Liverpool FC has released the following ticket details for the Champions League tie against FC Salzburg at Anfield on Wednesday October 2 (8pm BST kick-off).
The entire stadium will be ticketed and prices are varied depending on seat location.
Over 65s: £9*-£44
Young adults: £9*-£29.50
Juniors: £9 (within the advertised family sections)
*Local general sale price
For a full breakdown of the pricing structure for this game, please click here.
Official LFC Hospitality
Please call 0151 264 2222 for details, or buy online.
Official ticket and hotel breaks
For availability and prices, click here or call 01733 224834. Thomas Cook Sport terms and conditions apply.
Match Breaks are sold on a match-by-match basis; therefore, tickets purchased via the Match Breaks will not qualify for ticket priority in future rounds of the Champions League.
Supporters enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme
Season ticket holders and Members registered in the Auto Cup Scheme must not purchase a ticket for this fixture.
Auto Cup payments are currently being processed and the processing of payments will end on Thursday September 19.
Click here for specific details including stadium access, prices and what to do if your payment fails.
Click here for details.
All other supporters
The below sales will take place online only.
Priority rights holders: From 8.15am BST on Monday September 23. For eligibility details, please click here.
Tickets will then be available to those supporters who have recorded the following Champions League home fixtures during the 2018-19 season:
Red Star Belgrade
Season ticket holders who recorded six games: From 1pm on Monday September 23.
Members who recorded six games: From 8.15am until 12.30pm on Tuesday September 24.
ONLY IF TICKETS REMAIN:
Season ticket holders who recorded five games: From 1pm until 2.30pm on Tuesday September 24.
Members who recorded five games: From 3pm on Tuesday September 24.
Tickets will be subject to availability on a first come, first served basis, and a queuing system will be in place.
Should any tickets remain, the club will provide further sale updates here.
The local general sale will take place from 8.15am on Thursday September 26.
The club reserves the right to change any sale to a controlled sale if given advice from the police or other relevant authorities.
For stadium access information, click here.
For general information, click here.
The media thought Liverpool’s misfiring attack was costly in the 2-0 Champions League loss to Napoli but noted that the defeat is far from fatal.
The defence of the Champions League crown got off to a disappointing start as the Reds collapsed to a late defeat in Italy.
Late goals from Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side left Stadio San Paolo empty-handed for the second year running.
Liverpool were punished on the night for uncharacteristic sloppiness in the final third and mistakes at the back and from VAR, but it’s now all about bouncing back positively against Chelsea.
Before the buildup to that game starts, here’s how the media assessed another off-night for the Reds in Italy.Most reporters thought Liverpool’s performance was better than the result suggests…
David Lynch, for the Evening Standard, echoed the thoughts of most reporters in noting the Reds were much improved from last season and that there were genuine positives with the overall display:
“In the aftermath of yet another defeat in Naples, it would be easy to say that Liverpool did not deliver on that specific target for the game, but that would be completely unfair.
“He won’t be happy having lost, but Klopp will take pleasure from plenty of elements of the Reds’ performance, which showed they are a far better team than at this stage of last season.”
“For 45 minutes, there was not too much wrong with their performance. They pressed intelligently, they threatened on the break and they bossed the midfield, with Fabinho in particular producing a magnificent first half.”
The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe thinks there is no shame in defeat as Napoli are a good side who could go far in the competition, and thought the altered midfield was key to the improvement:
“Napoli were unlucky not to progress at Klopp’s expense last season and they look capable of going far in the competition, beautifully balanced and boasting one of the most coveted defenders in Kalidou Koulibaly.
“The real difference between Liverpool in Naples this time and last was in midfield, however.”
Not everyone saw it this way though, with the Independent’s Miguel Delaney labelling it Liverpool’s “most tepid display of the season so far”:
“This was not just a slow start for the defending European champions, but their most tepid display of the season so far.”
Going somewhat overboard, the Mirror’s David Maddock went as far as labelling it a “depressing” defeat:
“If the performance was much better than that sorry night here in Naples a year ago, which Jurgen Klopp branded his side’s worst of the season, then the outcome was equally depressing.
