Skip to content
Home » Liverpool 2-0 Napoli: Jurgen Klopp’s Side Finish Second In Group Despite Win At Anfield

Liverpool 2-0 Napoli: Jurgen Klopp’s Side Finish Second In Group Despite Win At Anfield

Liverpool finish second in Group A, level on points with Napoli but behind on head-to-headLiverpool ended Napoli’s flawless Champions League record with victory 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 will be lifted by late goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez which ended the impressive Serie A leaders’ unbeaten 21-game run.

Liverpool never looked remotely like securing the four-goal winning margin they would have needed against Napoli – who have exerted complete domination over the group – to finish top, 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, while Napoli thought they had broken the deadlock after the break only for defender Leo Ostigard’s header from a free-kick to be ruled out for offside after a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) examination.

A game of few chances looked to be heading for a draw but Liverpool snatched the win when Mohamed Salah forced home a close-range finish with five minutes to go, with Nunez sealing the deal in added time.

Liverpool v Napoli – reactionKonate shows his classThe vulnerability of Liverpool’s defence, not helped by a struggling midfield, has been one of the features of their disappointing start to the season but Ibrahima Konate showed what they have been missing as they confirmed a slot in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Konate suffered a pre-season knee injury that forced him to miss the start of the campaign, then he was sidelined again by a further muscle problem that saw Liverpool’s rearguard struggle badly without him.

The 23-year-old France defender returned against the formidable Napoli attack and gave an outstanding display as Liverpool looked a far more secure proposition than they have in recent times.

Konate’s defensive quality alongside Virgil van Dijk kept the dangerous Victor Osimhen at bay, showing composure, pace and physical presence as Napoli suffered the rare taste of defeat.

True, Napoli were not at their most destructive and knew it would take something truly special from Liverpool to turn this group on its head, but the class demonstrated by Konate illustrated exactly why manager Jurgen Klopp will hope this talented young defender can now have an injury-free run for the rest of the season.

Liverpool bounce backLiverpool’s form and approach have been questioned after defeats by struggling Nottingham Forest and Leeds United – criticism justified given just how poor they were, looking a shadow of the team that spent nearly all of last season in pursuit of a historic quadruple.

Klopp’s team will take great heart from beating Napoli, although context must be given in that the Italians knew only a four-goal margin of defeat would make any difference to the group standings.

It removed a large element of jeopardy from the group, Liverpool’s goals coming so late that there was never any opportunity for Anfield to be whipped up into any sort of frenzy of expectation.

This, however, was an example of what Liverpool can do but also showed the two faces of their season so far. They have beaten Manchester City and Napoli at Anfield without conceding a goal but also suffered those damaging losses to teams who have spent the early part of this term in struggle, as well as losing at Manchester United and Arsenal, two teams they have punished heavily in recent seasons.

Liverpool looked more secure at the back, survived a VAR scare when Odigard thought he had scored, then ended the match on a high with those two late scrambled goals that will act as a real mood changer for manager Klopp, his players and the club’s followers who have been so disappointed by their form so far this season.

The key now is consistency and Liverpool face a serious test of their credentials when they travel to Tottenham, who savoured victory in Marseille that saw them win their group, for a Premier League tie on Sunday.

Player of the match

RamsayCalvin Ramsay

with an average of 7.48

LiverpoolSquad number22Player nameRamsay

Squad number27Player nameNúñez

Squad number28Player nameFábio Carvalho

Squad number1Player nameAlisson

Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino

Squad number43Player nameBajcetic

Squad number5Player nameKonaté

Squad number21Player nameTsimikas

Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara

Squad number19Player nameElliott

Squad number4Player namevan Dijk

Squad number7Player nameMilner

Squad number3Player nameFabinho

Squad number17Player nameJones

Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold

Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah

NapoliSquad number77Player nameKvaratskhelia

Squad number9Player nameOsimhen

Squad number55Player nameÖstigard

Squad number3Player nameKim Min-Jae

Squad number68Player nameLobotka

Squad number21Player namePolitano

Squad number99Player nameZambo Anguissa

Squad number17Player nameOlivera

Squad number22Player nameDi Lorenzo

Squad number91Player nameNdombélé

Squad number1Player nameMeret

Squad number11Player nameLozano

Squad number20Player nameZielinski

Squad number7Player nameElmas

Squad number81Player nameRaspadori

Squad number18Player nameSimeone

Line-upsLiverpoolFormation 4-3-3

1Alisson

66Alexander-Arnold5Konaté4van Dijk21Tsimikas

7Milner3Fabinho6Thiago Alcántara

11Salah9Firmino17Jones

1Alisson66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 73minsSubstituted forRamsayat 87’minutes5KonatéBooked at 36mins4van Dijk21Tsimikas7MilnerSubstituted forElliottat 48’minutes3Fabinho6Thiago AlcántaraSubstituted forBajceticat 87’minutes11Salah9FirminoSubstituted forCarvalhoat 87’minutes17JonesSubstituted forNúñezat 73’minutesBooked at 90minsSubstitutes2Gomez13Adrián19Elliott22Ramsay26Robertson27Núñez28Carvalho43Bajcetic47Phillips62KelleherNapoliFormation 4-3-3

1Meret

22Di Lorenzo55Östigard3Kim17Olivera

99Zambo Anguissa68Lobotka91Ndombélé

21Politano9Osimhen77Kvaratskhelia

1Meret22Di Lorenzo55Östigard3Kim17Olivera99Zambo Anguissa68LobotkaSubstituted forZielinskiat 83’minutes91NdombéléSubstituted forRaspadoriat 87’minutes21PolitanoSubstituted forLozanoat 70’minutes9OsimhenSubstituted forSimeoneat 87’minutes77KvaratskheliaSubstituted forElmasat 83’minutesSubstitutes5Nunes Jesus6Mário Rui7Elmas11Lozano16Idasiak18Simeone20Zielinski23Zerbin30Sirigu59Zanoli70Gaetano81RaspadoriReferee:Tobias Stieler

Attendance:52,077

Live TextMatch ends, Liverpool 2, Napoli 0.

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Napoli 0.

VAR Decision: Goal Liverpool 2-0 Napoli (Darwin Núñez).

Goal! Liverpool 2, Napoli 0. Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) left footed shot from very close range to the top left corner following a corner.

Attempt saved. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Konstantinos Tsimikas with a cross.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mathías Olivera.

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Konstantinos Tsimikas.

Offside, Napoli. Alex Meret tries a through ball, but Giacomo Raspadori is caught offside.

Darwin Núñez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darwin Núñez (Liverpool).

Eljif Elmas (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Leo Östigard.

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Calvin Ramsay.

Attempt missed. Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Eljif Elmas following a corner.

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Ibrahima Konaté.

Calvin Ramsay (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eljif Elmas (Napoli).

Attempt missed. Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

Substitution, Liverpool. Calvin Ramsay replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Substitution, Liverpool. Stefan Bajcetic replaces Thiago.

Our coverage of Liverpool is bigger and better than ever before – here’s everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a momentEverything Liverpool – go straight to all the best content