News Matches
African All Stars

Bassey should take blame for Matip's Liverpool winner against Ajax - Owen

11:47 GMT+3 14/09/2022
Calvin Bassey of Ajax and Nigeria.
The Premier League legend believes the Super Eagle did not pay much attention to deny the Reds the late goal at Anfield

Former England forward Michael Owen has blamed defender Calvin Bassey for "not doing enough" as Liverpool scored late to defeat Ajax 2-1 in their Champions League fixture on Tuesday.

In the Group A contest at Anfield, Egypt international Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead in 17th minute but Ghana forward Mohammed Kudus levelled matters for Ajax in the 27th minute.

Ajax's goal came somewhat against the run of play and was their only shot on target, but seemed like it would be enough to secure them a point as Liverpool continued to shoot blanks.

However, with a minute left on the clock, Joel Matip stunned Ajax with a dramatic header from a corner to hand Liverpool their first victory of the campaign. Liverpool had lost the opening fixture 4-1 against Napoli.

The 42-year-old Owen, who played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as the Three Lions, believes Ajax could have avoided defeat had the 22-year-old Nigeria international not allowed Matip to lose his marker.

He told BT Sports Studio as quoted by Allnigeriasoccer: "Look at the players. They are all marking here. This is Fabinho who's here with Blind.

"And then apart from that you basically got everybody paired up and it's Bassey, just watch it slowly [in reference to the playback on the studio's big screen].

"Bassey is actually keeping his eye on Matip and eventually, just look through the bodies, he's [Bassey] the closest one to him [Matip] so it was his man, so as Rio [Ferdinand] said, he [Bassey] simply doesn't do enough.

"He lets him get a run on him and you can't do that."

Since joining the Dutch champions, Bassey has featured in four straight Eredivisie matches where Ajax are yet to concede a goal. He also featured at Ajax defeated Rangers 4-0 in their Champions League opener.

Ajax and Bassey will shift their focus to the league where they are scheduled to take on AZ Alkmaar at AFAS Stadion on Sunday.