“Depressing, for the fact that the Reds should have killed off the game long before that penalty converted by Dries Mertens on 82 minutes, should have secured victory even, despite a second goal deep into stoppage time for Napoli.”The media felt Liverpool’s display still lacked in certain areas – particularly in attack…
ESPN’s Harry Kettle thought the Reds were too slow in possession and didn’t counter-attack with enough pace:
“The Reds showed Napoli far too much respect on the ball and seemed far too laid back when they were in possession.
“The hosts were often able to reset themselves pretty efficiently, and one of the key reasons for that was Liverpool’s slow pace, which always ensured they were living dangerously.”
Jones thought Klopp’s side paid the price for lacking end product and becoming increasingly disjointed late on:
“The final ball, though, was lacking. Mane was denied by Meret, Mo Salah buzzed but couldn’t find an end product. Napoli defended stoutly and gave their fans reason to stay with them as the game wore on.
“Liverpool dropped off after the break, the home side exploiting the gaps which appeared as a result.”
Kettle also thought Klopp should have done better from the touchline, bemoaning that the boss was too hesitant with substitutions which gave Napoli the upper hand:
“The manager struggled to make the necessary changes, and while Liverpool showed a clearer attacking incentive in the second half, Klopp’s hesitation with his substitutions didn’t help matters.”
The Guardian’s Barney Ronay thinks Napoli may have discovered the blueprint to beat the Reds:
“From the start Liverpool were tested by a Napoli gameplan that involved breaking the press and springing forward in numbers. This will be the pattern now.”
BBC Sport’s Steve Sutcliffe rightly reserved some praise for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly for his work in thwarting Liverpool’s front three:
“Named the best defender in Serie A last term, the 28-year-old made several key interceptions and dispossessed both Roberto Firmino and Salah in one-versus-one situations.
“And he continued in that vein, patrolling behind left-back Mario Rui to snuff out the danger posed by the Egyptian’s pace and trickery. His reading of the game was exemplary throughout, ensuring he was rarely caught out of possession and was able to spring Napoli attacks.”However, the watching journalists thought there were still several positive individual displays to take forward…
“The Kop’s homegrown prince was more than a match, and this was perhaps one of his most intelligent defensive displays in a senior Liverpool shirt; throughout he got the distance between himself and Joel Matip spot on, always on hand to cover but detaching himself when the opportunity to go forwards presented itself.”
“The control he exerted over this contest, most noticeably in the first half, is why Liverpool can be confident of leaving any ground on the continent with a positive result.
“He is quickly becoming one of Klopp’s most dependable performers.”
“He received plenty of plaudits for his Super Cup heroics but here he was on another level; you could have been forgiven for thinking that he was indeed Liverpool’s £67 million No. 1.”Certain reporters noted that the opening defeat is no disaster and backed the Reds to respond…
First off, Jones does feel that Klopp has to find the solution to Liverpool’s poor away form in group stage matches:
“Klopp has solved most puzzles in his time at Anfield, but one remains. How does he get this team to win Champions League group matches away from home?
“This was the seventh his side have played, and they have won only one. They lost all three last season, including here, scraping into the last 16 courtesy of their imperious home form.”
But summing up the early situation nicely, the Mail’s Dominic King correctly assessed that one defeat changes nothing and that Liverpool are still a serious contender to retain the trophy:
“Liverpool may have lost the first battle but they remain a threat to all and have quality players with which they can go to war.
“This defeat will sting but it is certainly no reason for soul-searching.”
Lynch played down the significance of the defeat to Liverpool’s ambitions and feels the Reds have a great chance to bounce back in the next games:
“That is not a disappointment they can afford to dwell on too long, though, with three winnable group games following this testing trip to Naples.
“The Reds will fancy themselves to beat RB Salzburg at Anfield before doing the same to Genk home and away, and that combination of results will put them in touching distance of qualification. Klopp’s side know they have it in their hands still.”
