Liverpool secured a promising late win over Napoli on Tuesday night, but only able to do so with a 2-0 scoreline they still finish second in Group A.
Liverpool 2-0 Napoli
Champions League (6), Anfield
November 1, 2022
Salah 86′ (assist – Nunez)
Nunez 90+8′ (assist – Van Dijk)
It was Jones who went close for Liverpool early on, lifting his close-range effort over Alex Meret and onto the roof of the net, while at the other end, a physical approach was taken with the dangerous Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Napoli threatened, as expected, but the Reds had the better chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Thiago forcing Meret into a big save on the counter, followed by a header from Jones.
Mohamed Salah thought he had the perfect opening as half-time drew close, but racing through one-on-one with Meret, the Egyptian saw his shot saved before the flag was raised for offside.
There were still cogs loose in the Liverpool machine, with a foul throw from Trent Alexander-Arnold shortly before the break showing screws in need of tightening.
HT: Liverpool 0-0 Napoli
One of many late challenges from Fabinho led to a free-kick for Napoli which Leo Ostigard nodded home, but after over three minutes of deliberation, the goal was chalked off for offside.
Jones was bright in his left-sided role and crafted a chance for Elliott with a pullback, but the teenager ballooned his effort way off target as Salah got in the way.
On came Darwin Nunez, with the Uruguayan deployed on the left in a straight swap with Jones, rather than a clear change in formation, serving up a different proposition.
The goal, finally, came from a Kostas Tsimikas corner, with Nunez’s header stopped by Meret, and though it was unclear whether that had crossed the line, Salah made sure with an emphatic finish.
Nunez then grabbed his goal in comical circumstances, the striker first ruled as offside as he wellied in after Virgil van Dijk‘s header was saved, only to be deemed onside after a VAR review.
TIA Man of the Match: Ibrahima Konate
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Subs not used: Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Phillips, Robertson
Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigard, Kim, Olivera; Lobotka (Zielinski 83′), Ndombele (Raspadori 87′), Anguissa; Politano (Lozano 70′), Kvaratskhelia (Elmas 83′), Osimhen (Simeone 87′)
Subs not used: Idasiak, Sirigu, Jesus, Rui, Zerbin, Zanoli, Gaetano