Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: 3 reasons why Liverpool defeated Napoli | UEFA Champions League 2018-19
Liverpool reached the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to a Mohamed Salah goal in the 33rd minute. Salah who was a bit out of form at the start of the season, has regained form at the correct time for Liverpool. Napoli kept searching for the equaliser, and had a golden opportunity in the 78th minute when Jose Callejon hit one over the crossbar.
Liverpool’s attacking threats were never in doubt before the game, but they had to find a way to stop Napoli from scoring, a team which has scored 32 goals in Serie A so far. Virgil Van Dijk’s calming presence in central defense, and Alisson’s all-important block in the 92nd minute gave Liverpool supporters a chance to again dream of a Champions League season like the last one.
Napoli’s problem was on the left-hand side of the pitch where Salah was a constant threat, they did keep the other Liverpool players quiet though. Liverpool next face Manchester United in the Premier League, and they couldn’t have asked for a better match to get confidence going into the big match.
We take a look at 3 reasons why Liverpool won this important encounter.
#1 Mohamed Salah’s return to form
Salah is a big match player, and he didn’t hide yesterday. Klopp has always played his teams around Salah, and it doesn’t matter to him if he is not the most pressing attacker in the front three. His technical abilities kind of compensate for his defensive shoddiness.
Salah’s goal came at the right time, as it gave Liverpool the confidence to play the second half with a bit of relief. Because the goal came in the latter part of the first half, Napoli had little time to react, and had to wait for half time to strategize again. Salah was a constant threat on the left side for Napoli, and the Egyptian will play an important role in the latter stages of the tournament.