Liverpool supporter Steven Allen was rushed to hospital at half-time in Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to Napoli, following an attack in the city earlier in the day.
News of Allen’s injuries filtered through midway through the Reds’ opening Champions League group game, with friend Matty Johnson taking to Twitter to describe the tie as “completely irrelevant now.”
Johnson had previously warned other fans in Naples of “assaults in cafes,” and pleaded with those in the city after Allen was hospitalised.
“Mate got assaulted before the game, got bandaged up, was told he was all sound to go the match but collapsed at half-time and was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital,” he replied to one concerned Red.
He explained that “he’s alright but he’s on his own,” alleging that “the other lads can’t get to the hospital due to being locked in” at Stadio San Paolo.
Allen was taken to the Ospedale Cardarelli Hospital, and was later visited by Liverpool CEO Peter Moore, who provided a welcome update after ensuring the stricken fan received treatment.
After initially complaining of a “distinct lack of urgency here from the police and medical staff,” Moore eventually relayed that they had proved “very cooperative.”
“He’s been seen and will be monitored throughout the night. He asked me to thank everyone for their concern,” he said of Allen:
Update to this. The hospital staff and the police have now helped Steven and been very cooperative. He’s been seen and will be monitored throughout the night. He asked me to thank everyone for their concern. https://t.co/aHxKiiXKRX
— Peter Moore (@PeterMooreLFC) September 18, 2019
Via BBC Sport on Wednesday morning, a statement from Merseyside Police detailed that “two Liverpool fans were reportedly assaulted at a bar before the match at 6pm local time.”
“They were attacked by a group on scooters and suffered cuts and grazes,” the report continued, though it is added that Allen had collapsed at Stadio San Paolo due to “significant blood loss.”
“The two men from the UK, aged 26 and 46, were treated at the scene before attending the game.”
Liverpool's eventual 2-0 defeat against Napoli rendered Adrian's earlier outstanding saves in their Champions League clash irrelevant to the goalkeeper.
The Reds kicked off their defence of the trophy with a late loss to the Serie A side in Italy, with goals in the 82nd and 92nd minutes clinching the three points.
On his first appearance in the competition, Adrian had previously made several impressive saves in his aim for a clean sheet at Stadio San Paolo.
A sprawling stop to deny Dries Mertens a certain close-range goal in the opening minutes of the second half drew particular praise for the summer signing.
But Adrian could not glean any satisfaction from his personal performance because of the ultimately disappointing outcome for the team.
“It’s my job as a goalkeeper, to try to save all the balls as much as I can and to try to help the team,” the Spaniard told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I gave my best, I tried hard. But at the end of the day we lost 2-0, so I can’t be happy.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game for us, like last season was. At the end of the game it was small details; the penalty switched the game for them totally and then we lost a bit of shape and conceded the second one.”
Asked to explain his stunning save from Mertens – who later beat Adrian from a disputed penalty to break the deadlock – the No.13 said: “I was trying to cover as much of the goal.
“It was clear he was going to strike with the first touch. I jumped, watching the ball and tried to touch it with any part of my body, in the end I touched it with my right hand.”
The result leaves the European Cup holders with work to do in Group E after Salzburg claimed a 6-2 victory over Genk and joined Napoli on three points.
More immediately, however, the Reds will resume their so far perfect Premier League campaign with a trip to Chelsea to come at the weekend.
“We are on a good run,” added Adrian. “We have won 14 games in a row [in the Premier League].
“We have to switch our minds now, we have a difficult game against Chelsea away on Sunday. [We have to] learn from the mistakes today and then turn the page.”
Last Updated: 18/09/19 7:51amVirgil van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75m in January 2018
Virgil van Dijk insists he is "not even discussing anything at the moment" regarding negotiations over a contract extension at Liverpool.
The Reds defender opened up to Sky Sports News reporter Bryan Swanson immediately after Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat away to Napoli.
