LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Diogo Jota scored the 10,000th goal in Liverpool’s 128-year history to lead the six-time European champion to a 2-0 win over FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Mohamed Salah converted a penalty in stoppage time to complete the win for the English champions, who have opened Group D with back-to-back victories — having beaten Ajax 1-0 last week.
Jota’s historic goal came in the 55th minute when he tapped in from close range following a well-worked move involving Xherdan Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The negative for Liverpool at Anfield was a hamstring injury sustained by Fabinho which forced off the Brazil midfielder and deepened the team’s early-season defensive woes.
Fabinho has been filling in at center back for Virgil van Dijk, who is likely out for many months after damaging cruciate knee ligaments. With Joel Matip currently struggling for fitness, Liverpool has just one fit senior center back in Joe Gomez.
“Exactly the last thing we needed,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said. “He felt his hamstring so that’s not good.
“He said he could’ve played on but not sprinting, so that doesn’t help. We will see. We will have to do a scan and see, but clearly it’s not good.”
Midtjylland, the Danish champion playing its first away game in Europe’s elite competition, troubled Liverpool at times and wasted two great chances — both of which fell to the same player.
Anders Dreyer was denied by goalkeeper Alisson in a one-on-one chance in the opening minutes, then chipped a shot into the side-netting when through on goal in the 89th, when the score was 1-0.
Midtjylland opened the group with a 4-0 loss to Atalanta.
Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino — Liverpool’s usual attacking trio — all started on the bench and it nearly backfired, with the team not having a shot on target in the first half.
“It was a tough night,” Klopp said. “It’s a bit like in a marriage, there are good and bad times.
“It’s not a bad time but it’s a tricky time — 100% we have to stick together and fight harder and that’s what the boys did tonight.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.