Liverpool v Napoli: Live matchday blog
Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli on matchday five of the 2019-20 Champions League, with Dejan Lovren equalising Dries Mertens' opener at Anfield.
The Reds must now avoid defeat at Salzburg in their final Group E game to be certain of qualifying for the last 16.
Jürgen Klopp's reaction
The boss believes Liverpool have the experience to handle the 'open' situation in Champions League Group E after a 1-1 draw with Napoli denied his side qualification on Wednesday night.
Click here to read Klopp's post-match reaction in full.
Not at our best but it’s still in our hands 🔴 #YNWA https://t.co/GuS8g6T9Im— andrewrobertso5 (Andy Robertson) 27th Nov 23:11
Jordan Henderson: We believe we'll 'finish the job' at Salzburg
The skipper is confident that the Reds can get the point they need to qualify from Group E when they visit Salzburg in a couple of weeks.
“We would have liked to have won tonight to finish the job off, but Napoli are a good side and made it difficult and we could only get a point,” Henderson told BT Sport.
“We’ll stay positive. We’ve still got a job to do away but we’re confident we can do that.”
Klopp: "We have to fight until the last group game, exactly the same as we had to do last year."
Klopp on Fabinho injury: "I don't know, he [is going for] a scan. I hope it is not that serious but we will know more tomorrow or maybe the day after tomorrow."
Klopp: "The second half, it was a normal game when you play against a quality side who defend with all they have."
Klopp: "We knew before the game it would be difficult because it is always difficult against Napoli because they're a good side."
Jordan Henderson: "We'd have liked to have won tonight to finish the job off. Napoli made it difficult. We're still in a decent position.
"They're a good team with good players. There were times when we played good stuff. We were searching for the second one but couldn't find it."
How it stands in Group E...
The match in stats...
Liverpool 1-1 Napoli
There goes the final whistle and it ends all square.
Mertens gave Napoli a half-time lead and, despite their dominance for the entirety of the second period, the Reds could only muster one goal – Lovren’s excellent header midway through the half.
The draw means Liverpool remain top of Group E but now must avoid defeat at Salzburg on matchday six to advance to the last 16.
We're into four minutes of added time.
We're into the last five minutes - can the Reds find a winner?
Wijnaldum takes Robertson's nodded pass down on his chest and sends a volley wide.
A final sub for Liverpool.
Alexander-Arnold is on for Milner.
Liverpool have remained on top since the equaliser and are pressing in search of another late winner...
Get in, Dejan!
The No.6 directs a superb header into the net from Milner's corner and the Reds are deservedly level.
The decibel level has risen dramatically inside Anfield too!
A lightning-fast break ends with Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross finding Firmino, but the No.9's header goes wide.
Robertson intercepts a pass and powers upfield before squaring to Salah, whose shot is saved by Meret.
A second change for the Reds, with Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Gomez.
Off the line!
Meret spills Henderson's cross and Firmino hooks the loose ball goalwards, but Koulibaly is there to clear off the line.
The Reds have started the second half in the ascendancy but have yet to trouble Meret.
Milner restarts the game
Come on you Redmen!
The story of that first half in stats...
A frustrating half ends with Liverpool behind thanks to Mertens’ goal.
The Reds, for whom Fabinho went off early on following a knock to his ankle, had the majority of the ball but couldn’t work their way through a well-organised Napoli backline to equalise.
A big 45 ahead.
Milner dances his way through a few challenges and strikes powerfully at goal, but Meret blocks.
Mane goes down in the area but appeals for a penalty are waved away.
The Reds are piling the pressure on in these closing moments of the first half.
Four minutes added time will be played.
Brilliant link-up between Firmino and Mane gets the latter to the byline, but his cut-back, aimed for Salah, is hacked away.
Much better from the Reds.
Robertson swings in a free-kick and Van Dijk towers above the Napoli defence to head on goal.
The No.4's effort is comfortably dealt with by Meret, though.
Liverpool are probing for an equaliser but, with plenty of Napoli players sitting behind the ball, chances are proving difficult to come by at the moment.
