English Premier League side Liverpool a few hours ago, registered their name in the round of sixteen, after beating Napoli 1-0 at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was the man of the match for Liverpool as his stoppage time brilliant save to deny Napoli an away goal that would have seen the Italian side qualify ahead of Liverpool, was the major act that help saves the Reds from dropping into Europa League.
The game started as expected as Klopp side took the game to the Italians forcing them to make alot of errors with their close and quick marking to disrupt their game, and once again it paid off, as Mohamed Salah was on hand to put the Reds ahead.
Salah’s clinical finish and first-half goal was the only goal of the game which provided the Reds with the lead they needed to leapfrog their Italian visitors in Group C and on to the last 16.
Manager Klopp who said at his press conference that he was proud of his boys and cannot wait for the second round to kickoff, also praised Napoli but most especially his goalkeeper whose saves were all that mattered on the night they needed one. See his press statement after the game:
On the drama of the evening:
I’m still full of adrenaline. This game was just amazing, it was outstanding… unbelievable. The boys played with their whole heart on the pitch; with each part of their body they were in that game. Our offensive defending, our offensive pressing was some of the best I ever saw. We played football and the direction we played with – the intensity we played with – was just difficult to deal with. We could have scored more often but actually 2-0 doesn’t help a lot. The most difficult period was directly after the 1-0. You could see this little bit of relief and then immediately Napoli were there. That made the game so intense. We knew at half-time we could not change the tactics, to say now sit a bit deeper. In that moment they are not to defend anymore because they do it so well; they have these four players – two sixes, two 10s – in between the lines and the pitch is too big. We had to do it again like we did in the first half. After 65 minutes it was really wild from both sides – counter, counter, counter, counter – and quick transitions without really finishing. The goal Mo scored… what a goal! Unbelievable. And the save Ali made, I have no words for that. That was a life-saver tonight. I’m really proud of what the boys did tonight.
On who he would like to draw in the next round:
We have no say in that. We wait for the draw, no problem with that. Until 7.55pm tonight, I was really not sure we would be in the draw still. Now we are in it, how could I sit here and ask for any team? I don’t care. We are second in the group so we will have an outstanding, strong opponent.
On what changed in this game compared to the match in Naples:
Everything changed, everything changed. I said in the meeting before the game tonight, if the first game we played there was good for anything, it was that they cannot have an idea who we are really because that was not us, that was somebody else. We could have made a six-hour meeting of that game because we made so many mistakes. Or we could ignore it. We decided to ignore it. We gave the boys the opportunity to do better in the next league game and that’s what we did. The next league game was [Manchester] City. It was a tough game as well. And so we did everything tonight we had to do, the boys played an outstanding game.
On Alisson’s save in stoppage-time:
It was not only one save. He had a lot of things to do tonight. How cool and calm he was with the ball helps us a lot in our build-up situations. When he comes out for crosses he is outstanding. And that save was just incredible. But if we don’t defend the whole pitch like we defended, Ali cannot make 20 saves like the last one. He did it… incredible, unbelievable.
I never saw something similar. But still he needs the other boys around. And I want to say thank you, Anfield. It was unbelievable what the people did tonight. The atmosphere they created was just so special. I couldn’t be more proud of all the people involved – thank you.