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Football news - Sorry Liverpool sunk by late Lorenzo Insigne winner

Sorry Liverpool sunk by late Insigne winner

03/10/2018 at 22:03Updated 04/10/2018 at 00:27

Champions League Group C, Stadio San Paolo - Napoli 1 (Insigne 90') Liverpool 0

Lorenzo Insigne struck a last-gasp winner as Napoli moved top of Champions League Group C with a 1-0 win over a below-par Liverpool at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Reds were far from their best throughout with their front three once again failing to hit the heights that helped the Merseysiders reach the final of last season's competition.

Neither side managed to get a shot on target in a disjointed first half that also saw Jurgen Klopp's men lose Naby Keita to injury, with the Guinean being carried off on a stretcher after just 19 minutes of his Champions League debut for the club.

Naby Keita of Liverpool receives medical treatment during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between SSC Napoli and Liverpool at Stadio San Paolo on October 3, 2018 in Naples, Italy

Naby Keita of Liverpool receives medical treatment during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between SSC Napoli and Liverpool at Stadio San Paolo on October 3, 2018 in Naples, ItalyGetty Images

Napoli improved and dominated after the break with Alisson forced to deny Arkadiusz Milik's rasping drive before Joe Gomez hacked off the line.

The hosts thought they had blown the chance to snatch it when substitute Dries Mertens hit the woodwork from close range, before Insigne slid home Jose Callejon's delicious cross from the right at the death.

The result means Liverpool drop to second in the pool, a point behind the Italians and level with Paris Saint Germain on three.

The Merseysiders will need to pick themselves up quickly ahead a top-of-the-table Premier League clash with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday. Napoli, who are second in Serie A, host fifth-placed Sassuolo.

Champions League - Group Stage - Group C - Napoli v Liverpool - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - October 3, 2018 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

Champions League - Group Stage - Group C - Napoli v Liverpool - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - October 3, 2018 Liverpool manager Juergen KloppReuters

The teams are next in Champions League action on Wednesday October 24th when Liverpool host Red Star Belgrade and Napoli visit Paris Saint Germain.

TALKING POINT

Lacklustre Liverpool pay the price. The Reds are clearly not firing on all cylinders in attack. They failed to manage a shot on target throughout the entire game and are now winless in their last three ahead of the crunch meeting with the English champions at the weekend. They will be disappointed they didn't weather the second-half storm with a late lapse proving very costly. Jurgen Klopp and co know they were close to an important point but will feel they can get back into a commanding position in a tough group with back-to-back encounters with Red Star to come. There is obviously frustration that they aren't in top gear, but they will be confident of getting back on track quickly.

Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson reacts during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Napoli and Liverpool on October 3, 2018 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.

Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson reacts during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Napoli and Liverpool on October 3, 2018 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH

Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli). The match winner. A lively menace who got his reward after keeping the impressive Gomez and Van Dijk busy throughout.

Napoli's Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Napoli and Liverpool on October 3, 2018 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.

Napoli's Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Napoli and Liverpool on October 3, 2018 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

NAPOLI: Ospina 7, Maksimovic 7, Koulibaly 8, Albiol 6, Rui 8, Allan 7, Hamsik 6, Fabian 6, Callejon 8, Milik 6, Insigne 8. Subs: Verdi 6, Mertens 7, Zielinski n/a.

LIVERPOOL: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 7, Gomez 8, Van Dijk 8, Robertson 6, Milner 6, Wijnaldum 6, Keita 5, Mane 6, Salah 5, Firmino 5. Subs: Henderson 6, Fabinho 6, Sturridge n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

11' - NAPOLI CHANCE. Insigne peels off into acres of space on the left and rifles a low shot from just inside the area inches wide of Alisson's far post.

19' - KEITA INJURY BLOW. Liverpool are forced into an early change with Henderson on for the injured Guinean. The former Leipzig midfielder was carried off on a stretcher after pulling up with what looked like a back injury.

50' - NAPOLI CHANCE. Alisson makes a smart save low to his left after Milik collected Insigne's lovely flick and let took aim from 25 yards out.

Lorenzo Insigne

Lorenzo Insigne Getty Images

75' - NAPOLI CHANCE. Callejon arrives on cue to meet a deep left-wing delivery from Koulibaly but sees his cross-shot diverted away from the line by Joe Gomez.

82' - NAPOLI HIT THE WOODWORK. Mertens meets Rui's super ball in from the left, but sees his effort from close range smash back off the crossbar. Liverpool somehow survive.

90' - GOAL! Napoli 1-0 Liverpool. Insigne slides home on the stretch after Callejon carved the visitors open down the right. Liverpool are beaten right at the end.

KEY STATS

  • Liverpool didn't muster a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since February 2006 (0-1 vs Benfica).
  • The Reds failed to score for only the second time in 19 European matches.
  • Four Italian teams have won in the same Champions League Group Stage match-day for the first time since November 2005.
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