It was a miserable start to the defence of their Champions League campaign, particularly with the exemplary Van Dijk allowing Fernando Llorente to steal a late second goal.Van Dijk is the clear favourite to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or after leading Liverpool to Champions League glory
On the back of reports earlier in September that he had agreed a new bumper deal at Anfield, the 28-year-old, who moved to Anfield from Southampton for £75m in January 2018, was asked if he wanted to hold talks about a contract extension.
"There is nothing going on, so that's it," he said.
Asked again about wanting to hold talks about 'any extension', Van Dijk added: "That's not on me! I saw some reports in the media that I was agreeing a new deal and stuff.Chelsea vs Liverpool
September 22, 2019, 4:00pm
"But I'm not even discussing anything at the moment. The only thing I want to do right now is focus on the games and we'll see in the future what may happen."
Van Dijk has been at the heart of Liverpool's ascent under Jurgen Klopp, playing a leading role in the club's path to Champions League glory last season and their emergence as Manchester City's main rivals for Premier League dominance.
Liverpool have made a perfect start to their domestic campaign by winning their first five Premier League games, but they face their biggest challenge so far when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Frank Lampard's Chelsea on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.Soccer Saturday Super 6
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Jurgen Klopp‘s men faced a tough test on their return to European action and they tasted their first competitive defeat since May.
Jose Callejon won a soft late penalty after an apparent ‘foul’ by Andy Robertson—with the flaws of VAR exposed once again—and Dries Mertens converted the spot-kick.
Fernando Llorente then capitalised on a rare mistake by Virgil van Dijk to rub salt in the Reds’ wounds in the dying seconds.
Fabinho (8.0) was comfortably Liverpool’s standout performer on the night, once again showing why he is one of the world’s best defensive midfielders.
The 25-year-old was particularly colossal in the first half, making numerous tackles, producing incisive passes and dominating in the middle of the park.
The Echo‘s Ian Doyle described Fabinho‘s performance as “outstanding,” highlighting that he was “so often in the right place.”
Meanwhile, Squawka lauded the fact that the Brazilian “made a match-high six tackles and completed 95 percent of his passes.”
Adrian (7.5) also impressed at Stadio San Paolo, even though he ended up conceding twice.
It was no surprise to see his remarkable save to deny Mertens talked about, with David Maddock of the Mirror hailing it as a “worldie.”
Joel Matip (6.9) took home bronze in the average ratings, as he again cut an accomplished figure at the heart of the defence.
This is Anfield’s James Nalton stressed that neither Napoli goal had anything to do with the Cameroonian: Robertson (5.3) and Van Dijk (6.4) were the guilty parties for once.
Speaking of lowest-rated individual Robertson, he endured a tough evening, with Maddock saying he was a “subdued” figure who wasn’t fully fit.
The Reds lacked a cutting edge but would have been worthy of a point at the intimidating Stadio San Paolo, only for the Group E opener to hinge on Jose Callejon being upended in the area by Andy Robertson.
Dries Mertens converted from the spot in the 82nd minute before Virgil Van Dijk lost the ball on the edge of the area in stoppage time, allowing former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente to seal a 2-0 win for Napoli.
Liverpool manager Klopp said: “When we conceded to go 1-0 down that was the game changer. We have to accept the result.
“We are really critical of ourselves but it was not a really, really bad performance, it was a game which we could have won at Napoli but we didn’t because we didn’t score.
“We wanted to have at least a point and we didn’t get that because of the penalty. I’m pretty sure there are different views on that situation but when a player jumps before there is contact then it cannot be a penalty.
“But we cannot change that anymore so that’s how it is and now we carry on, that’s it.”
The Reds’ strong appeals for a penalty against Newcastle at the weekend fell on deaf ears but they maintained their 100 percent winning start to the Premier League season by beating the Magpies 3-1.
Tuesday night’s decision proved central to the outcome but Klopp refused to be too critical of the process involving the video assistant referee.
He added: “I could say a lot of things about it but then I would look like a bad loser. I’m not the best loser in the world but I’m not bad at it.
