Football Features

Koulibaly on top form: Full player ratings as Napoli hold Liverpool to keep Group E open

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:13, 27 November 2019

Liverpool and Napoli played out a 1-1 draw on Wednesday evening, keeping Champions League Group E open.

Dries Mertens gave Napoli a first-half lead but Dejan Lovren equalised for the home side after the break.

Liverpool sit top of Group E with one game remaining and need to avoid defeat against Red Bull Salzburg to secure a last-16 space while Napoli must do the same against Genk.

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:

Liverpool

Alisson – 6 – Might have been expected to do better against Mertens shot but there wasn’t much he could do, such was the quality. Was relatively untested otherwise.

Joe Gomez – 5 – The Englishman was defensively solid but wasn’t great going forward.

Virgil van Dijk – 8 – Took a knock to the hip in the build up to Mertens’ goal and was unable to chase back to prevent Liverpool from going behind. Recovered to help steady the ship for Liverpool in his usual manner.

Dejan Lovren – 8 – Caught out by Van Dijk’s absence in the build up to Mertens’ goal and couldn’t keep up with the Belgian forward. Equalised with a good header beating Mertens in the air, breathing life into the Anfield crowd. Another good game in defence.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – Got forward quite a lot down the left flank, combining well with Mane to pin Napoli’s right side back. Looked the more likely to create a winner as the game went on.

Jordan Henderson – 7 – Had a decent first half and was moved to right-back after Gomez’s substitution where he added something different to Liverpool’s side.

Fabinho – 5 – Didn’t have enough time to impose himself on the game, having to be taken off before the 20-minute mark with an injury.

James Milner – 7 – Another solid performance in midfield and provided a peach of a corner for Lovren’s equaliser. Ageless.

Mohamed Salah – 4 – Looked ready to hurt Napoli in the opening stages but was very quiet for the rest of the game, struggling up against Koulibaly.

Roberto Firmino – 5 – Battling up front, but unable to produce anything in the first half. Denied a goal by a wonderful clearance after half-time but it was a frustrating evening.

Sadio Mane – 6 – Attacked well but left a lot to be deserved with his final ball, struggling to create. Completing a largely uneventful night for Liverpool’s front three.

Substitutes:

Georginio Wijnaldum¬†(for Fabinho 19) – 7 –¬†Quietly good in midfield, misplacing just three passes.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain¬†(for Gomez 57) – 7 –¬†Immediately added freshness to Liverpool’s game and produced a nice cross for Firmino to head wide.

Trent Alexander-Arnold(for Milner 78) – 6 –¬†Caused Napoli late problems with his delivery.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

Napoli

Alex Meret – 6 – Did his job well to keep Liverpool out in the first half, proving unbeatable. Was fortunate not to have punished for a mistake 10 minutes into the second half, making a mess of a cross. Well beaten by Lovren’s powerful header.

Nikola Maksimovic – 5 – Had a tough night up against Mane and Robertson and was unable to contribute much going forward.

Kostas Manolas – 8 – Helping to force Liverpool to shots from outside the area, protecting Meret’s goal. A really good game from the centre-back.

Kalidou Koulibaly – 9 – Looked to be in for a long evening after being put on the floor by Salah but recovered well to hold strong. Goal-line clearance to save Meret’s blushes when Firmino looked like he had equalised. Colossal.

Mario Rui – 8 – Did really well to nullify Salah throughout.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 6 – Produced a lovely pass to Mertens for the opening goal, capitalising on the gap in Liverpool’s defence. Could have done a bit more defensively to help Maksimovic and was really quiet after half-time.

Fabian – 7 – A no-nonsense performance in the middle of the pitch, calmly allowing Napoli to pass through him on their way up the pitch.

Allan – 7 – Did well alongside his midfield partner to frustrate Liverpool and sat back when Napoli looked to hold onto the point.

Piotr Zielinski – 4 – Struggled to have much impact on the game.

Hirving Lozano – 4 – A really quiet game.

Dries Mertens – 6 – Put Napoli ahead with a wonderful effort, beating Allison from a narrow angle. A constant threat on the break in the first half. Fell asleep at a corner allowing Lovren to equalise and didn’t add much to threaten Liverpool after half-time.

Substitutes:

Fernando Llorente¬†(for Lozano 72) – 5 –¬†Didn’t really do anything to test Liverpool.

Elif Elmas¬†(for Mertens 81) – N/A –¬†A late sub.

Amin Younes¬†(for Zielinski 85) – N/A –¬†A late sub.