Jordan Henderson returned to Liverpool’s starting XI vs Ajax on Tuesday. The captain delivered the ideal performance to help the Reds to a 1-0 win.
Jordan Henderson was great vs Ajax. It was his first start since before the international break and the £20m man delivered exactly what Liverpool needed.
This was a big game, after all, and one Liverpool really needed to win. Victory didn’t just mean qualification but a rest in a week when they face FC Midtjylland.
Jurgen Klopp went as strong as he could, then. Yes, teenagers played but the squad is so thin right now that they’re first-choice players.
A strong team meant Henderson starting in the middle, too. And the captain put in an ideal performance.
Solid as a rock
The three highlights of Henderson’s performance were that Ajax didn’t dribble past him once, that he won three interceptions, and that he created three chances – the most in the game (all stats per Whoscored).
Altogether, that’s the dream performance from a Liverpool midfielder, especially in a game as big as this one.
Henderson delivered the necessary creativity from the middle, constantly looking long in behind to find the front-three.
But at the same time, he stopped counter-attacks. That could have been through interceptions or simply not letting dribblers past him – either way, he pulled it off.
Liverpool went on to win the game 1-0, of course. It was a tight affair and that demanded a lot from the team’s most versatile players.
The Reds needed to score but the struggling forwards demanded a clean-sheet, too. Thus Henderson, holding the team together in the middle, had to help on both counts.
That’s what makes his performance so ideal. Whatever Liverpool needed, Henderson delivered – which about sums up his importance at Anfield.