“It was very decisive in that moment for sure but we can’t change it. As long as human beings make the decisions then there is still potential for [mistakes]. The rules are like this and we trust in the rules.”
The visitors, barracked throughout in a hostile atmosphere in Naples, lost the corresponding fixture between the sides last season en route to being defeated in every group stage game away from Anfield.
The Merseysiders managed to pip Napoli to the knockout stages by virtue of goals scored and went on to lift the European Cup for the sixth time in their history.
Klopp believes Napoli are more than capable of going all the way this season.
He added: “They can win the competition. If you have a good plan and good players, which they obviously have, then they can win the competition. We experienced that.
“You don’t have to be the best team in the world to win the Champions League. You have to be there in the right moments and you have to be lucky in some situations.”
Napoli counterpart Carlo Ancelotti welcomed Klopp’s assessment of his side as potential winners.
“But there is still a very long way to go. Our first objective is to try to get through to the knockout stages.”
Ancelotti shied away from talking about the penalty award, preferring to focus on his side’s display.
He added: “It wasn’t all perfect but just when it seemed all was lost and Liverpool had taken complete control of the game, the team were very orderly and very switched on and they never lost sight of the game plan.
“The two goals came from rather curious and unusual circumstances but ultimately I’m very happy with how we played.”
Last Updated: 18/09/19 6:23am0:51 Jurgen Klopp was frustrated at Napoli's penalty with the Liverpool boss saying 'as long as humans are involved in VAR there is still potential for failure' Jurgen Klopp was frustrated at Napoli's penalty with the Liverpool boss saying 'as long as humans are involved in VAR there is still potential for failure'
Jurgen Klopp was less than pleased with the penalty decision which helped Napoli to a 2-0 win over his Liverpool side in their Champions League group stage tie on Tuesday night.
Jose Callejon went down in the Liverpool box under minimal pressure from Andrew Robertson, but the well-placed referee gave a spot-kick, and the VAR official decided against overturning the decision.
That allowed Dries Mertens to open the scoring from 12 yards, in a game Liverpool had otherwise been largely comfortable in, and in the dying moments, they added a second goal to seal victory in Naples.
"For me, it's clear and obvious, no penalty, because Callejon jumps before he has any contact," Klopp said. "But we cannot change that so we have to be critical with ourselves. We did well in a lot of moments, we played a lot of good football but we didn't finish off.
"In the second half, we had this wild game, we were running, they were running. They've killed everybody on the pitch, started controlling again and then we've conceded a penalty.Goals by Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente condemned Liverpool to defeat
"Of course that doesn't help and I've seen it now, I don't think that's a penalty."
Klopp was also unhappy with his misfiring forward line, whose link-up play was far below their usual standard and forced only two real saves out of Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret across the 90 minutes.Chelsea vs Liverpool
September 22, 2019, 4:00pm
"We controlled it in moments, but we had not enough chances in the end," Klopp said. "What you saw was a lot of respect from both sides, we both defended well and each ball we lost, or they lost, was immediately a threat.
"The last ball is the most difficult ball anyway, and if you are not in the right circumstances it's even more difficult. And so there were moments when we should have done better, for sure."Soccer Saturday Super 6
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Jürgen Klopp felt Liverpool’s performance merited more than a defeat after they went down 2-0 to Napoli in their Champions League group-stage opener in Italy on Tuesday night.
The Reds suffered a first reversal of 2019-20 as their defence of the European Cup began with a loss at Stadio San Paolo courtesy of late goals from Dries Mertens’ penalty and Fernando Llorente’s stoppage-time strike.
Afterwards, Klopp explained why there were elements of his team’s display that were positive in what was a hard-fought encounter against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Read on for a summary of what the manager told his post-match press conference.
