Napoli 2-0 Liverpool: ‘Slap in the face’ will do Reds some good – Mark Lawrenson

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From Mark Lawrenson
Pundit and former Liverpool defender
Liverpool defeat by Napoli was a real smack in the face, but sometimes that’s not.
The negative of jurgen Klopp had forgotten what it felt like to lose and have coasted through their five Premier League matches this year.
Sothis was a reminder of what happens in top notch soccer if you lose your concentration in defence, whether you’re champions of Europe or never and don’t take your opportunities.
In the seasons I’ve played with Liverpool when we began that our defence of the Cup – 1981-82 and 1984-85 – I had been thinking’crikey, we are here to be taken at’ maybe not’ah, we’re the best team in Europe’.
Yes, we’ve been the very best the May, however this signifies nothing in September.
That’s some thing Klopp’s side need to deal with, and they need to keep churning out the consequences. It is a very long road back to this season’s final in Istanbul.
Tuesday’s defeat was the sort of lesson each team requires periodically about the level you need to remain at to keep winning things, and it’s far from a disaster it has arrived in Liverpool’s first game of the Champions League campaign, contrary to the best team they’ll confront in Group E.
The Reds didn’t work at their customary standard in attack or defence however I still do not think this outcome is going to affect their advancement.
Last year they made it from the skin of their teeth.
But that was when they’d Napoli as well as Paris-St Germain within their group. This time round, another opposition is simply not the identical calibre and that I don’t see Liverpool finishing below Genk or Salzburg.
That is the reason why I visit Tuesday’s defeat as merely a, because I am sure they will qualify.
A 0-0 draw could have been a good result for Liverpool, and they have been significantly less than 10 minutes apart from getting it until things unravelled in the back.
I’m far from convinced it had been a punishment for the primary goal of Napoli – the first time I saw it, I believed it was the appropriate decision, but the longer I see it the less I agree it ought to have been given.
However, it was a idle challenge by Andy Robertson on Jose Callejon, which lent the chance to award a spot-kick at the first location to the referee.
It killed the game entirely After Napoli scored their second goal in injury time, and Virgil van Dijk was responsible.
To concede out of a error like that when they are in possession in the back is very unlike Liverpool normally, also Van Dijk.
Two overdue errors cost Klopp’s negative, but I don’t really think they were too awful at the trunk until there.
They played with a gifted Napoli team with tons of purpose, who forced Adrian into creating some good saves – especially his flying halt by Dries Mertens .
But it isn’t as if Liverpool struggled for 90 minutes, I am sure he’ll think the largest problem on the night when it is analysed by Klopp was in the end of the pitch.
Liverpool likely saved their lacklustre attacking performance of this season.
Part of that has been down to the resistance; Napoli were rather powerful at the rear, together with Kalidou Koulibaly.
However, Liverpool must have done better if they came ahead, and it was irritating to see that the ball go astray often when they did have opportunities.
Mohamed Salah compelled one brilliant save however, when they got into some very promising positions overall, they were not clinical enough.
If that happens, you are going to be punished whenever you’re facing a group as great as Napoli – which is precisely what occurred.
Mark Lawrenson spoke to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
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Read more: http://www.hoodriverclones.com/2019/10/13/european-golden-boy-mason-mount-and-phil-foden-on-final-20-man-shortlist/

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