Late strikes from Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente saw Napoli get the better of holders Liverpool in a 2-0 win during the opening round of Champions League group stage matches on Tuesday night.
Mertens converted a penalty on 82 minutes after Andrew Robertson brought down Jose Callejon before a mistake from Virgil van Dijk saw Llorente seal the three points in injury time.
Here, we rate the performances of Liverpool’s players.
STARTING XI (4-3-3)
Adrian 7 – Made a truly special save to deny Mertens a certain goal. Did well to get a hand to the Belgian’s penalty later but couldn’t keep it out.
Trent Alexander-Arnold 5 – Only one of his eight crosses found a red shirt. Defended well but Napoli were wise to his diagonal passes.
Joel Matip 6 – Solid at the back without ever really standing out beside his more aggressive partner.
Virgil van Dijk 5 – Made several clearances and looked impossible to get around … but was caught napping at the death when Mertens nicked the ball away from him and Llorente applied the finish.
Andrew Robertson 4 – Made relentless runs forward but didn’t deliver a single cross. His clumsy challenge on Callejon conceded a late penalty.
Jordan Henderson 5 – Played some decent forward passes and always presented for the ball.
Fabinho 6 – Anchored the midfield well, winning possession and feeding those around him.
James Milner 5 – Superb cross for Roberto Firmino who nodded just wide. Worked hard but fairly quiet outing otherwise.
Mohamed Salah 6 – Had the beating of Mario Rui but his battle with Kalidou Koulibaly was captivating. A game-high five shots but only one really tested Alex Meret.
Roberto Firmino 6 – Went close in the first half. Caused the Napoli defence a few problems but nothing they couldn’t cope with.
Sadio Mane 5 – His poor final ball ended a promising counter-attack. Got into good positions but didn’t capitalise.
Georginio Wijnaldum (66′) 5 – Replaced Milner and was tidy with his passing.
Xherdan Shaqiri (87′) N/A – Didn’t have time to make an impact.
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