Talking Points Of Liverpool’s Narrow Win Over Napoli, As Reds Go Through To The Round Of 16
- Updated: December 12, 2018
Premier League giants Liverpool faced off against Serie A giants Napoli at Anfield in their final match of the Champions League group stages, with both sides needing the win to ensure safe passage to the knockout stages. The visitors had not lost a single match in the competition so far and were looking in good form. On the other hand, the hosts had secured an emphatic win against Bournemouth in the top flight of English football at the weekend.
A top battle between the two European sides was settled by a single Mo Salah goal in the 34th minute of the game. The Reds took the lead in the first half and despite a lot of chances in the game, there were no more goals at the Merseyside, with the club from Italy looking out of sorts. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked the better team on the night and the German manager will want more of the same, as he looks to win his first title at the club.
Here are the talking points of the game-
Mo Salah back to last season’s form?
After scoring a hat-trick at the weekend, the Egyptian international once again scored for his team and helped them secure the win. It was Salah’s goal that ensured that the Reds went through to the next round of Europe’s top competition, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side being sent to the Europa League. Salah created a lot of other chances too (though he did waste some of them), but he was much more confident in this match. Talk about what a game with goals can do for a player. Hopefully, he is able to maintain this form now.
Napoli had one bad game and are out of the tournament
The Italian giants lost their first game of the tournament and were knocked out of the competition. Such is the nature of the game, where a team that was good for the most part of the tournament, ends up getting eliminated after one loss. However, both teams knew that they needed to win to ensure entry into the knockout stages and it was Napoli that were quite poor in the game.
Though they defended rather well, they failed to keep hold of the ball. Further, they were really poor in the final third when it came to finishing and creating that final ball. When a team fails to score, it is quite rare that they are on the winning side, which was the case once again.
Sadio Mane was really wasteful on the night
Mane had a lot of opportunities and the hosts could have scored 3 or 4 goals, if only the attacker had taken his chances to score. He was always midst the action and just the finishing was lacking. At one point of time, Salah gave him a ball right in front of a more-or-less open goal and he still failed to hit the target. It was just one of those nights for him, that he would surely want to forget and focus on the task ahead.
Alisson saved Liverpool’s day
Just when things were looking good for the English giants, Napoli slipped through and had a great chance of getting a goal back and knocking out Liverpool. However, in a one-on-one situation against Milik, the Brazilian goalie was up to the task and produced a wonder-save, making himself big in front of the attacker and preventing his shot from going into the goal.
That save in stoppage made the difference, as Liverpool would have had to score twice in barely a few minutes, or were heading into the Europa League. The former Roma goalie proved that he was worth the money that the club spent on him.