Liverpool kicked off their bid to retain their Champions League crown with a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Napoli.
Jurgen Klopp’s side conceded twice in the second half after a period of sustained pressure against Carlo Ancelloti’s Italian side.
Andy Robertson’s ‘foul’ on José Callejón allowed Dries Mertens to step forward and convert from the penalty spot.
With only a few minutes remaining, former Spurs striker Fernando Llorente gave the Serie A a comfortable 2-0 lead following a defensive mistake in Liverpool’s backline.
The result leaves Liverpool 3rd in Group E after matchday 1. Whilst kicking off the campaign with a defeat is not the ideal start to the Champions League run, Liverpool will be acutely aware that they face easier opponents in Genk and RB Salzburg.
A trip to Italy was undoubtedly the toughest fixture coming into this group stage campaign, and the Reds looked like getting something from it before a couple of defensive mistakes.
Therefore, they will be hoping to bounce back when they host RB Salzburg on October 2nd.
After a difficult night in Italy, we outline three Liverpool players who performed well for the Reds.
With much of the right-back’s reputation being built on creativity and attacking involvement, it is easy to remember that his primary responsibility is to defend.
And, given that the young right-back has previously had issues in defensive situations, his performance on Tuesday night showed that his developing well.
The 20-year-old recovered well defensively on a number of occasions to cover for his defensive colleagues.
The Brazilian was unable to influence the game in attack, but that was more due to the form of the forwards on Tuesday.
His defensive abilities have been his most impressive attribute so far in a Liverpool shirt. And, even though Liverpool did concede twice, his presence in the middle of the park was valuable to a tight first hour in the game.
Without Fabinho, Liverpool’s midfield could have easily been rolled over.
With the centre back having an impressive start to the season so far, his performance in Italy wasn’t surprising.
On a night where Liverpool’s defence was tested against a variety of attack threats – from Llorente to Insigne – Matip coped relatively well.
He has made the role as the right centre back his own over the past five games or so. But the defender will be all too aware that keeping a clean sheet soon is an absolute must.