Stefan Bajcetic “showed he is one of us” as Liverpool make last 16 for 6th time

Stefan Bajcetic made his longest competitive senior appearance for Liverpool at Ajax, an “amazing experience” that came as the Reds secured their place in the last 16.

With the way the match started, the final scoreline would not have been easily predicted such was Liverpool’s tentative and nervy start.

But composure from the combination of Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah was a sucker punch for Ajax and they failed to recover, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott making sure of the victory.

With Liverpool 3-0 up after 52 minutes, Jurgen Klopp could make his changes and that included Bajcetic in the 71st minute, his third appearance off the bench this season.

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 26, 2022: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 5 game between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Amsterdam Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 18-year-old was not short on confidence as he took up a role in the middle of the park, and in the eye of fellow youngster Elliott, Bajcetic “showed he is one of us.”

“The young lads as well did very well, including Stefan [Bajcetic],” Elliott told LFCTV.

“It’s easy to get overexcited about the situation – he came here, stamped his foot on the ground and showed he is one of us in the senior team.”

For his age, Bajcetic is a cool customer and was grateful for “another amazing experience” on the European stage, after making his Champions League debut in the reverse fixture at Anfield:

The victory was a needed one after the result over the weekend and its significance was certainly not lost on the squad, as the last 16 now awaits in February and March for the sixth time under Klopp.

With one game to spare too, what have they done with the real Liverpool?

The lack of drama was needed, though, and in the words of Nunez, “VAMOS LIVERPOOL.”

Liverpool will discover their fate in the last 16 on November 7, but before then all focus is now on Leeds – who make the trip to Anfield on Saturday evening.

Jesse Marsch is under pressure with Leeds having lost their last four in a row and without a league win since August 21, but they cannot be underestimated, Forest showed the Reds as much.

Up the Reds.