UEFA Champions League: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool (Watch All Goals)
Dries Mertens’ penalty and a late Fernando Llorente goal condemned Liverpool to defeat in their Group E Champions League opener against Napoli.
Andy Robertson was deemed to have tripped Jose Callejon in the box and, after VAR ratified the penalty decision, Mertens squeezed his penalty past Adrian in the 82nd minute.
As Liverpool pushed for a late equaliser, well into five minutes of added-on time Fernando Llorente doubled the lead from a rare Virgil van Dijk mistake, profiting when the defender’s mis-hit pass ran into his path and he slotted the ball home to spark wild celebrations on the home bench with victory sealed – and the reigning champions beaten in their first game for the first time since AC Milan in 1994.
“It should hurt because there were opportunities for us. It was an open game with a lot of counter attacks, but we didn’t finish them off and that is a problem,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport after the match. “In the second half it was a wild game, they were running and we were running.
“I don’t think it’s a penalty. What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.
“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”
Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti: “The strategy was to play a complete game. High pressure if possible, but also defending deeper if needed. We did everything well. We have to get used to the different moments of the game.
“When Liverpool were in control we did well in defending and then took our chances. It was a very balanced game. So we did well, because I consider them the best team in Europe.”
Liverpool travel to Chelsea in a blockbuster Premier League clash on Sunday, the same day Napoli go to Lecce in Serie A.
Watch all the goals below.