Liverpool ended their record-breaking Champions League run with victory over Napoli at Anfield, but still had to settle for second place in Group A.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were looking to bounce back from Saturday’s home defeat by Leeds United and their spirits were lifted by late goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, which ended the leaders’ impressive 21-game unbeaten run.
Liverpool never looked remotely like they needed a four-goal winning margin against Napoli, who completely dominated the group, but these three points will act as a real boost to morale.
Thiago Alcantara brought a save from Napoli keeper Alex Meret in the first half as Napoli thought they were dead after the break only to have defender Leon Ostigardi’s header ruled out from a free kick after a long video assistant referee ruled it offside. VAR) examination.
The game looked to have a few chances to draw but Liverpool won when Mohamed Salah forced home a close goal with five minutes to go, with Nunez sealing the deal in added time.
Konate shows his class
The vulnerability of Liverpool’s defense, not helping through the struggling midfield, was one of the offensive features at the start of the season, but Ibrahima Konate showed what was missing as they confirmed their slot in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Konate suffered a pre-season knee injury that kept him out for the start of the campaign, then was sidelined again by a further muscle problem that saw Liverpool miss the final match without him.
The 23-year-old France defender returned against a strong Napoli attack and gave an excellent display to Liverpool, a far safer proposition than they have in recent seasons.
Konate’s defensive quality alongside Virgil van Dijk kept the dangerous Victor Osimhen at bay, showing composure, pace and physical presence as Napoli suffered a rare taste of defeat.
True, Napoli weren’t at their most destructive and knew it would take something truly special from Liverpool to turn this group on its head, but the class shown by Konate showed exactly why manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping this talented young defender can hurt now. – free run for the rest of the season.
Liverpool will leave
Liverpool’s form and approach have been questioned after struggling defeats to Nottingham Forest and British Leeds – criticism justified by how poor they were, looking the shadow of a team that spent almost all of last season in pursuit of a historic quadruple.
Klopp’s team will take great heart from beating Napoli, although context has to be given that the Italians’ only four-goal record defeat made no difference to the group standings.
He removed the big threat from the group, with Liverpool’s goals coming so late on that there was never an opportunity to whip Anfield into any frenzy of anticipation.
This was an example of what Liverpool can do, but it also showed two sides of its season. They beat Manchester City and Napoli at Anfield without a goal, but they also suffered losses from injured teams who spent the first part of this term in competition, as well as losing to the United States and Arsenal, the two teams were severely punished. in recent times.
Liverpool looked more secure at the back, surviving a VAR scare when Odigard thought they had scored, then ended the match on a high with those two late goals which will act as a real game changer for manager Klopp, the players and followers of the club who have been so confused by their form so far .
The key now is consistency and Liverpool will have a serious test of their credentials when they travel to Tottenham, who were smart. the victory of Marseilles who saw them win the group, for the Premier League team on Sunday.
Player player match
team number77The name of the playerKvaratskhelia
team number9The name of the playerOsimhen
team number55The name of the playerStigard
team number3The name of the playerKim Min-Jae
team number68The name of the playerLobotka
team number21The name of the playerPolitano
team number99The name of the playerZambo Eel
team number17The name of the playerOlivera
team number22The name of the playerDi Lorenzo
team number91The name of the playerNdombélé
team number1The name of the playerHe deserves it
team number11The name of the playerLozano
team number20The name of the playerZielinski
team number7The name of the playerElmas
team number81The name of the playerto be scraped
team number18The name of the playerSimeon
- 66Alexander-ArnoldCorruptela at 73minsSubstitutesRamsaybut 87′minutes
- 5ConatéCorruptela at 36mins
- 4van Dijk
- 7MilnerSubstitutesElliottbut 48′minutes
- 6Thiago AlcantaraSubstitutesBajceticbut 87′minutes
- 9FirminoSubstitutesCarvalhobut 87′minutes
- 17JonesSubstitutesNúñezbut 73′minutesCorruptella in 90mins
- 1He deserves it
- 22Di Lorenzo
- 99Zambo Eel
- 68LobotkaSubstitutesZielinskibut 83′minutes
- 91NdombéléSubstitutesto be scrapedbut 87′minutes
- 21PolitanoSubstitutesLozanobut 70′minutes
- 9OsimhenSubstitutesSimeonbut 87′minutes
- 77KvaratskheliaSubstitutesElmasbut 83′minutes
- 5Nunes Jesus
- 6Maria Rui
- 81to be scraped
- Tobias Stieler
- Pay attention to:
The match ends, Liverpool 2, Napoli, 0 .
Second half, Liverpool 2, Napoli 0.
VAR Decision: Goal Liverpool 2-0 Napoli (Darwin Núñez).
The goal! Liverpool 2, Napoli 0. Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) left footed shot from long range to the top left corner is close following a corner.
He kept trying. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) header from the center of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. He was helped by Constantine Tsimikas with the cross.
Corners, Liverpool. Granted by Mathias Olivera.
Anguli, Naples Granted by Constantine Tsimikas.
Outside, Naples. Alex Meret tries a through ball but James Raspadori is caught inside.
Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Darwin Núñez (Liverpool).
Eljif Elmas (Napoli) wins the free kick in the defensive half.
Corners, Liverpool. Granted by Leo Stigard.
Anguli, Naples Courtesy of Calvin Ramsay.
He gave up trying. Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. He was assisted by Eljif Elmas in the following corner.
Anguli, Naples Courtesy of Ibrahima Konaté.
Calvin Ramsay (Liverpool) wins the free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Eljif Elmas (Naples).
He gave up trying. Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the center of the box is too high. He was assisted by Mohamed Sala.
Substitution, Liverpool. Calvin Ramsay succeeds Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Substitution, Liverpool. Stefan Bajcetic replaces Thiago.