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Napoli 1, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

A goal at the death sinks Liverpool in Italy, opening the group wide open.

SSC Napoli v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Group C Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

SSC Napoli 1 - 0 Liverpool FC

Napoli: Insigne 90’
Liverpool: N/A

  • Pre-match Thought: No surprises in either the front three or the back five for Liverpool, with the one change from the weekend being Naby Keita in for Jordan Henderson. The way the group is shaping up, Klopp knows that a win tonight would go a long way toward securing a spot in the knockout rounds, and therefore is going strong. Even with the strong lineup, it should be a difficult away fixture for the Reds.
  • A pair of sloppy back passes, first from Keita, then from Georginio Wijnaldum nearly allowed the home side to get in behind. Do better, midfield.
  • Speaking of, another bad turnover in the middle of the pitch very nearly became the opening goal. Insigne’s shot had Alisson at full stretch, but thankfully it went just wide of the far post.
  • Worrying as Keita goes down with barely a quarter of an hour gone, seemingly without contact and is stretchered off the pitch. Jordan Henderson is subbed on for the injured Guinean.
  • Twenty-five minutes gone and Liverpool are just not in the contest so far. Napoli haven’t created too much, but the Reds have yet to register a single shot.
  • Alisson is called into action with the first shot on target by either side, but the partially-deflected shot is easy enough to get a sizeable paw on it, and catch his own rebound.
  • James Milner (deservedly) goes into the book for a late challenge.
  • Halftime Thought: Glad that half is out of the way. So far the match has been a strange combo of very open, and rather boring. Napoli have created the better chances, albeit barely. There’s a lone shot on target between the two sides. Mohamed Salah has been getting some joy down the flank, especially when Trent Alexander-Arnold can pick him out with an early through ball. Other than that, the Reds have been sloppy all over the pitch, which has only been exacerbated by the driving rain.
  • Milik forces Alisson to make a save with a low, hard shot from distance. The Brazilian palms it down, and Joe Gomez is first to react, pushing it out for a corner.
  • The hosts are slowly ramping up the pressure early in the second half, winning a couple of corners and pinning Liverpool back in their own half. It’ll be a long 35+ minutes if Liverpool can’t find an outlet or win back some control.
  • Sixty-six minutes in, and Liverpool finally win their first corner. Make it count, lads.
  • ...nope.
  • Liverpool aren’t living dangerously at this point, but suicidal. Alisson, Gomez, and a generous lineman have all helped bail out the Reds in the last few minutes. Klopp finally makes a change, bringing on Fabinho for Milner.
  • CLOSE! Napoli have to be thinking “It’s just one of those nights” right now, after Mertens crashes a shot off the underside of the crossbar and out. If Liverpool hold on to a result, it’ll be more than they’ve deserved so far.
  • With just two minutes left in regulation, Klopp brings on Daniel Sturridge for Sadio Mane. Well, if you could do what you did against Chelsea, Danny, that would be great.
  • Goal. It was coming, and it was deserved. Insigne pokes home a perfect cross from Callejon at the back stick, and that should be enough to sink the Reds.
  • Final Whistle Thought: Liverpool practically created nothing going forward all night, and Napoli created more than enough to take all three points. The result flatters the Reds, honestly, and they’ll have to regroup before the big Manchester City clash on Sunday.

We’ll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today’s game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven’t already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we’ll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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