On his thoughts on the result and his side’s performance…
It was much more of a game than last year when we played here and lost 1-0. We had a lot of good moments; I think we controlled the game in a lot of moments, we had a lot of interceptions, we won the ball and had counter-attacks. Both teams showed a lot of respect for each other, very compact, defended well and that’s how you play a game against a strong side, to be honest. It was really hard work for both teams. The second half was a bit [more with] wilder moments - counter-attack, counter-attack and then lose the ball when you are in the box and then have to run back. Then we started to control the game again and then we conceded the 1-0 and that was the game-changer tonight.
We have to accept the result and we do that. We are really critical with ourselves but it was not a really, really bad performance; it was a game which you can win at Napoli, but we didn’t because we didn’t score and that doesn’t work then really. You want to then have at least a point and we didn’t get that because of the penalty. I am pretty sure there are different views on that situation, but when the player jumps before there is contact it cannot be a penalty. We cannot change that anymore, so now we carry on. That’s it.
On the decision not to consult VAR for the penalty…
Look, I said last week after the Newcastle game if it would have been decisive then I could have discussed it. Now it was decisive, and I could say a lot of things about it but I would look like a bad loser and I am not. Maybe I am not the best loser in the world, but I am not bad. It is a decision made by human beings. I think when you see the pictures it is clear. What can I say about it? It was very decisive in that moment for sure, but we cannot change it anymore.
On how far Napoli can go in the Champions League this season...
They can win the competition, that’s how it is. If you have a good plan, if you have good players, which is what they obviously have, then they can win the competition. We experienced that you don’t have to be the best team in the world to win the Champions League. You have to be in the right moment, you need to be lucky in some situations and when there’s only two guys in the room that think it’s a penalty you still have to accept that’s a penalty, but that’s all. They can win the competition, of course.
On whether Napoli were fresher and finished stronger because they started their season later than Liverpool...
Tonight the questions are really a challenge, to be honest. I think the guy from Sky Italia asked me or told me Napoli was much better than us. I didn’t see that game, so I don’t know exactly where he was when the game happened. But now you say we were tired. Who had the cramps? Who was on the ground? Liverpool players or Napoli players? After the 2-0 they looked fresher than us, after the 1-0 they looked fresher than us - that’s normal. You have a boost. But there was no fresher team on the pitch. There was no physical problem apart from the normal physical problems in a game like this, which is very intense [because] both teams fight hard and all that stuff. It’s not a physical problem tonight. We have to finish the situations off. How everybody is in life, you need positive moments and you can run forever. We didn’t have really positive moments tonight. They obviously got the second air, so they could go again. That’s normal, but that was not the reason.
On whether this result will be decisive in terms of the group...
I hope it is not decisive. Give us at least a few more games to change the table. In the moment it looks like Napoli’s through, but we still will be playing. We will not stop.
Liverpool suffered defeat on their return to Champions League action on Tuesday, with Napoli prevailing 2-0 at Stadio San Paolo.
* Video via BT Sport; geographic restrictions may apply.
Champions League, Stadio San Paolo
September 17, 2019
Goals: Mertens pen 82′, Llorente 90+2′
The Reds headed to Naples as European champions but were left with a stinging feeling not felt since the 3-0 loss at Barcelona in May.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side performed far better than they did in last season’s game in Italy, but unfortunately, they still return home empty-handed.
A soft-looking late penalty was awarded after Andy Robertson was adjudged to have fouled Jose Callejon, with VAR once again very much under the microscope.
Dries Mertens fired past Adrian to open the scoring—the Liverpool goalkeeper had earlier made an outrageous save—and the game quickly got away from the Reds.
A rare mix-up in defence between Virgil van Dijk and Robertson then allowed Fernando Llorente to put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
The result is no great disaster, however, with Klopp’s men still expected to progress into the knockout stages later this year.
And next up in the Champions League is a home clash with Red Bull Salzburg, who thrashed Genk 6-2 in their Group E opener, including a hat-trick from prolific teenager Erling Braut Haaland.
Jordan Henderson accepted there were areas for Liverpool to improve on as they were beaten 2-0 at Napoli but expects the right reaction from his side.
The Reds’ Champions League defence began with a loss against the Serie A team after late goals from Dries Mertens, via the penalty spot, and Fernando Llorente.
