Football News

Mohamed Salah’s record-equalling goal helps Liverpool achieves a first this season vs Napoli

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:25, 1 November 2022

Liverpool did what no other team has managed to do this season as they beat Napoli 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the game knowing that it would be a tall order for them to finish top of Group A, needing to beat Napoli by at least four goals, so instead it appears they went for the option of simply ruining the party.

Napoli were on a 13-game winning streak ahead of the match and had been aiming to become the 11th team to win all six of their group stage matches. Following a very close first half, Napoli thought they had taken the lead just after half-time when Leo Ostigard headed home Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s free-kick.

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It was an excellent cross from Kvaratskhelia, who showed flashes of his brilliance at Anfield, which evaded the Liverpool defence but after a long VAR check the goal was ruled out for offside as Ostigard was shown to be just ahead of the last defender.

The non-goal sparked the game into life and both sides stepped things up, but for a long time it still looked as though the game would end goalless. That was until the 85th minute.

With Liverpool pushing for the win, to bounce back from their defeat to Leeds at the weekend, the Reds were awarded a corner. The ball into the box was dangerous and Darwin Nunez tested Alex Meret with his header, which was just about kept the right side of the line. But Meret couldn’t keep hold of the ball, allowing Salah to stab it over the line, with the goal awarded via the referee’s watch.

It was Salah’s seventh Champions League goal of the season, moving him one clear at the top of the Golden Boot standings and also the fifth consecutive match in which he had found the net in the competition, the first time the Egyptian had achieved such a run. Another spill from Meret in injury time allowed Nunez to double Liverpool’s lead, but it still wasn’t enough for top spot.

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As mentioned, it also brought Napoli’s first defeat of the season in their 18th match which had brought 15 victories, with Liverpool doing what the likes of AC Milan, Lazio and AS Roma had failed to do.

“To win against one of the best teams in the world, one of the best coaches in the world, is always a good feeling but we just need to carry on,” Salah told BT Sport.

“It’s a good result for us hopefully it will give us more confidence and we just need to focus now in the cup and the league.

“I think it’s important that we won today. We played a good game, we were quicker on the ball and recovered the ball quick too. We aren’t doing great in the league, but this will push us and then hopefully we can win more.”

Salah has now scored 41 goals for Liverpool in European competitions, the joint-most in the club’s history, moving alongside Steven Gerrard. And Michael Owen believes Liverpool answered a couple of questions.

“It’s a good night in the end for Liverpool,” he said on BT Sport.

“A lot of pressure during the week, a lot of questions during the week and I think they answered a lot of them today. Even though the game was a bit of a dead rubber for them.”