Liverpool qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a dramatic win over Napoli last night, with a sensational goal from Mo Salah and a heroic moment from Alisson ensuring the Reds went through on what was a nervy night at Anfield.
The atmosphere inside Anfield was electric from the get-go and it helped settle the early nerves in what was a somewhat even opening 20 minutes; although Salah really should have opened the scoring after a delightful cross from Robertson but was let down by poor control.
However, Salah rectified this not long after, managing to spin Koulibaly, who was imperious throughout for Napoli and score to make Anfield erupt into a cauldron of noise. Liverpool had the lead they wanted going into half-time, with the only blight coming in the form of a Virgil Van Dijk yellow card, which rules him out of the first-leg of the round-of-16 tie in February.
The second-half was one completely dominated by the Reds and how the scoreline remained 1-0 was anyone’s guess — Mane should have scored a hat-trick if not let down by woeful finishing, while Henderson had a shot saved from distance.
The defining moment was still yet to come though. With Napoli throwing everyone forward in a last-ditch attempt, the ball dropped to Arkadiusz Milik in the penalty area in the 92nd minute and it seemed as if it would be the moment that resigned Liverpool to the Europa League.
Thanks to Alisson though, it was not to be. He produced an absolutely jaw-dropping save to spread himself and prevent Carlo Ancelotti’s side from taking Liverpool’s place in the knockout phase; even though they should have been way out of sight by this point, it still goes to show why £65m now seems like the second time Liverpool ripped off Roma for a player.
In what was probably the best performance of the season, Klopp got the game plan spot on to see the Reds through and for all the qualms beforehand, the midfield of Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum more than delivered, putting in the guile and energy that was required on a night like this.
Sitting top of the Premier League table and now into the last-16 of the Champions League, it is certainly the time to be a Liverpool supporter right now.