Jürgen Klopp’s men had opportunities of their own at Stadio San Paolo and Henderson rued the ‘final bit’ lacking for Liverpool to take something from the tie.
The captain said the players will identify the improvements required and look to bounce back quickly, with Chelsea next up in the Premier League.
“I felt we played some good stuff, it was just the final bit I felt we were missing today,” he told BT Sport after the final whistle.
“At home Napoli are a good side and they are going to create some good chances. You’ve got to be prepared to defend as a team, which I felt we did.
“We won some great balls in midfield and counter-attacked really well, but it was just that last little bit – and obviously the mistakes for the goals – that we need to improve on.
“Overall, we can be better of course. We’ll take responsibility, we’ll move forward and try to react in the right way.”
Digital Football JournalistChampions League holders beaten in Naples for the second season in a row
Last Updated: 18/09/19 6:23amLiverpool suffered a frustrating night in Naples
Late goals from Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente earned Napoli a 2-0 victory as Liverpool made a slow start to their Champions League defence.
For the second season in a row, Jurgen Klopp's side were beaten in the group stage in Naples - they lost 1-0 last October - and it was more sloppy defending which saw the Group E game slip away from them in the final minutes.
The Reds had defended stoutly against some sustained pressure from the home side, but were unlucky to be punished when Jose Callejon skipped inside of Andy Robertson before making the most of minimal contact with the Liverpool defender and, when a VAR review failed to give the visitors a reprieve, Dries Mertens took full advantage to beat Adrian from the spot.
"For me it's clear and obvious, no penalty, because Callejon jumps before he has any contact," an unhappy Jurgen Klopp complained after the game.Chelsea vs Liverpool
September 22, 2019, 4:00pm
As Liverpool pushed for a late equaliser, Fernando Llorente doubled the lead during added-on time after a rare Virgil van Dijk mistake, profiting when the defender's mis-hit pass ran into his path and he slotted the ball home to spark wild celebrations on the home bench.
Victory was sealed - and the reigning champions of Europe had been beaten in the first game of their defence for the first time since AC Milan in 1994.Liverpool defence gets off to a whimper
Liverpool were hoping for better than their limp showing at the Stadio San Paolo last season, but found themselves caught out on the break early on when, as they would have feared, Lorenzo Insigne found space in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold. But from his pull-back Fabian twice pulled simple saves out of Adrian from a good position.
Liverpool responded when Jordan Henderson's lob found Sadio Mane unmarked on the edge of the box, but his heavy touch took him wide of Alex Meret's post and, from a tight angle, it was simple enough for the goalkeeper to turn his effort round the post with his legs.Player ratings
Napoli: Meret (7), Di Lorenzo (6), Koulibaly (8), Manolas (6), Mario Rui (7), Callejo (6), Fabian (7), Allan (7), Insigne (6), Lozano (6), Mertens (7).
Subs: Zielinski (6), Llorente (7), Elmas (6).
Liverpool: Adrian (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (6), Van Dijk (5), Roberton (6), Milner (6), Henderson (6), Fabinho (7), Salah (5), Firmino (6), Mane (5).
Subs: Wijnaldum (5), Shaqiri (n/a)
Man of the match: Kalidou Koulibaly
There was little more to shout about from either side before the break although it took a last-gasp challenge from Alexander-Arnold to take the ball off Insigne's foot as he prepared to shoot.
The second half did not take so long to liven up. It was less than four minutes old when Liverpool were indebted to a world-class save from Adrian to stay level, with the goalkeeper somehow tipping over Mertens' far-post header when he looked certain to score.
When the visitors did get chances to attack, their front three looked out of sorts; it was summed up when Mane hung onto the ball too long as Liverpool broke before over-hitting a simple pass across to the unmarked Mo Salah.Goals by Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente condemned Liverpool to defeat
Liverpool were left to rue those misfiring attacks when Callejon took a late tumble under pressure from Robertson, the referee pointed straight to the spot and Mertens found the bottom corner, despite a commendable effort from Adrian.