A good response from the Reds and Van Dijk blasts a long-ranger over the bar.
Mertens gives Napoli the lead after latching on to a ball from deep.
A double VAR check happens with Van Dijk seemingly having been caught during a challenge with the goalscorer and for offside, but the goal is confirmed.
Van Dijk underwent treatment on his side but is now back on the pitch.
Fabinho hasn't managed to run that ankle problem off and is replaced by Wijnaldum.
A concern for the Reds as Fabinho goes down and needs treatment on his ankle.
The Brazilian is back on the pitch now, though.
A great last-ditch block by Lovren denies Mertens a clear shot on goal from 20 yards after Salah had given the ball away in midfield.
Liverpool enjoyed nearly 65 per cent possession in the opening 10 minutes, but haven't managed to open Napoli up as yet.
Superb pressing from Mane and Firmino causes Napoli to cede a throw-in high up the pitch and elicits a loud roar of approval from the home fans and Jürgen Klopp.
Napoli, attacking the Kop end, get us under way.
The teams are out...
Five minutes until kick-off and You'll Never Walk Alone booms out around Anfield.
AXA - Principal partner and official training kit sponsor
World Cup winning @Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is at Anfield tonight 🙌 He's a big Red 👌🔴 #LIVNAP https://t.co/Zd79qAZVAC— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 19:25
Welcome to Anfield...
There's a special guest here tonight - South Africa's Rugby World Cup-winning captain and lifelong Liverpool fan, Siya Kolisi.
100 - Jurgen Klopp will be overseeing his 100th European match tonight - his current record stands at P99 W52 D22 L… https://t.co/JfGZTPb4ey— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 27th Nov 19:04
Dressing room ready...
The European champions are here...
The Reds have arrived 🙌🔴 #LIVNAP https://t.co/RnUAdHAlvv— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 18:53
How will the teams line up?
Here's what our friends at Opta expect...
Players with exactly 186 appearances for Jürgen Klopp: Robert Lewandowski James Milner https://t.co/SRvvkti23n— BassTunedToRed (Andrew Beasley) 27th Nov 18:42
Mohamed Salah is back for Liverpool as they make three changes from the weekend win at Crystal Palace.
Joe Gomez and James Milner in for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum are the other alterations, while Xherdan Shaqiri returns on the bench for the first time since September following injury.
Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Alexander-Arnold.
🤔 Which stadium❓ #UCL https://t.co/EUEw8NmKSY— ChampionsLeague (UEFA Champions League) 27th Nov 18:32
Napoli have named their side for tonight.
We'll bring you confirmed team news from the home dressing room in around 15 minutes.
📌 StartingXI: Meret, Maksimovic, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Di Lorenzo, Allan, Zielinski, Fabian, Mertens, Loza… https://t.co/YxHBqmNYcE— sscnapoli (Official SSC Napoli) 27th Nov 18:25
Back under the Anfield lights 💫 #LIVNAP https://t.co/1r1RxM9kS1— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 17:49
This is Anfield...
Champions League nights at Anfield. https://t.co/KOZ8IuFYBQ— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 27th Nov 17:44
A magnificent performance from the young Reds at the Academy 👊🔴 #LIVNAP— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 16:52
What's been our best #UCL goal so far this season, Reds? 🤔— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 14:54
The story so far
Take a look at the numbers behind each side's Champions League campaign so far, below...
Andy Robertson believes players and supporters can combine tonight to create an environment in which Liverpool secure the win that would book their place in the Champions League last 16.
"Hopefully it's another noisy one and another good one for us and the fans are right behind us," the left-back told us ahead of the clash with Napoli.
"But we know they react off us and it's all about us to set the tempo and then I'm sure they'll react.
"It's another special night under the lights and for us to qualify with one game to go would be great."
*Weather update klaxon*
Here it is, everybody - the official Liverpoolfc.com matchday blog weather update.
There's little to surprise you on this occasion, though. It's an overcast, drizzly day and the temperature will struggle to clear nine degrees across the evening, so wrap up accordingly if you're heading to the stadium later.
