Defending champion Liverpool starts 2019-20 campaign with a 0-2 loss against Napoli. Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente got the goals as Napoli capitalised on rare errors from Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk
Napoli: Dries Mertens (82″, Penalty), Fernando Llorente (90+2″)
Liverpool: No score.
???? TEAM NEWS ????
How we line up for our first #UCL game of the 19/20 campaign ????
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 17, 2019
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) September 17, 2019
Dries Mertens converted a penalty eight minutes from the end of an entertaining match after a foul by Andy Robertson on Jose Callejon.
Substitute Fernando Llorente then sealed it in stoppage time to gain a measure of revenge after playing on the Tottenham side that lost last season’s final to Liverpool.
“Napoli are a good side and you have to defend as a team which I felt we did,” Reds skipper Jordan Henderson told. “The mistakes for the goals, we need to improve on. Overall we can be better, we take responsibility and try and react the right way.”
Jurgen Klopp’s side are the first winners of the competition to lose the opening game of the following campaign since AC Milan in 1994.
Head to Head
Jurgen Klopp – “Yeah of course, it should hurt,” he says, upon asked if he’s fed up by the defeat. “There were opportunities to win this and it was much better than in the last game [against Napoli in this stadium last season] when we lost in the last minute.”
Asked about the concession of the goals, he seems fairly matter-of-fact. “We started controlling a wild game in the second half and then we conceded a penalty,” he says. “I saw it again and it’s clear and obvious to me that Callejon jumped before he was touched. But there’s nothing we can do about that.”
He goes on to say that “we had not enough chances at the end, to be perfectly honest” and bemoaned his team’s uncharacteristically poor decision-making in the final third. “We made these decisions that were not right tonight and that was what led to the result,” he said. “It was often the final ball that was not right, but it’s difficult because of the intensity of the game. There were moments when we should have done better, for sure.”