Liverpool faced off against Napoli at the San Paolo Stadium earlier tonight hoping to kick off their UEFA Champions League trophy defence with a win on the road. The Reds began the match on the front foot and were more dominant of the two sides in the first half. However, neither team managed to score heading into the half-time break.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men were the brighter of the two teams in the second half and capitalised on a controversial penalty decision which Dries Mertens converted to give the home team the lead. Fernando Llorente made the points secure in injury-time as the match finished 2-0 in favour of the Naples-based outfit.
Let’s take a look at how each Liverpool player performed during the encounter against Napoli.
GK: Adrian – 8/10
The Spaniard made a brilliant save during the game to deny Napoli from point-blank range. He was unfortunate not to have saved Mertens’ penalty in the second half.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10
The English right-back was defensively solid but failed to make too many clear-cut chances going forward.
CB: Joel Matip – 8/10
The Cameroonian centre-back had a brilliant game at the back as he made some vital last-ditch clearances to keep the Napoli attackers at bay in the first half. He couldn’t do much about either of Napoli’s two goals on the night.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk – 6/10
The Dutch international put in a commanding shift in defence until his poor mistake in injury-time which led to Llorente scoring with a clever finish. It was a rare mistake from an otherwise world-class defender.
LB: Andrew Robertson – 5/10
The Scottish full-back failed to trouble the Napoli backline and was responsible for giving away the penalty. It was not his night.
CM: Jordan Henderson – 7/10
The Liverpool captain controlled the game well in midfield and created some decent openings for the front players in the Napoli half.
CM: Fabinho – 8/10
The Brazilian midfielder was once again excellent at the heart of the Reds midfield. He won quite a few 50-50 duels in midfield and distributed the ball accurately during the contest.
CM: James Milner – 6/10
The English veteran put in a tireless shift at the centre of the park but didn’t show enough invention with his passes.
RM: Mohamed Salah – 6/10
The Egyptian winger was Liverpool’s best weapon in the first half. He got into some terrific positions but did not have his finishing boots on tonight.
ST: Roberto Firmino – 6/10
The Brazilian forward was unusually quiet, but he did have his bright moments during the encounter.
LM: Sadio Mane – 6/10
The Senegalese speedster was full of energy down the left flank, but much like his strike partners, he lacked the cutting edge in the final third.
CM: Georginio Wijnaldum – 5/10
He tried his best to influence the game in the Napoli half but couldn’t do much other than link-up play with his teammates away from the opposition penalty box.
CAM: Xherdan Shaqiri – N/A
The Swiss sensation did not have enough time to make an impact.
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