Fabinho shines against Napoli but two Liverpool stars struggle to make impact
Jurgen Klopp‘s side were stung by a controversial penalty given as Jose Callejon went over Andy Robertson’s dangling leg.
Dries Mertens, who had earlier seen an effort saved in stunning fashion by Adrian, tucked the spot kick away with aplomb.
Fabinho starred for the visitors, often snuffing out attacks before they even got close to Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
But faced with a defence marshalled by the imposing figure of Kalidou Koulibaly, the Reds’ attack stuttered.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had made peace after their tiff over the former’s selfishness in front of goal last weekend.
But with Roberto Firmino dropping deeper and deeper to get on the ball, Liverpool lacked their usual cutting edge.
Salah had a snap shot well saved after Kostas Manolas gifted him a chance but the Egyptian was otherwise quiet.
Mane had a huge opportunity to play his team-mate in on goal but badly overhit the pass on a frustrating night.
While some Kop fans were in awe of Fabino, others displayed their disappointment in the performances of Firmino and Salah in particular.
“Salah needs to pass the ball to other players in the final 3rd instead of trying to do everything,” one wrote.
“And Bobby [Firmino] need to pull up his socks, he’s way better than this”
“Fabinho is such a teacher’s pet with the whole gegenpress thing,” tweeted another. “Proper suck up, running around that much.”
“Difficult to remember if Fabinho has had a better half for #LFC than this,” agreed another.
“Salah has finally got outta Koulibaly’s back pocket then,” stated another.
While a fourth pondered: “Why is firmino taking an extra touch everytime #NAPLIV”
But another gave credit to the Serie A side, writing: “Napoli’s entire back four has been excellent.
“Mane has been sloppy and Firmino hasn’t lived up to the amazing form he’s had this season. They’ve done a great job keeping us quiet.”
Fernando Llorente added a second in injury time after a rare mistake from Van Dijk on the edge of his area.
RB Salzburg hammered Genk 6-2 in the other game in Group E.