Liverpool & Napoli pull away from Salzburg in Champions League – while Spurs receive boost of confidence

Napoli’s win away at Salzburg has opened up a gap for Liverpool in Group E, in a round of Champions League action which saw a number of big hitters emerge victorious.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds secured a rare group stage win away from home on European soil, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain twice found the net before Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah joined the party.

While Liverpool did not perform at their best with Genk managing to secure a consolation goal late in the piece, the Reds secured three valuable points in their search for qualification.

Elsewhere in Group E, Napoli edged a five-goal thriller at Salzburg to see the complexion of the standings move in favour of the European champions and their Italian counterparts.

The Reds now sit in second position, one point behind Napoli and three ahead of Salzburg at the halfway point, and a repeat of the results in week four would see Klopp’s men establish a six-point buffer.

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 18, 2018: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Rochdale AFC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Spotland Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Across the rest of the competition, Liverpool’s opponents in last year’s competition, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham both notched convincing 5-0 victories over Simon Mignolet’s Club Brugge and Red Star Belgrade respectively.

PSG’s dominant performance all but guarantees their progression to the knockout stage having now attained a five-point lead over closest Group A rivals in Real Madrid.

Spurs, meanwhile, secured a valuable victory which not only boosted their hopes of progressing to the last 16 but also injected a needed boost of confidence ahead of their trip to Anfield on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had notched just win one in their seven games prior to their meeting with Belgrade – a run which included a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern – and Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son both netted a brace to restore some much-needed optimism in north London.

Juventus and Bayern Munich both overcame a fright to come from behind to emerge as victors over Lokomotiv Moscow and Olympiakos respectively on Tuesday evening.

Man City were similarly forced to overturn a surprising deficit when they fell behind to Atalanta at the Etihad, but inspired by ex-Red Raheem Sterling’s first European hat-trick, City quickly put on their afterburners to cruise to a 5-1 win to retain a stranglehold at the top of Group C.

A cause for concern for Pep Guardiola is his side was hit with another injury as Rodri sustained a hamstring injury which is set to keep him sidelined for a month – casting his presence in the trip to Anfield on November 10 in serious doubt.

Ajax, meanwhile, tasted their first defeat in Europe this term as Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi struck late at Stamford Bridge for a 1-0 win, while Group F saw leaders Barcelona win at Slavia Prague while Inter inflicted defeat on Borussia Dortmund to leave the group delicately placed with both sides on four points.

With the group stages now at the halfway point, the standings are starting to take shape, with the likes of Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen, Lille, Salvia Prague, Genk, Olympiacos and Galatasaray all adrift in fourth place with less than a point to their name.

Closer to home, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and City are all currently in line to progress to the last 16 but with three matchdays remaining there could still be several twists and turns lying in wait.

Champions League Results, Week 3

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappé during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Manchester United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Group A

Club Brugge 0-5 Paris Saint-Germain

Galatasaray 0-1 Real Madrid

Group B

Olympiakos 2-3 Bayern Munich

Tottenham 5-0 Red Star Belgrade

Group C

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Dinamo Zagreb

Man City 5-1 Atalanta

Group D

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Juventus 2-1 Lokomotiv Moscow

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Group E

Salzburg 2-3 Napoli

Genk 1-4 Liverpool

Group F

Inter Milan 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona

Group G

RB Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Saint Petersburg

Benfica 2-1 Lyon

Group H

Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

Lille 1-1 Valencia