Home 1XBET Liverpool’s Champions League fate to be decided in Salzburg after Napoli draw

Liverpool’s Champions League fate to be decided in Salzburg after Napoli draw

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Liverpool vs Napoli

Liverpool and Napoli went head-to-head on Wednesday evening in the pairs’ penultimate Champions League group game this season.

Heading into the tie Liverpool held top spot in Group E while Napoli were hot on their heels in 2nd spot with eight points amassed from four ties.

3rd place RB Salzburg had just four points prior to Wednesday’s games so Liverpool knew a victory over Napoli would secure their place in this campaign’s Champions League last 16.

However, Jurgen Klopp will have been well aware Napoli are no pushover.

The last time these two sides met back in September, Liverpool were beaten 2-0.

How the teams lined up

Liverpool’s starting XI was pretty standard with Mohamed Salah back in from the off.

The only notable change was Joe Gomez coming in for Trent Alexander-Arnold who started the evening on the bench.

As for Napoli, they had to face the current Champions League holders without standout star, Lorenzo Insigne.

Fabinho taken off early

The open 15 minutes at Anfield saw Liverpool largely on top with the Serie A outfit seemingly trying to weather the early storm, although Liverpool didn’t create too much.

Liverpool were then dealt a bit of a blow around 18 minutes in.

Napoli’s Lozano would collide with Fabinho after being challenged by Dejan Lovren.

The midfielder did try to carry on but Liverpool seemingly didn’t want to take any risks with him as Fabinho was withdrawn shortly after.

A few minutes after Fabinho was subbed off, Napoli took the lead through a Dries Mertens strike.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Fabinho of Liverpool receives medical treatment during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield on November 27, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Limp Liverpool

The Reds have played Napoli a fair few times in recent years and the Italian powerhouse do seem to be a bit of a bogey team for Liverpool.

Napoli ran riot over Liverpool in the sides’ previous meeting back in September, eventually emerging with a comprehensive 2-0 victory.

And once Mertens fired Napoli in front on Wednesday, Liverpool did appear to go into limp home mode.

The normally fierce attack of Liverpool looked rather sluggish and lacked any real creativity.

The Reds were passing backwards far too often and didn’t really look as though they would test Napoli’s goalkeeper.

Liverpool’s first-half display was perfectly encapsulated by Andy Robertson’s quick succession of awful corners just before the interval.

The first 45 drew to a close with Liverpool showing a bit more promise going forward but they still needed to up the intensity in the second half.

Liverpool fail to secure last 16 spot

The second 45 began in very similar fashion to the first.

Liverpool continued to pass the ball backwards and sideways.

Liverpool were eventually gifted a chance by Napoli though. Jordan Henderson floated a ball into the box and it looked as though it should have been a fairly routine catch for Alex Meret.

However, Napoli’s number one spilled it and it had to be cleared off the line.

Klopp would look to his bench for inspiration shortly after the aforementioned big chance.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Joe Gomez who had put in a rather dismal display.

Liverpool’s next big opening came in the 60th minute as Mo Salah found himself with a yard of space in the Napoli box but the Egyptian fired it straight at Meret.

Robert Firmino had another chance to draw Liverpool level but he headed Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross wide.

Liverpool would continue to press and eventually made it 1-1 through a powerful Dejan Lovren header.

Liverpool seemed to have a new lease of life after Lovren’s equaliser and what ensued was wave after wave of Liverpool attacks.

But despite Liverpool’s second-half dominance, they were unable to find a second. And after RB Salzburg put Genk to the sword by four goals to one, Liverpool now need to beat or draw with Salzburg in their final CL group game to ensure they make it into the last 16.

Liverpool will travel to Salzburg on Tuesday the 10th of December.

Should 3rd place Salzburg beat Liverpool, the Austrian outfit would take the Mersyside giant’s spot in the last 16.

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