Liverpool defeat in Naples: The defending champion quarrels
After the first match in the Champions League, Liverpool are under pressure. A controversial penalty gave SSC Napoli the win - and with RB Salzburg, the next opponent has already shot warm.
First of all, a bit of statistics: That a defending champion loses his subsequent first group match in the Champions League, has occurred for the last time in 1994. At that time, AC Milan lost as Champions League winner at Ajax Amsterdam. Like now Liverpool FC at SSC Napoli.
2: 0 had the Italians in the stadium San Paolo the better end for themselves. However, for Carlo Ancelotti's team it was a fortunate success, with the visitors struck by a penalty decision. In the 82nd minute, the referee saw Andy Robertson's foul on Napoli's Jose Callejon in the penalty area, Dries Mertens converted the penalty to 1-0, and Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp did not agree.
"For me it was clear and clearly no penalty," said Klopp after the game. "If someone picks you up before there's a contact, that's not a penalty for me." But: "We can not change it."
Adrian's outstanding parade against Mertens
The English had previously missed several opportunities to score goals, but also repeatedly had luck with chances of Napoli. So LFC keeper Adrian had prevented a really secure goal by Mertens with a superb parry shortly before the break. He was powerless against the Belgians penalty, as well as Fernando Llorente's second goal in injury time.
It was "an open match, we had our chances, but we did not score, it hurts," said Klopp. His counterpart, Ancelotti, was naturally happier, "We worked hard to act as one, I liked our quality, but also the ability to play ugly when we had to."
At Naples Klopp does not have the best memories anyway. With Borussia Dortmund he drew here once a defeat, as he made his anger at the time about the referee air remained in the memory. In the previous year SSC was also the group opponent of the Liverpooler - and would have forced the Klopp team almost to early retirement. SSC won the home game 1-0, losing 1-0 to Anfield. In the end, only group place three remained for the Italians.
The constellation in Group E has now become very interesting after the first matchday. RB Salzburg, which is to be called FC Salzburg in the Champions League on the basis of the Uefa regulations, took the lead after beating 6: 2 against KRC Genk and thus built up pressure on the two group favorites Naples and Liverpool. On Matchday 2, Anfield will face Liverpool's duel with the upstart from Austria - along with a reunion of Klopp stars Sadio Mané and Naby Keita with their former club.