Mohamed salah pounced on a David Ospina error and Alisson performed a surprising last-gasp save, as Liverpool knock Napoli out of the Champions League.
The Partenopei would be guaranteed a place in the round of 16 if they avoided defeat here, however even a 2-1 or 3-2 loss could be enough. Simone Verdi was the sole absentee for the visitors, whereas Dejan Lovren was only on the bench, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster and Adam Lallana disabled.
There were early possibilities for either side, as Mohamed Salah’s initial touch on a Robertson cross was awful, turning a tap-in into a pass back to David Ospina. At the other end, Marek Hamsik curled inches over the bar from the edge of the box.
Virgil van Dijk was lucky to only get a yellow card after his studs-up tackle caught Mertens on the ankle, as with var in Italy that would’ve been a straight red.
Sadio Mane had the ball in the back of the net only when he had wandered into an offsides position. Kalidou Koulibaly also made a decisive tackle on salah to prevent him going clear.
Liverpool did take the lead when salah shrugged off Mario Rui and David Ospina moved too quickly, assuming it was a pull-back from the by-line, however instead he fired in at the close to post and it squirmed past the goalkeeper’s legs.
Napoli created 2 sensible opportunities, however were too frenetic with Fabian Ruiz straight at Alisson Becker and a four-on-two counter wasted.
There was bad news from Belgrade too, as Paris Saint-Germain were leading 2-0 at the break.
Mario Rui gifted the ball with an unadvised back-heel flick and salah solely drilled inches wide. Napoli were gushing forward and forced Van Dijk into a decisive block, but Ospina required a double miracle to fingertip the ball off Salah’s foot, then come back to on his feet to beat away the curler.
It was finish to finish stuff, as Napoli knew they required a goal, and Ospina uses his legs to parry from Mane from point-blank range and van Dijk volleyed a corner over at the rear stick.
Jose Callejon wasted a golden chance on 78 minutes, as Insigne rolled it past the defenders to find Callejon at the far post, however the spaniard prodded it over the bar.
Mane managed to do even worse, ballooning over from close range on a salah pull-back. Insigne should also have done better on a poor trent Alexander-Arnold clearance, but fired over.
In stoppages, a cross was flicked on for Arkadiusz Milik, who controlled with one foot, shot with the opposite and Alisson Becker used himself as a human shield to charge down the finish from point-blank range.
Liverpool 1-0 Napoli
Salah 34 (L)
Liverpool Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Lovren 89), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Hendersen, Milner (Fabinho 85); salah, Firmino (Keita 79), Mane
Napoli: Ospina; Maksimovic, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Callejon, Allan, Hamsik, Fabian (Zielinski 62); Mertens (Milik 67), Insigne
Ref: Skomina (SVK)