LIVERPOOL lost and they deserved to lose.
The good thing about being good is being able to say: “That isn’t good. That isn’t what good looks like.”
Before a ball was kicked I would have taken a point. Firstly, due to the group scenario but secondly because Napoli have some really good players. The bad thing about being good is that you can presume if footballers aren’t definitely of your level (and many of Napoli’s may actually be), they can’t be better than you on the day, that such a thing should be impossible.
One of the reasons why football is the very best of the sports is that that is indeed nonsense. A side with pretensions of first can be beaten, soundly beaten, by a side with expectations of sixth in our league, especially on their own patch. And Napoli are better than that.
Napoli get to be good. They grabbed being good with both hands in the second half.
The discussion is how Liverpool were bad. Environmental factors were in play — the pitch was dreadful and the weather worse. The same for both sides yes, but the sort of conditions that make you pine for home comforts.
And the sort of environmental factors that bring certain psychological factors into play. The facts are that Liverpool have three important games to play in eight days and that this is the least important of them. If you know that and I know that, then Jürgen Klopp and his players know it 100 times over.
Naby Keita going down with an injury won’t have helped, a reminder of the worst type of mortality for a footballer — the layoff. No one wants the layoff, not for a side doing the business.
The other psychological factor among these is that this side has played big games away from home. Good games away from home, tough games away from home. But it hasn’t faced this type of challenge yet, the sandwich game where the good result shifts like turf beneath the feet. It is another learning curve and Liverpool have been left to do that the hard way.
The concern is the front three. They seem dulled and dealt with, in flashes individually good but less than the sum of their parts. Last season they were the opposite. They need to find that and soon, but the thought persists they could do with some supplementary help to regain their vibe. They could do with a fourth man coming and arriving, demanding to be part of the attack and demanding attention. Liverpool looked an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain light not for the first time this season.
The defence stood up well to their task and the central triangle of goalkeeper and centre backs can feel hard done to conceding as late as they did. They deserved the clean sheet that would have brought a generous point to Liverpool and a harsh one to Napoli. But it wasn’t to be.
They were warned as Dries Mertens smashed one off the crossbar, and they were breached by a lovely ball and an excellent finish. There is a concern that the goal isn’t dissimilar to Manchester City’s opener in the second leg last season — Virgil van Dijk sucked out wide and Liverpool left one short in the box. The thought persists that the flank to initiate attacks down is counter intuitively Liverpool’s left, looking to finish from their right.
It’s one for the analysts. They know their game. The rest of us, who know ours, know a season comes in great blocks and has its rhythms. Every bad result is defined by what happens next, not that result itself. This run of games is no different. Liverpool are a victory away from every little thing being alright.
The next game, Reds. The next game.
Look at the size of it.
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The team from minute one we’re off it but ultimately the humans that they are my have to suck one up now and again. I’m sure collectively that they’ll be wounded but – looking at the camaraderie / team spirit that is now massively evident in the squad – I’m sure they’ll go again. Being outplayed and narrowly losing in Europe is no disgrace. Sunday will show how much tonight hurt – which it did. I’m convinced that we’ll come out stronger and more determined to prove how good we actually are.
Bring on City with all our might !
The midfield is our Achilles heel. The trio of Gini, Hendo and Milner is just not good enough as proved again against Napoli. Klopp knows this and went for three quality upgrades although Fekir never materialized. We need Naby and Fabinho to come good and Fekir type as well. If we rely upon the three hard workers we will suffer.
‘pitch was dreadful and the weather worse. The same for both sides yes, but the sort of conditions that make you pine for home comforts’
Some excuse that. Oh how the must have longed for the sunny English weather in October! If anything this game showed exactly why we chased Fekir. We missed somone to get a hold of the middle even as a number 10 and roam forward. As you rightly said we’ve been getting away with not being at our best and winning and it caught up to us tonight. Despite Guttmans arrogant,drunken (and hilarious) rants on the post match show that they aren’t a good team because they got no where in last year’s CL. Napoli are indeed a good team. They finished 14 points ahead of a Roma team that put 6 goals past us on that wonderful run last season. We were also a couple of minutes away from a great result despite being at our absolute worse. Thing need to start flowing soon though. Let’s hope this weekend.
