Last night saw Liverpool defeated 2-0 at the Stadio San Paolo. The Reds defended valiantly for much of the game until a Napoli penalty was awarded in the 80th minute when Jose Callejon lept to the floor. Jürgen Klopp’s side have now lost their last 4 away games in the group stage of the Champions League, 6 in their last 8 overall in the competition. The Anfield side had chances but failed to capitalise on them in what was an incredibly chastening defeat.
Liverpool were made to rue missed chances. The Reds’ front 3 weren’t firing on all cylinders last night, there were a few incidents of the trio stepping on each other’s toes, namely Mo Salah running in the way of Sadio Mane. Perhaps the most disappointing missed opportunity came in the second half when Mane and Salah were 2-on-1 against the defender, the Senegalese winger tried to square it to his Egyptian teammate but awfully misjudged the ball. Salah couldn’t bring it under his spell and the move died. There was also Mo’s failure to capitalise on a loose ball in the defence and Sadio’s poor first touch when found in the box by Jordan Henderson in the first half.
Jürgen Klopp will need to have a talk with his side about soft pens. The Napoli penalty was soft. Before halftime Mo Salah could have gone down and easily won a spot kick, he stayed on his feet. In the 80th minute of the game, Jose Callejon knocked the ball past Andy Robertson and jumped over his leg, impressive enough to be awarded a pen but not theatrical enough for VAR to overturn the decision. It was never a penalty. In the long term a defeat will teach us more than a loss, we just can’t make a habit of it again.