Liverpool did not win at Anfield0
In match day five of the Champions League group stage, Liverpool had a draw with Napoli 1:1 at Anfield and did not secure themselves advancement from the group.
From the very beginning of the game, Napoli showed that they would act on counterattacks, giving the initiative to Liverpool. The Reds had no choice but to search in vain for the way to the Neapolitans' penalty area, who greeted the hosts with a high block.
Allan ommediately stood out for the guests, who took away balls in midfield and on the outskirts of his penalty area. Thanks to the block,in the middle of the field, the Reds could not pass in the center to the goal of Meret. On the right wing of Liverpool's attack, the absence of Alexander-Arnold, who was sitting on the bench, affected.
At the same time, Ancelotti's wards successfully ran into counterattacks. Thanks to one of them, Mertens managed, not without rudeness, to leave van Dijk out of work and to run out to a rendezvous with Alisson at an acute angle. Although the situation was difficult, he opened the score. The Reds also had a hard time due to Fabinho's injury, who was replaced by Wijnaldum at the 19th minute. Due to the lack of a defensive midfielder, Liverpool had to go to the wings, changing to 4-4-1-1 formation.
Since the hosts’ midfield was destroyed, they had to break through the wings, which were blocked for Napoli. It’s logical that Klopp’s team didn’t get much from the game, even when Oxlade-Chamberlain came out, replacing Gomez on the right wing. The choice was risky, but the Englishman intensified the attack. Thanks to the onslaught on the right wing, Liverpool earned a corner, from which Dejan Lovren scored, setting, as it turned out, the final score on the scoreboard.
Klopp was dissatisfied with the game of his team and also mentioned Fabinho’s importance after the match,
“We head no clear moments, one or two, maybe. Perhaps, today it wasn’t enough, but now we are in this situation. We wanted to win in Salzburg anyway, so out task is not changed.
The key event is Fabinho's injury, this is the most important moment. It’s too early to judge, and we hope that there is nothing serious, but the injury is rather painful, and in the place that I don’t want to injure, the ankle region.”
As a result, we can say that Napoli acted very pragmatically. Ancelotti's team did not close or sit too deep. It could constantly respond with striking attacks, but played with restraint. Liverpool did not have enough free space in half of the guests' field, so for Klopp a tie at Anfield in this match could be a positive result. The Reds continue to lead the quartet in their group, having 10 points, and are one point ahead of the Neapolitans. In the final round, Liverpool will go to Austria, where they will meet with Salzburg and they need a victory to leave the group from the first place, not hoping for Napoli's points loss in the match with Genk.