We would say coat weather.
Tickets sold out
Tickets for tonight's match at Anfield are sold out and supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel to Anfield. Click here for further details for season ticket holders and those enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme.
A superb first-half performance at the Academy 👊🔴 #UYL | #LIVNAP https://t.co/WHN9799bxH— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 15:46
U19s hit five
Liverpool's U19s are producing an incredible performance in their Youth League clash with Napoli this afternoon - Barry Lewtas' side are 5-0 ahead after half an hour.
A pleasure to see our friends at @LFC again for the UEFA lunch today! #ForzaNapoliSempre https://t.co/S8PlOw1VUs— en_sscnapoli (Official SSC Napoli) 27th Nov 13:59
Last time out
More late drama. A pulsating finish at Selhurst Park on the weekend saw Roberto Firmino net a late strike to secure a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. Watch the highlights below...
⚽ @ChampionsLeague time! What emoji describes better that save? 🤔 ¡Vuelve la #ChampionsLeague! ¡Elige un emoticono… https://t.co/cYY9z97YUo— AdriSanMiguel (Adrián San Miguel) 26th Nov 20:37
LFC reminder to fans regarding pitch invasions
Supporters are reminded of the serious implications of invading the pitch.
The message comes after a recent spate of pitch incursions which have risked both player safety and criminal proceedings.
Fans are reminded invading the pitch risks arrest and prosecution, and any supporter found guilty faces a lifetime ban from Anfield.
Behaviour of this kind also risks penalties to the club from the relevant authorities.
Players have also been instructed not to interact or hand over shirts to anyone who invades the pitch.
If a player wishes to provide shirts to supporters in special circumstances, the club will work with them on this through the relevant departments.
Thank you for your continued support in keeping Anfield a safe and welcoming environment for all fans.
We've picked out three individual duels that could have massive influence on tonight's result. Click here to have a read.
- Only three times previously have Liverpool had qualification from a Champions League group secured before matchday six - the last time being back in 2008-09.
- The Reds have won each of the last 28 games in which they have scored the first goal.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored three goals in his last two European displays and netted five times in his 10 European appearances for the Reds.
- In nine previous visits to England, Napoli have never won - drawing one and losing the other eight.
Youth League action
Our U19s are in UEFA Youth League this afternoon as they take on Napoli at the Kirkby Academy. We'll have a match report from that clash after the final whistle.
Here's how we line up...
Liverpool U19s: Winterbottom, Williams, Van den Berg, Hoever, Larouci, Clarkson, Dixon-Bonner, Cain, Elliott, Jones, Longstaff.
Subs: Davies, Norris, Hill, Boyes, Clayton, Morton, Bradley.
Mohamed Salah is in contention to face Napoli this evening, but Joel Matip remains sidelined with his knee injury.
Naby Keita overcame a bout of illness prior to the tie as Liverpool have no fresh fitness concerns.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo Insigne is not part of the 20-man Napoli squad on Merseyside after picking up an elbow injury on the weekend.
The Serie A side are also without defender Faouzi Ghoulam and striker Arkadiusz Milik.
.@VirgilvDijk surprises a lifelong Red, who has had some challenges in his life. A day David will never, ever forge… https://t.co/KUWVmXnh7I— LFC (Liverpool FC) 26th Nov 11:00
'We'll approach it with plenty of energy'
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti offered some insight into how his side will approach another encounter with the champions of Europe.
He told his pre-match press conference: "The players are physically and mentally ready to play in a top-level game.
"We need to show bravery and character and leave our fears at home. We have a chance to respond on the pitch and we're also motivated psychologically.
"Tomorrow's game will be tough and fascinating in equal measure. These are the sorts of matches where you can turn things around and we'll approach it with plenty of energy."
'We just don't get used to it'
We asked the boss just how much he was looking forward to tonight's game before he went on to describe how the Champions League's mystique remains fully intact for all involved at the club.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: "It's great. We just don't get used to it, that's how it is. It's nice and it's always exciting.
