ajax and FC Midtjylland all dropping points from their opening two matches.
Next up is a return to Premier League action and another Anfield encounter with West Ham on Saturday before Liverpool travel to Italy to face Atalanta next Tuesday.
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