Alisson, Mohamed Salah both earn 8/10s as Liverpool knock out Napoli
LIVERPOOL, England -- It was another memorable European night at Anfield as Liverpool advanced to the round of 16 of the Champions League after Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of a must-win encounter with Napoli on Tuesday.
Liverpool keep on handling the pressure and delivering when required to. They have squeezed into knockout rounds of the Champions League, having played incredibly poor in half of their games. Meanwhile, Salah's elite-level form continues. It was goal No. 13 for the season and he's now scored 10 times at Anfield in as many Champions League matches. The £65 million they spent on Alisson looks like a bargain as well.
Virgil van Dijk's first-half yellow card means he will be suspended for the first leg of Liverpool's round-of-16 tie. He will be a huge miss. Trent Alexander-Arnold also hobbling off in the closing stages will be a concern, given Liverpool's lack of options at right-back.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Jurgen Klopp reverted to a 4-3-3 and started the same midfield trio that attracted so much criticism for the defeat at Paris Saint-Germain. It was another bold move, but one that paid off as Liverpool controlled the affair, creating chance after chance before Napoli threw down the gauntlet.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 8 -- Not tested at all until the dying seconds and then pulled out a match-saving stop to deny Arkadiusz Milik. Incredible levels of concentration.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- The 20-year-old continuously delivered inviting crosses and was defensively solid.
DF Joel Matip, 7 -- Deserves credit for his performances in the past three games after coming in cold. He played an exquisite through ball to Salah in the first half.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 -- Lucky to escape with just a booking in the 14th minute for a tackle on Dries Mertens. The centre-half did win the ball in the initial challenge, but the follow-through wasn't pretty. Excellent after that moment, though.
DF Andrew Robertson, 7 -- His 50th appearance in a Liverpool shirt and barely a bad performance among them.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 -- He did what was required in what is not a glamorous role.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- Looked to get forward more than he has done at any point this season. It's often hard to gauge what sort of impact he has on games, but not here.
MF James Milner, 7 -- Excellent again and appears to have recaptured his immaculate form from the start of the season.
FW Mohamed Salah, 8 -- Salah had the imperious Kalidou Koulibaly for close company all throughout the match, but breezed past him for the opening goal. The strength and then calmness the Egyptian displayed was truly world class.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- A nagging threat to the Napoli backline in his usual false nine role. Back to his best.
FW Sadio Mane, 7 -- He should have had a goal to show for a lively showing. Anfield couldn't believe it when he hit the side netting from yards out in the 87th minute and then put wide in injury time.
MF Naby Keita, 6 -- Added some much-needed energy when some of his teammates began to tire.
MF Fabinho, N/R -- The game was stretched and fast-paced by the time he came on.
DF Dejan Lovren, N/R -- Brought on to replace the hobbling Alexander-Arnold.