Jurgen Klopp’s men opened their defence of the European Cup with a defeat at the hands of Napoli in the San Paolo Stadium.
The loss to Carlo Anchelotti’s tenacious Napoli side leaves Liverpool in third place after Matchweek One in Group E, following Red Bull Salzburg’s win over Genk.
A somewhat cagey affair between the two sides, the deadlock was eventually broken with just eight minutes of normal time remaining.Embed from Getty Images
A dubious penalty was awarded following an altercation between Andrew Robertson and José Callejón. Mertens converted from the spot and Napoli pulled ahead.
As Liverpool searched for an equaliser, a costly mistake by center-back Virgil van Dijk resulted in Fernando Llorente doubling Napoli’s lead.
Adrian – 7
Undoubtedly kept his team in the game with some sublime saves both early on and in the latter stages. A double save from Mário Rui and an acrobatic lunge at point-blank range following Dries Mertens’ effort.
Trent Alexander Arnold – 7
Often lamented for his defensive frailties, the youngster was seen clearing balls, making tackles and showing good positional awareness overall in the first half. He also asked questions of the Napoli defence throughout the match with his aerial balls. Another mature display from the youngster.
Joel Matip – 6
Matip made some key interceptions at times however his passing was wayward. He turned the ball over more than a few times in the opening half-hour, which cost the Reds momentum going forward.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
This might be van Dijk’s lowest rating yet. A solid display defensively, however, this was tainted with a mistake that lead to Napoli’s second goal. His overcooked pass to Robertson ended up at the feet of Llorente who capitalised.
Andrew Robertson – 5
The Scot was out of position far too many times today. He also gave away a penalty for the first goal, even if it was a soft call. A rare poor performance from Robertson.Embed from Getty Images
Fabinho – 6
Ever present in the first half and a solid game from him. Recycled the ball efficiently and allowed for transitions to occur quickly.
It’s becoming more and more clear just how vital he is to the system. His defensive awareness and ability to start the offensive run is vital to how the Reds play.
James Milner – 6
Came in for Gioriginio Wijnaldum and provided some excellent balls into the area from short corners. Deserved an assist following a pinpoint cross to Roberto Firmino. Made some late challenges towards the end of the game.
Jordan Henderson – 7
A positive performance from the skipper as he always looked to advance with the ball from deep. Set the tone for the match with an audacious lofted ball to Mohamed Salah in the fourth minute. Often found his teammates with forward passes.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Had some good touches on the ball throughout the match and often got past his defender. However, it could be argued that he should have looked for his teammates more instead of taking shots at goal. Had a few tame shots instead of attempting to find others.Embed from Getty Images
Roberto Firmino – 6
A much quieter game for the Brazillian international following his fantastic performance against Newcastle. He should have scored following a lofted ball by Milner as he was gifted with a free header. In the second half, his transitional play was much better but the final ball was lacking.
Sadio Mane – 6
An energetic performance, however, he should have played a better ball to Salah in a counter-attack following a breakaway via a Napoli corner.
With 10 minutes left, he could have gotten on the scoresheet after Alexander Arnold’s cross but opted to attempt to shoot with his left foot rather than his right. On any other day, the Senegalese international could have scored at least twice.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 5
Played an advanced role when he came on and perhaps should have done better when Mane attempted to play him through, but his heavy touches let him down.