By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Liverpool fell to a late defeat thanks to a goal from diminutive Italian Lorenzo Insigne, blowing the Reds Champions League group wide open in game two. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked lacklustre throughout with little to no attacking spark that has been so common with this side so far this season, and were deservedly punished in the 90th minute.
Here’s how they rated…
Alisson: 8.5 – Solid hand from a Milik shot, you wonder how many of them half shots end up rippling the back the net with the ghost hands of Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet. Good save down low from yet another shot from the Polish international, keeping the clean sheet firmly intact, followed up by a well gathered effort from Fabian Ruiz. Not much he could do about the point-blank Lorenzo Insigne goal, but will be bitterly disappointed his good performance was in vain.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6 – Caught slightly out of position as eventual goalscorer Insigne went close early-on, and had a few misplaced crosses throughout the game as it developed. The young man was noticeably more conservative in this game, lacking his usual lung-busting runs forward with the Reds looking intent on coming away with a point, but it wasn’t to be tonight.
Joe Gomez: 8 – Didn’t look threatened at all in the first 45 despite Napoli having the far better half, and made the notoriously quick Lorenzo Insigne look slow at times with his long galloping recovering runs. Cleared one off the line superbly to keep the Reds slate clean, but it didn’t stay clean for long. Nevertheless, another good performance from our Joe.
Virgil van Dijk: 8 – Cleared about 150 balls in the first 15 minutes with his magnetising aura sucking in every loose ball within a 9 mile radius. Made an exceptional tackle from a dangerous Mario Rui cross in the second half, and looked imposing throughout. Again he’ll be disappointed to come away from Naples without anything to show for it.
Andy Robertson: 6.5 – Just the usual Andy Robertson in the first half, solid and got down the flank well- albeit to no real benefit. Was caught out goal for Insigne’s goal which was unlucky as he made a few crucial tackles throughout the game.
James Milner: 6 – Wasn’t penetrative enough in the first half, with the front three starved of any service. However made a vital tackle in the second. Definitely not his best performance of the season
Naby Keita – N/A – Had to feel for him there, horrible way to start off your Champions League career in red. Gave the ball away a few times, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s hope the injury isn’t serious.
Gini Wijnaldum: 4 – Much like Simon Mignolet’s hands, was very much non-existent in the first half as well as the second. Liverpool’s midfield was consistently overran throughout, bypassing the protection to the defence and not providing enough ammo to the attack. A poor night for the Dutchman.
Sadio Mane: 6.5 – The Senegalese was the most active of the front three in the first half, with whatever little attacks we had filtering down the left-hand side in the first half, clearly targeting Nikola Maksimovic in his unfamiliar position. Was quieter in the second half through no fault of his own with no supply.
Roberto Firmino: 5 – Like Wijnaldum, was very much anonymous tonight. Couldn’t impose his signature press thanks to some crisp Napoli passing at the back, but was ineffective with the ball also. The Brazilian has had better days.
Mohamed Salah: 6 – Had a few runs in the first half but was well seen off by a combination of Mario Rui and man-mountain Kalidou Koulibaly. Had a sighter just before 70 minutes from a corner but dragged wide of David Ospina’s goal. The front three are lacking the zest they had from last season, where intricate passes would always find their mark but recently the interchanges look miles off.
Jordan Henderson: 6 – Came on and in his first 10 minutes looked like he wanted to grab the game by the scruff of its neck, but his influence quickly waned as the Napoli midfield overpowered, overran and out-thought Liverpool’s.
Man of the match: Alisson