Lovren the unlikely hero as Liverpool draw with Napoli at Anfield

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Napoli at home in the Champions League. The point means that the Reds will likely need at least a draw in Salzburg to qualify for the next round.

It was a poor display from Klopp’s side as they struggled to break down Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli. It was the Italians who struck first with Dries Mertens putting his side 1-0 up with 21 minutes played. Liverpool responded in the 65th minute as Dejan Lovren headed in from a corner.

The goalscorer’s performance was one that stood out. The Croatian barely put a foot wrong all game, however you could say he perhaps should of done more to prevent the opening goal.

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Defensively the No.6 won both his attempted tackles. He won four out of five aerial duels and also completed two clearances. The defender’s passing was excellent as well and only misplaced two throughout the whole game. He maintained a 98% passing accuracy across the 90 minutes.

The former Southampton man’s goal had shades of that header against Dortmund back in 2016. The equalizer on Wednesday night was created by the same two who combined three years ago. James Milner swung in a corner that found Lovren at the back of the box. The 30-year-old got up over his marker and powerfully headed past Alex Meret.

Dejan Lovren has been a widely criticised player amongst the fan base but his recent performances have come at a high standard. The Croatia international came back into the team after an in-form Joël Matip sustained an injury. Lovren has arguably matched performances in his Cameroonian teammate’s stead and has showed his qualities.

Hopefully, the centre-back can maintain the form he has found himself in. It wasn’t too long ago Lovren found himself as fourth choice centre back and the defender will certainly not want to return to that role.

The Reds next play in Europe on December 12 against FC Salzburg in Austria, where they will likely need at least a draw to guarantee progress into the Round of 16.

Scott Mason

Contributor. Irishman. Steve Finnan started my LFC love story.

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