Dries Mertens’ penalty and a unhurried Fernando Llorente goal condemned Liverpool to defeat in their Team E Champions League opener towards Napoli.
Belgian forward Mertens scored from the penalty space after Liverpool defender Andy Robertson became judged to obtain fouled Jose Callejon.
Archaic Tottenham forward Llorente then capitalised on a mistake from Virgil van Dijk in stoppage-time to roll the ball previous Liverpool keeper Adrian.
Jurgen Klopp’s aspect are the predominant winners of the competition to lose the gap sport of the following campaign since AC Milan in 1994.
Goalkeeper Adrian had earlier made two keys saves for Liverpool, who first and predominant struggled to impose themselves within the intimidating atmosphere of the San Paolo Stadium.
The 32-one year-broken-down, deputising for the injured Alisson, twice saved from compatriot Fabian Ruiz all the plan throughout the predominant period and produced a good point-clean place from Mertens’ volley correct after the break.
On the opposite hand, now not like the corresponding fixture final term, when Liverpool did now not register a shot now heading within the right course intheir 1-0 defeat,Klopp’s aspect did accomplish moments of slick soccer to threaten the hosts.
A flashing Mohamed Salah power became beautifully tipped to security by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret, who also saved Sadio Mane’s toe-poked shot with the ranking at 0-0.
But whereas Klopp’s aspect obtain made a blistering initiate up to the Premier League, averaging three targets per sport, their failure to exploit several correct breaks consigned them to a sixth defeat a long way from dwelling in their final eight suits within the competition.
Koulibaly snuffs out Liverpool risk
Liverpool’s failure to puncture the house defence became largely correct down to the impressive possess of Kalidou Koulibaly, at the center of the Napoli defence.
The Senegal worldwide repeatedly demonstrated why he has been talked about in dispatches as a goal of the Premier League’s ideal golf equipment, all the plan throughout the summer season.
Named potentially the most bright defender in Serie A final term, the 28-one year-broken-down made several key interceptions and dispossessed every Roberto Firmino and Salah in a single-versus-one eventualities.
And he persevered in that vein, patrolling within the again of left-again Mario Rui to snuff out the risk posed by the Egyptian’s tempo and trickery.
His learning of the sport became exemplary all the plan through, guaranteeing he became hardly ever ever caught out of possession and became ready to spring Napoli assaults.
Conservative Liverpool fail to glitter
Klopp’s group lost all three away games in final season’s community stage, nevertheless overwhelmed teams at Anfield with their tempo, vitality and the brilliance of forwards, Mane, Salah and Firmino.
And first and predominant Jordan Henderson’s browsing 2nd-minute lunge into the trail of Salah regarded a precursor to the story that has served Liverpool so neatly.
On the opposite hand, on a warm night in Naples, Klopp’s aspect regarded to retract a more conservative approach exemplified by corpulent-backs Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s failure to press forward.
In midfield Fabinho snapped away nevertheless their became an absence of sparkle in possession with Henderson and James Milner turning in true shows nevertheless now not the form of service that Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate are aware of.
Handiest goalkeeper Adrian touched the ball now not up to Salah and Firmino.
And that lack of involvement maybe also contributed to Mane’s indecision, when racing towards goal, with the Senegalese forward over-hitting a lunge to Salah that can also obtain place the Egyptian in on goal.
Man of the match – Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
Napoli succor document towards English golf equipment – the stats
- Napoli obtain now won 5 of their six Champions League dwelling games towards English opposition (L1 – a 2-4 defeat to Man City in November 2017).
- Liverpool obtain lost their opening Champions League match of a original campaign for easiest the 2nd time (P12 W6 D4 L2), and for the predominant time since a 0-2 defeat to Valencia in September 2002.
- Liverpool had more photos within the gap 22 minutes of this match (5) than they managed throughout the entirety of this right fixture within the competition final season (four).
- Liverpool obtain lost six of their final eight away games within the Champions League (W2), as many as in their outdated 25 such suits within the competition.
- For the explanation that initiate of ultimate season, easiest Nicolas Tagliafico (six) has purchased more yellow playing cards within the Champions League than Liverpool’s Andy Robertson (four).
- Napoli striker Dries Mertens has scored more Champions league targets than every other Belgian within the competition (11).
- Since a 2-0 exhaust over Udinese as Borussia Dortmund boss, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lost on his final 5 visits to Italian facets in all competitions (P5 W0 D0 L5).
- Napoli striker Fernando Llorente has now scored a Champions League goal for four somewhat a whole lot of golf equipment (Juventus, Sevilla, Spurs and Napoli) – the joint-most facets of all Spaniards alongside Fernando Morientes.
‘It may maybe well maybe well also merely unruffled disaster’ – what they talked about
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to BT Sport:“It may maybe well maybe well also merely unruffled disaster because there obtain been alternatives for us. It became an open sport with a whole lot of counter assaults, nevertheless we did now not procedure them off and that is a peril.
“In the 2nd half of it became a wild sport, they were running and we were running.
“I procedure now not think or now not it is a penalty. What can I dispute, for me, it’s apparent and apparent no penalty. He jumps earlier than any contact, we can now not alternate that.
“We completed a whole lot of correct soccer nevertheless did now not procedure it off. We managed moments nevertheless had now not ample chances within the stay. We made choices that weren’t ethical and obtain to accept the result. It became somewhat repeatedly the closing ball that became now not ethical.”
Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti:“The approach became to play a whole sport. High stress if which which you may maybe well even judge, nevertheless also defending deeper if wanted. We did the entirety neatly. Now we obtain to construct up broken-correct down to the somewhat a whole lot of moments of the sport.
“When Liverpool were on top of issues we did neatly in defending and then took our chances. It became a extremely balanced sport. So we did neatly, because I retract into epic them potentially the most bright group in Europe.”
Liverpool drag to Chelsea within the Premier League on Sunday, 22 September (16:30 BST) and possess now not play within the Champions League again till Wednesday, 2 October (20:00 BST) after they host RB Salzburg at Anfield.