Liverpool scored two late goals to thrash Napoli and ended the Italian team’s club record 21-game undefeated streak in all competitions, with an 2-0 loss at Anfield. This also ended an unbeaten streak of 13 games for Napoli.
With both teams progressing into the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, Liverpool started brightly as Curtis Jones dinked just over the top of Mohamed Salah’s pass. Napoli were quick to respond and thought they’d won the game but VAR stopped Leo Ostigard’s shot in the second half after a long time to stop the defender from scoring another goal his last Champions League appearances.
The game seemed to end in a draw at the end, but just as it appeared to be going to be a draw, Salah popped up to score a header from Darwin Nunez at the back post. Nunez stole another of his using an impromptu tap-in.
Tuesday saw another Champions League minutes for Jones who is looking like an actual player at times. It’s easy to forget Jones is still just 21. A good team can be ugly and that’s exactly the case with Jurgen Klopp’s team did against those who are Serie A leaders.
— Champions League knockout round draw Seedings, date and time
Even with their victory, Liverpool were unable to establish their dominance against an opponent who has been a major problem for them over the last few years and this match could have been a completely different outcome in the absence of a couple of millimeters both in the penalty zones.
Manager’s scoring (out of 10 = best) = top)
Jurgen Klopp, age 6 He is a famous Liverpool manager celebrated his 400th game with just three points against a very competent team. What a ride it’s been for the Reds throughout his time in charge however he’ll probably not recall this in a short time.
Ratings of players (players first introduced after 70 minutes (no rating)
GK Alisson (6He was able to get his body through a drill from the loan Spurs Man Tanguy Ndombele, but otherwise untested in the initial 45. He was able to grab the first time strike of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who was smashed into the back of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
DF Konstantinos Tsimikas 7 — Displayed great defensive awareness to stop an initial Napoli attack. The defender drew some impressive passes from far areas, but could not make a break. A decent price for his good sheet.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 — Another important milestone when the big defender picked 200 appearances in the Reds and was rewarded with an unbeaten record and a goal. It’s fair to say that he was not impressed by Victor Osimhen’s actions however.
DF Ibrahima Konate, 6 — Got a free kick in a great area, and made an aggressive run to the Napoli penalty zone from deep within his own area. It culminated in him being forced down by Osimhen. The booker was booked for taking Stanislav Lobotka in the late.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 4 — Sloppy. He slid Virgil van Dijk’s pass back to a danger zone however, he responded by kicking the ball with a solid foot. He was penalized for a foul throw that is rare in any game , let even in a Champions League fixture — and was subsequently snubbed by Kvaratskhelia.
MF Thiago (6He started brightly and got the attention of Alex Meret with a powerful strike from Salah’s pull-back however, it was likely an attempt at an attempt to save the camera and the goalkeeper was always as if he could have done it.
MF F. Fabinho, 4He clipped the heel of his player, allowing Ostigard to make an absolutely stunning goal that made all Red shirt off the game, however VAR did not make him blush. It was an amazing display however, only by miraculously not allowing being booked.
The MF James Milner, 7 — Tested Napoli’s resolve an exploding low ball into the box , which was crushed into the safety. He’s nearly 37 and is still participating in Champions League football, and in the engine room as well — you must take note of this, especially when you’re playing in a game as chaotic as this one.
F.W. Curtis Jones, 7 – Close to scoring with as precise a hit as you’ll be able to observe from a distance but the ball fell just past the bar. Another effort was slammed over the bar after some stunning work by Firmino Perhaps the ball should have been hit by the goal.
FW Mohamed Salah, 8 — Selfless. Salah asked questions throughout the night, and made a stunning passing move that picked out Jones who cut through a packed penalty area, before hitting in a rather lucky goal, but he doesn’t be able to ignore that little bit.
The FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -Chances were limited as the match was something of a scrap. The striker slipped into Tsimikas with a clever ball to the left. His crossing was well protected before it was met by Jones with a slick flick which was smashed by the latter.
M.F. Harvey Elliot, 6 -replaced injury-stricken skipper Milner within the last 48 seconds. Most likely not the right time or conditions Klopp was hoping for. Blazed the best opportunity to get into the stands from Jones who laid off toward the outside in the penalty box.
The MF Stefan Bajcetic, NR -The late minutes of the teenager, but nothing other than a minor appearance.
The FW Darwin Nunez, NR -replaced Jones within the final minute of the game, and was the difference, even though Nunez will argue with Salah throughout the night over who was the first to score. It was a good chance to make things more at ease with a low pass which was deflected by Salah in the final second.
FW Fabio Carvalho, NR — A short appearance on the bench by the forward who is creative who has yet to really make an impact.
The DF Calvin Ramsay, NR -A memorable night for the boy making his debut as a senior later on.