Liverpool showed quality and heart in their 2-0 home win over Napoli, and the media praised their efforts.
The Reds were impressive against the Serie A leaders on Tuesday night, more than on par with arguably Europe’s most in-form team at the moment.
Mohamed Salah scored a goal and put Jurgen Klopp’s team ahead in the 85th minute, and Darwin Nunez still had time to do the same in the final seconds.
Here’s how the media reacted to Liverpool’s victory on this positive evening.
It was a wonderful response after the defeat by Leeds…
Andy Hunter of the Guardian believes it was a victory to cherish, both in terms of Salah’s exploits and Jurgen Klopp’s confidence:
“Mohamed Salah equalled Steven Gerrard’s record by scoring 41 European goals for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s side ended their Champions League group campaign with a morale-boosting victory over Napoli.
“It was the first defeat of the Serie A leaders in any competition in 18 matches this season and a small revenge for the defeat of Liverpool in Naples at the beginning of the changed European campaign.
“Salah struck five minutes after Darwin Nunez, who came on as a substitute, deflected Alex Meret with his head on the line.
“Luciano Spalletti’s team took first place in Group A thanks to a 4-1 home victory over Liverpool, but for Klopp, who led the Anfield club for the 400th time, victory at number 249 was one of those that must be accepted, given the doubts and questions swirling over his head. the team’s form this season.”
Richard Jolly of the Independent hailed Liverpool’s reaction to the defeat in Naples:
“So, a group that started with the shock of its worst performance under Jurgen Klopp ended with Liverpool’s fifth win in a row.
“They finished it with an equal number of points with Napoli, even if this calculation may seem deceptive, Luciano Spalletti’s team was so much stronger at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium.
“Although they lost to teams that started from the last two places in the Premier League, Liverpool beat, perhaps, the two best teams in Europe this season — Manchester City and Napoli.
The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe was in a good mood, but insisted that Liverpool should not get carried away:
“Given the pedigree of Napoli, it was a notable victory in accordance with how strange this season is. Liverpool have been losing to much worse teams in the last few weeks.
“Klopp has seen enough such obvious turning points to suggest that this is more than a small step in the right direction, but the Italians are the most experienced visitors to Anfield since Manchester City.
“They suffered a similar fate — Salah benefited from Nunez’s fitness to win, which means more for morale than for qualification. Klopp will do his best considering the last few weeks.
“Klopp spent most of this match in the Champions League believing he was watching his team again.”
Several players attracted attention…
Mark Jones of the Mirror hailed the excellent Ibrahima Konate:
“When there has been reasonable talk about how Klopp has failed to develop his Liverpool team over the years, you can feel a lot of sympathy for him because three key players in this evolution have been mostly absent this season.
“Luis Diaz and Diogo Hota are still out of sight, and neither of them will be seen on this side of the World Cup, but Ibrahima Konate returned here for the first time after the 7-1 victory over Rangers and stressed why he will play a key role. play for Klopp in the future.
“The Frenchman made himself Virgil van Dijk’s main partner at the end of last season, but due to injuries denying him the chance to do the same this campaign, his team play here will be greatly welcomed by Klopp.”
BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty echoed this sentiment:
“The vulnerability of Liverpool’s defense, which is not helped by the midfield, was one of the features of their disappointing start to the season, but Ibrahima Konate showed what they lacked by confirming a place in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League.
“The 23-year-old defender of the French national team returned after the formidable attack of Napoli and showed an outstanding game, as Liverpool looked a much more reliable player than recently.
“Konate’s defensive qualities, along with Virgil van Dijk, restrained the dangerous Viktor Osimhen, demonstrating composure, speed and physical presence when Napoli experienced a rare taste of defeat.
“Indeed, Napoli were not the most destructive and knew that it would take something really special from Liverpool to turn this group upside down, but the class demonstrated by Konate illustrates exactly why manager Jurgen Klopp hopes that this talented young defender can now have an injury-free up to the end of the season.”
Jolly focused on Salah, the record holder who continues to score goals with relentless speed.:
“It was like a dead rubber until Van Dijk and Salah, Liverpool’s two best players that night, made a decisive impact.
“Salah scored in both matches, and his seventh goal in five European matches makes him the top scorer of the Champions League.
“His own continental campaign began shamefully and to no avail in Naples, but it has improved significantly since then.”
Liverpool Echo’s Ian Doyle praised Konate’s defensive axis-Virgil van Dijk:
“Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk are at different stages of their careers at Liverpool.
“However, for many, they represent the best combination in the center of defense for the near future, as the Reds hope to return to some kind of consistency in defense.
“They were together again here at Anfield for the Champions League group final against Napoli, where the Reds were still suffering from the defensive malaise that brought Leeds victory on Saturday night and ended their long unbeaten home run in the Premier League.
“The duo finished the previous campaign as a first-choice duo, reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals, and are undoubtedly second to none in terms of physical presence.”
Some also touched on another change in the construction…
Writing on Twitter, David Lynch believes that the return to the 4-3-3 system helped:
Think the return to 4-3-3 tonight was an admission from Klopp that a change of formation didn't fix things – Liverpool have to scrap to get back to their best. The only issue is how you fit Nunez in if Salah and Firmino start but, as you could see tonight, you definitely have to!
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) November 1, 2022
Finally, Mark Delgado of This Is Anfield also appreciated Klopp’s change, stressing that it didn’t always work:
“Another game, another change of form: Jurgen Klopp has returned to the future for our midweek match, returning to the 4-3-3 scheme that has served Liverpool for so long and so badly at the beginning of this season.
“It was the third different “scheme” in the last four games.
“Once again, from the very beginning there were obvious problems with the midfield: wide open spaces created problems for the passage of Napoli, and the outfield defenders were isolated in defense.
“It wasn’t a problem for Kostas, who could rival Politano in speed, but Trent remained so exposed against one of Europe’s most in-form wingers that it seemed like Hvic Kvaratskhelia was going to score or set goals every time he got the ball.
“Maybe this last rotation was an element of who was in shape and where they could best prove themselves, as well as the system that would help us win again, but now it’s three schemes over four matches following our 4-4. -2 and switch to the diamond.”