Mohamed Salah first-half strike was enough to get Liverpool through to the next round while Napoli were knocked out and will feature in Europa League now.
The game was nothing less than a cracker. It didn’t see a lot of goals but there was some phenomenal display of football at Anfield last night. The two sides gave their everything on the pitch, but it termed out Liverpool’s day.
There was not a single moment to blink in this game. Both the sides were brilliant at counter attacking and they did create a lot of chances. However, the strikers were unable to execute their chances except for Salah.
In our prediction, we predicted a win for Liverpool and they did emerge as the winners. However, we expected much more goals in this game because of the quality of the strikers present in the two sides. The defenders and goalkeepers of both the sides raised the bar of their performance. This was the reason that we saw the ball finding net only once in the 90 minutes.
In the 34th minute of the game, James Milner played a through pass from the right flank and the ball found Salah just inside the 30-yard-box. The Egyptian received a ball and spun past Mario Rui before leaving Kalidou Koulibaly clueless with his quick touch. The Liverpool winger then sliced the ball past through David Ospina’s leg into the back of the net from an acute angle.
This was a deserving goal for Liverpool as they were the better side in the first half of the game. After the 45 minutes, there were many occasions on which the visitors came close to scoring and created brilliant chances. However, all these brilliant chances were cleared away by Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman deserves the credit of keeping the backline intact and giving no chance to the visitors to find the net. There were many instances on which Van Dijk came into the frame from nowhere and helped his side in keeping the crucial lead.
The best chance for the Blues came in the injury time. A cross from the right flank reached Liverpool’s box and found Arkadiusz Milik, six-yard away from the net. The Polish striker controlled the ball and then fired it towards the goal. However, Alisson Becker’s quick reaction saved the Reds from getting knocked out of the competition.
In the end, Liverpool emerged as the ultimate winner of the most entertaining and crucial fixture of the group stage. The visitors deserve the credit for fighting till the last minute. However, it was not their day and they had to exit from the UCL. After losing just one game to a side that lost three group stage games but was fortunate to make it to the round of 16.