It was already looking like a case of deja vu for Liverpool at this point, but things got worse in added time when Van Dijk's uncharacteristic error set up Llorente, who had been in the defeated Spurs squad in last season's final, to slot under Adrian and seal three points for the hosts.'Not a typical Liverpool performance'
Former Liverpool defender Phil Babb told The Debate:
"It was comfortable, they created chances, I think they had four on target which was an improvement from last season when they only had one. But it wasn't a typical Liverpool performance; we didn't see Andy Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold bombing forward.
"Sadio Mane looked sharp, Mo Salah looked sharp at times, they did create chances but it was a masterclass from Kalidou Koulibaly - he was like the Virgil van Dijk of last season, and Liverpool got no joy out of him. It was a couple of sucker-punches.
"After that Adrian save, you thought 'yeah, coming out of this 0-0, it's a good point', but unfortunately they lost it."Opta facts
Chelsea host league leaders Liverpool on Renault Super Sunday - live at 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 4.30pm.
The Reds' next Champions League game is at home to Red Bull Salzburg, who thrashed Genk 6-2 in their opening game, on October 2.Soccer Saturday Super 6
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Liverpool began the defence of their Champions League trophy with a 2-0 defeat at Napoli on Tuesday evening.
Dries Mertens' 82nd-minute penalty and Fernando Llorente's injury-time finish settled the Group E opener at Stadio San Paolo.
The Reds came closest to scoring a minute prior to half-time through Roberto Firmino's header as goalkeeper Adrian produced a string of excellent saves throughout the match.
Jürgen Klopp's side will now look to respond in the competition when they welcome Salzburg to Anfield on October 2.
Andy Robertson overcame a minor knock to start the game as Klopp made three changes, with Firmino, Jordan Henderson and James Milner all starting.
Backed by a noisy crowd, Napoli came close to breaking the deadlock after seven minutes, but they were denied by a brilliant double save from Adrian.
The Spaniard was quickly down low to his right to palm away back-to-back powerful efforts from Fabian Ruiz. Hirving Lozano nodded in the rebound from the second, but was correctly flagged for offside. Virgil van Dijk was then alert to clear Ruiz's threatening pull-back across goal.
Liverpool, though, looked particularly threatening on the counter-attack with their pace in the final third.
A clipped ball from Fabinho gave Sadio Mane a sighting of goal as his drilled shot was diverted for a corner by Napoli stopper Alex Meret. James Milner then fired over to kick-start an encouraging spell of pressure for the visitors.
The Reds very nearly punished the hosts with a rapid counter. After a Napoli corner was cleared, Mane cleverly slipped in the advancing Milner, who spotted Salah waiting free at the far post. However, the No.7's pass across goal was cut out just in the nick of time by Kostas Manolas.
From the resulting corner, Firmino glanced a header agonisingly wide to close out an absorbing first half.
Once again, a half started with a terrific save from Adrian. Mertens found space at the back post and volleyed Mario Rui's cross towards goal from a tight angle.
But Adrian managed to shuffle across and somehow tip the ball over the crossbar with an outstretched right hand that ensured his side remained on level terms.
The fast-paced tempo to the encounter continued well after the break. In the 65th minute, it was the turn of the opposing goalkeeper to produce a fine stop.
Salah pounced on Manolas' botched clearance and his effort from the left-hand side of the box looked to be heading into the far corner of the net until Meret's intervention.
The Napoli No.1 was called into action again less than 10 minutes later when a good one-two between Firmino and Mane allowed the latter to get a shot away at goal.
But like last season's trip to Naples, there was to be some drama late on. Robertson was adjudged to have tripped Jose Callejon inside the 18-yard box, with referee Felix Brych subsequently pointing to the spot.
Adrian managed to get something on Mertens' spot-kick but could not keep it out.
Liverpool were unable to find a late equaliser and conceded a second when substitute Llorente pounced on a loose ball before slotting home.