"We all need to get on our toes again and create a very, very special atmosphere. We should never take it for granted, we don't take it for granted, people shouldn't take it for granted.
"We have to be there 100 per cent spot on and do the best we can."
Gonna tell my kids this was my headline set at Glasto https://t.co/NmO6dQaoek— andrewrobertso5 (Andy Robertson) 26th Nov 15:12
Play the LFC Foundation Lotto
Liverpool fans can be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes thanks to the LFC Lotto, with tickets now available ahead of tonight's game.
LFC Lotto gives fans the chance to win amazing signed Reds memorabilia, unique LFC experiences and huge cash prizes every Anfield matchday - with every draw this season featuring a shirt signed by the first team and a cap signed by Jürgen Klopp.
Subscribers will also be entered into a draw to meet the first-team squad at Melwood.
Fifty per cent of net proceeds from this season’s LFC Lotto will specifically help fund LFC Foundation’s Military Veterans programme and Men's Health projects.
Last season, the LFC Foundation Lottery raised more than £50,000, helping the club’s official charity in its mission to create life-changing opportunities for children and young people.
Enter from just £2 at the stadium, or £5 online here.
Players must be aged 16+ BeGambleAware.org
Back in @ChampionsLeague action today 👊🔴 @Alex_OxChambo netted a well-taken winner in our last #UCL fixture 👌 https://t.co/e8EwQAT79N— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Nov 10:33
Check out 37 photos from Liverpool's Tuesday evening training session...
Did you know?
Tonight will see the boss take charge of the 100th European match of his managerial career.
Tonight's matchday programme cover...
'I put everything I had into that save'
Alisson has been looking back on that historic save to deny Arkadiusz Milik in the 92nd minute.
He told The Independent: "I think I put my name in the history of Liverpool with the save against them in a decisive match, an all-or-nothing moment, with our Champions League lives on the line.
"I put everything I had into that save and we put everything we had into that game."
Napoli's last visit to Anfield...
Liverpool reached the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over tonight's opponents last December.
Mohamed Salah scored the game's only goal, but the clash is most famous for Alisson Becker's injury-time intervention.
You can enjoy the highlights below...
Add the Right To Play charity badge for just £5
Tonight eagle-eyed fans will notice the addition of the Right To Play logo on the back of the Liverpool players’ shirts.
The multi-year partnership between Right To Play and LFC Foundation will create high-impact programmes to benefit children at home and around the globe.
The joint programmes will be launched initially in Liverpool and Bangkok in 2020 and will help some of the most vulnerable children in the world to overcome the obstacles that limit them so they can unlock their potential and thrive.
You can add the £5 patch to official 2019-20 Champions League shirts at UK LFC Retail stores and via the online global store. One-hundred per cent of proceeds go to the work of the partnership.
🔴⚽️ https://t.co/Na4pGrc2jt— _fabinhotavares (Fabinho) 26th Nov 22:12
Andy Robertson joined Jürgen Klopp in the Anfield media room yesterday to answer questions from journalists ahead of this Napoli game. Watch everything the pair had to say in the video below...
Group permutations explained
- A win tonight would see Liverpool reach the last 16 and clinch top spot of Group E. However, progression will be secured if Salzburg don't beat Genk.
- Napoli can progress to the knockout rounds with three points this evening, or if Salzburg fail to beat Genk.
- Salzburg need to win at Genk to keep alive their hopes of progressing. A draw in Belgium would see the Austrian side secure third place.
- Genk cannot reach the last 16 and a fourth-place finish will be confirmed if they are unable to beat Salzburg tonight.
It’s @ChampionsLeague time again! 🤩 https://t.co/ZhBkHW4y4d— VirgilvDijk (Virgil van Dijk) 26th Nov 18:44
Here's how Group E shapes up ahead of tonight's fixtures...
We're back in Champions League action with Napoli arriving at Anfield for matchday five in Group E.
Stay with us throughout the day as we bring you the best of the build-up, action and post-match reaction.