This team looked tired. Klopp can’t see properly with his specs.
Look at Salah – he looks like someone the CIA just nabbed at the airport and interrogated him as to why he isn’t scoring this season.
Firmino needs to borrow Klopp’s specs, though Klopp needs a different prescription of specs since he can’t see he has subs on the bench in time.
Mane does this thing where he gets the ball and then stops to do his step-over or whatever, and then slows the game down. That’s fine, but when you’re tired it looks easy to defend against.
The defense (VVD, Gomez, Robbo and Trent) and Alisson did a better job than the attack.
WTF was Sturridge supposed to do during that cameo? What happened to Shaqiri?
Hope Keita is okay and can return soon. Please Keita return soon, watching Henderson pass sideways again is not a comforting thought.
Gini and Milner are hard workers, but just limited, like Henderson.
Napoli are a good side, and I said before the match to not underestimate them or Ancelotti.
It does make the CL group interesting to watch now. Hopefully the PSG game was not a fluke start.
Anyways City and Pep are probably smacking their lips now seeing our poor run of form, and now missing Keita too.
If Klopp persists with a front three this weekend, I hope it was just jet-lag that held them back, otherwise City will return to regularly scheduled business.
Seemed like Klopp instructed the team to take the foot off the gas for this one. But i bet he didnt tell them to play so horribly, making so many mistakes on and off the ball.
We need to regroup. A win on Sunday will end this run of fixtures on a high with being top of the League, what we also want to be come May.
Bit of a reality check last night. Midfield couldn’t handle the pace of Napoli. Overlap after overlap stretched us to the limit. They seemed to do ‘an Anfield’ on us. Passion driving them on. We looked more in the game with Keita. Gomez is a revelation.
Big picture remains unbelievably good of course. Get behind the lads on Sunday and trust Klopp to learn from the defeats. No need for panic. He’s trying to reverse a 28 year decline and it was never going to be easy.
We were utter dogshit as a team. All season long we have been getting by, as our front 3 can’t find the net from their chances. Our new buys, only one has hit the ground running and one who actually has shown lots of promise in cameos was left kicking his heels on the bench last night when it was crying out for us to got to a diamond and play him at the tip of it.
Salah for me needs dropping. The rest need a damn good old fashion rollicking, with crockery and everything flying about. Some home truths, as lets be honest, there’s been far too much of being shite or average this season. getting by won’t cut it.
Just seen the result, not seen the game as on o jolly in Bali so dealing with the time issues.
Currently living in Oz and shooting from the hip in regards to recent observations relating to what can be only described as a subdued goas return from this front 3, I think Ronnie Moran from a space in eternity may be screaming a few words to this team. It appears to me that,
naturally some of our players are struggling to live with an expectation from both fans and media hype which is not going to cease any time soon subject to LFC remaining in the forefront of a Title challenge. Plus this just my own hunch, but are Mane and Sala at the beginning of an unhealthy spat with each other, body language from either isn’t great? As I say, not yet seen the game but I have been observing uncomfortably from a distance
I can understand opting for Henderson, but I wonder how things might have been different with Shaqiri on for Keita. Perhaps Klopp is learning to be less gung-ho, more pragmatic. Certainly bringing on Fabinho, rather than Xherdan suggests that.
Grinding out a 0-0 is the sort of thing that gets Mourinho called a “genius”, and we all would have hailed a draw. And a 1-0 loss with Shaqiri would have been considered hopelessly naive. But still, what if?
We were never at the races last night. We weren’t even grinding anything out. We were just riding our luck.The ball just didn’t stick to our front 3 or for that matter any of our midfielders. We needed Shaqiri on, because he like an immovable bank safe. Small squat and holds the ball up well and buys FKs. I am not saying our other 3 can’t, but last they weren’t. So last night we needed to give him try.