Liverpool secured a feel-good win against one of the best teams in Europe, with some solid performances throughout the team.
Liverpool 2-0 Napoli
Champions League (6), Anfield
November 01, 2022
Goals: Salah 85′, Nunez 90’+8
Alisson – 6 (out of 10)
Had a couple of comfortable saves to make, but little else in that regard.
Found attackers with some decent long passing which puts him in the positive ratings above a 5.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Trent had the most difficult job of any Liverpool player, marking one of the most in-form players in Europe at the moment – Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Was beaten by the winger a couple of times early on, but made a really good recovery on one occasion after Salah played him into trouble in his own area.
Seemed to get used to Kvaratskhelia, whose influence waned bar the free kick for the disallowed goal, even if he couldn’t always tackle him.
Brilliant ball to Salah later in the game, played first time with backspin.
Ibrahima Konate – 8 – Man of the Match
Looked rusty to begin with, misplacing a few passes, but settled into the game. Made a good driving run through midfield which brought a free kick in a dangerous area.
In an early moment with Kvaratskhelia in the Liverpool box, the Georgian went to ground but it was good, strong defending from the centre-back.
Good tackle on Ndombele in the second half had the crowd chanting his name, something they will do regularly if he can stay fit and stay playing like this.
His passing may have been off, with a success rate of just 63%, but he was defensively important.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Good range of passing including some effective switches of play to Salah.
Involved in a battle of strength with Osimhen that led to a rare reaction and a little dig at the forward as they fell to ground. It’s safe to say Van Dijk won the battle, anyway, and did so for the rest of the game.
His header for a corner led to the second goal for Nunez.
Kostas Tsimikas – 6
Fairly quiet by his standards. Still put in a number of crosses, though none were really dangerous.
Fabinho – 5
As Klopp has said recently, the changes in formation don’t really affect the midfield, and there wasn’t a real noticeable difference in performance from the Brazilian, which is sadly not a good thing.
Was still bypassed fairly easily at times, but usually had support around him so these moments weren’t as glaring.
Needs to improve if Liverpool are to have success in the second half of the season, though could find his spot under threat if the club act in the transfer market.
James Milner – 7
Reasonably effective, perhaps more so than others have been on the right of the centre of midfield this season, though it’s not too difficult to raise that particular bar even though Elliott has impressed in bursts.
Picked up a knock to the head towards the end of the first half and, perhaps ill-advisedly came out for the second half before being replaced by Elliott.
Thiago – 7
Played a nice long ball with the outside of his right boot to send Salah through, then followed up to get on the end of a Salah pass to test Alex Meret.
Displayed his usual control and advanced technique, but can still find himself in scraps for the ball, which he seems to enjoy. Though they can sometimes lead to some uncharacteristically scrappy play.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Back playing from the right in a 4-3-3, and was quiet for much of the game, but turned on his attacking prowess later in the game when his new mate Nunez came on.
Turned in the ball after the Uruguayan’s header was spilt by Meret. A poachers goal.
A lung-busting sprint in injury time eventually won a corner from which Liverpool scored to secure the win.
Roberto Firmino – 6
Nice flick as the ball was going out of play to set up Jones for a header, much better than an earlier attempt to do something similar, which he ballooned into the Anfield road end.
Not very effective but still played a useful role through the middle.
Curtis Jones – 7
The versatile Scouser was used on the left of the front three and got himself into a couple of positions to score.
A challenge with Meret led to a shot that landed on the roof of the net, and a header from Firmino’s flick went over.
He perhaps should have done better with the latter, though probably didn’t expect such a good cross given the position Firmino was in.
Maybe Napoli didn’t quite know what to expect from him, but he seemed the most likely to score of Liverpool’s attackers for the time he was on the pitch.
Harvey Elliott (on for Milner, 48′) – 7
Continued his good form this season, involved in some neat linkup play and entertaining moments.
Darwin Nunez (on for Jones, 73′) – 8
Nice header that led to the opening goal. Looked really dangerous and his decision-making was spot on.
Fabio Carvalho (on for Firmino, 87′) – N/A
Looks good. Give him a go instead of the toiling Fabinho maybe? Derby next week for a start anyway.
Calvin Ramsay (on for Alexander-Arnold, 87′) – N/A
Some neat touches in his debut and not overawed.
Looks like he’s grown half a foot since joining the club.
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The Liverpool manager reverted to his old favourite 4-3-3 formation, used for the majority of his time at the club, and it ultimately worked, albeit after a couple of subs.
Jones played on the left with Salah and Firmino in their familiar Liverpool roles. The initial front three struggled to create anything, but the introduction of Nunez added extra danger.
All the subs were good, though maybe a bit late.
Inflicting Napoli’s first defeat of the season is not to be sniffed at regardless of the context of the game.