Best photos as Liverpool secure Champions League progression against Napoli

11 December 2018

Liverpool are through to the Champions League last 16 after a nerve-shredding 1-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield.


The Reds needed either that precise scoreline or a two-goal win, which meant huge emphasis on being near-perfect at both ends of the pitch.

Mohamed Salah‘s strike eventually won the match for the Reds, but they had plenty of chances to go further goals clear—with Sadio Mane in particular a culprit for missing them.

But the Anfield crowd spurred on the Reds to get over the finish line, albeit with a hugely nervewracking moment late on.

Jurgen Klopp had a big decision to make in midfield in particular—and the boss opted for his Champions League final trio, with Jordan Henderson and James Milner both getting the nod ahead of Naby Keita and Fabinho.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. Back row L-R: Georginio Wijnaldum, goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah. Front row L-R: James Milner, captain Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield was predictably rocking for the big occasion, with the Liverpool fans knowing only a win would do, either 1-0 or by two goals.

The players came out to a big reception and the early exchanges were played out to a cracking atmosphere.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s industrious midfield was on full show as the Reds dominated early on, getting quickly into tackles and trying to keep Napoli pressed back in their own half.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Napoli's Fabián Ruiz during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, one early challenge—which initially seemed perfectly timed—resulted in a contentious yellow card given to Virgil van Dijk.

Opinion was split on whether it was a foul, a booking or even a red, as Van Dijk cleanly won the ball but caught Lorenzo Insigne on the follow through.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk tackles Napoli's Dries Mertens, and receives a yellow card, during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds passed up the odd chance early on and even had a Sadio Mane strike ruled out for offside—but Mohamed Salah had the metaphorical roof raised off Anfield when he turned brilliantly and fired in the first goal.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A succession of missed chances from the Reds thereafter meant it became a nail-biting second half, with fans clearly feeling the tension as the match wore on.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold urges the crowd on during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And Napoli of course got their one big chance to equalise after Mane missed several golden chances—but Alisson Becker made a simply enormous save.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates after beating SSC Napoli 1-0 and progressing to the knock-out phase during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after beating SSC Napoli 1-0 and progressing to the knock-out phase during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With that incredible stop, the Reds saw out the remaining minute or so and will be in the round of 16 in the new year.

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