Liverpool ratings: Salah's 8/10 performance ends Napoli's winning streak in Champions League

Liverpool struck two late goals to sink Napoli and end the Italian side's club-record 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions with a 2-0 defeat at Anfield. The result also ended a 13-game winning streak for Napoli.

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With both sides already through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, Liverpool started brightly as Curtis Jones dinked just over from Mohamed Salah's threaded pass. Napoli responded and thought they'd taken the lead, but VAR chalked off Leo Ostigard's second-half bullet header after a very long wait to deny the defender his second goal in as many Champions League appearances.

The tie then seemed to fizzle out, but just when it looked destined to end goalless, Salah popped up to convert Darwin Nunez's header at the back post, before Nunez poached one of his own with a last-gasp tap-in.


Tuesday marked more Champions League minutes for Jones, who looks like the real deal at times. It's so easy to forget he's still only 21. Good sides can win ugly, and that's exactly what Jurgen Klopp's men did against the Serie A leaders.

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Despite their win, Liverpool were unable to assert their dominance over a side that have been a real handful for them in recent years and this one could have ended very differently if not for a matter of inches in both penalty areas.

Manager rating (out of 10, 10 = best)

Jurgen Klopp, 6 -- The charismatic Liverpool manager celebrated 400 games with three points against an extremely well-drilled outfit. What a journey it's been for the Reds during his tenure, although he probably won't remember this one in a few years' time.

Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes = no rating)

GK Alisson, 6 -- Got his body behind a drilled effort from on-loan Spurs man Tanguy Ndombele, but otherwise untested in the opening 45. Gratefully grasped onto a first-time strike from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia that took a nasty deflection off Trent Alexander-Arnold.

DF Konstantinos Tsimikas, 7 -- Showed good defensive awareness to snuff out an early Napoli attack. Whipped in some wicked crosses from wide areas but couldn't force a breakthrough. Decent value for his clean sheet.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 -- Another milestone as the big defender racked up his 200th appearance for the Reds and celebrated with a clean sheet and assist. It's fair to say he was less than impressed with Victor Osimhen's antics though.

DF Ibrahima Konaté, 6 -- Won a free-kick in a good area with a marauding run towards the Napoli penalty area from deep in his own half that ended with him eventually being wrestled to the ground by Osimhen. Booked for catching Stanislav Lobotka late.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 4 -- Sloppy. Nodded Virgil van Dijk's clearance back into a dangerous area, but responded well with a good foot. Penalised for a foul throw -- a rarity in any game let alone a Champions League fixture -- and was troubled by Kvaratskhelia.

MF Thiago, 6 -- Started brightly and drew a rare stop from Alex Meret with a powerful effort from Salah's pull-back, although it was probably a bit of a camera save and the goalkeeper always looked equal to it.

MF Fabinho, 4 -- Clipped the heels of his man which allowed Ostigard to convert an absolute beauty of a delivery that took every Red shirt out of the game, but VAR spared his blushes. Showed some magic, but only by miraculously avoiding a booking.

MF James Milner, 7 -- Tested Napoli's resolve with a fizzed low ball into the box that was hammered to safety. He's almost 37 now and still playing Champions League football, and in the engine room too -- you have to respect that, especially in contests as frantic as this one was.

FW Curtis Jones, 7 -- Close to opening the scoring with as deft a dink as you'll see from a tight angle, but the ball dipped just over the bar. Headed another effort comfortably over after dazzling work from Firmino, and maybe he should have hit the target.

FW Mohamed Salah, 8 -- Selfless. The striker asked questions all evening, including a lovely pass that pick out Jones that cut straight through a crowded penalty area, before stabbing home a somewhat fortuitous winner, but he won't mind that one bit.

FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- Found chances to be scarce as the contest turned into a bit of a scrap. Slipped in Tsimikas with an intelligent ball out to the left but his cross was defended well before finding Jones with an outrageous flick that was headed over by the latter.


MF Harvey Elliot, 6 -- Replaced injured skipper Milner in the 48th minute. Probably not the time or circumstances that Klopp would have been hoping for. Blazed his best chance into the stand from Jones' lay-off to the edge of the box.

MF Stefan Bajcetic, NR -- Late minutes for the teenager but nothing more than a cameo.

FW Darwin Nunez, NR -- Replaced Jones in the 73rd minute and made the difference, though he'll be arguing with Salah all night about who got the opener. Almost made things comfortable with a low cross that was nicked away from Salah at the last second.

FW Fabio Carvalho, NR -- A very brief appearance from the bench for the creative forward, but no time to make an impact.

DF Calvin Ramsay, NR -- A memorable night for the youngster who made his senior debut late on.