Reactions to Origi’s stunning goal in Liverpool Champions League win

Divock Origi etched his name in the history books after his stunning 87th-minute dagger that all but assured Liverpool victory in the UEFA Champions League final yesterday.

Origi kissing his medal
The player kissing his medal

He commented about the victory saying,

‘We done it. First, it’s about the team but I’m happy I could play my part. You see all these fans and it’s a special day for Liverpool.’

Some of the comments about his heroic goal are below;

The Tactical Times; According to infogol, Divock scored with just 4% probability of a goal. A sublime finish.
Alex Mansfield; Joel Matip’s first assist for Liverpool. Divock Origi’s second left-footed goal for Liverpool, first since December, 2016.
LFC USA; 🎶 Let’s talk about six, baby 🎶. 🎶 Let’s talk about Origi 🎶
Diced Pineapple; We need to build Origi a statue in Liverpool! Poor Coutinho🤣🤣🤣
LFC Torres; Minutes per Goal or Assist 2018/19: Messi – 55.1 minutes, Origi – 74.8 Minutes, Ronaldo – 88.9 Minutes. The best three players of our time shining again
Laurie; Give me a better comeback story than Divock. Loaned out, no appearance until November, and has now scored key goals against Everton, Newcastle, 2 against Barca and a Champions League final.Fuck a lifetime contract, build him a statue.
Simon Hughes; Jürgen Klopp, a choker. Jordan Henderson, rubbish captain. Mohamed Salah, one-season wonder. Divock Origi, Wolfsburg. Liverpool: European champions. From Madrid. With love.

Liverpool beat Tottenham in UCL final
Liverpool beat Tottenham in UCL final

MM ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐; DIVOCK OKOTH is a bigger club legend than Torres and Suarez now lool
Dr. Kelechi Anyikude; If Origi was being abused by Liverpool fans the way some arsenal fans abuse their players, he won’t be scoring in the Semi-Final and Final, FACT.
Bottom line “Support Your Players” 🙏
Matt Thielen; *A sentence I never thought I’d say* I’ll tell my children and grandchildren about the legendary season that was Divock’s 18/19 campaign.
The African Dream 🏴; AFRICAN SONS Dazzling🌟 in EUROPEAN FOOTBALL⚽ Bravo👏👏👏👏 to Kenya’s🇰🇪 Divock Origi and Egypt’s 🇾🇪 Mohamed Salah both playing for Liverpool in the #UCLfinal 2019.

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Liverpool are the most hated team in Premier League – Study


  • Unofficial study has found Liverpool are the most disliked Premier League team
  • There are 50 chants sung about Jurgen Klopp’s side with Spurs in second
  • Championship outfit Leeds United have 117 chants sung about them, study says

Liverpool are the most disliked team in the Premier League, an unofficial study has found.

Website FanChants has found that from an archive of over 26,000 chants more are sung about Jurgen Klopp‘s side than anyone else in England’s top-flight.

There are 50 chants sung about Liverpool, finally seeing them come out at the top of the Premier League. Their Champions League final opponents, Tottenham, are second with 42.

Manchester City are third with 39 while their neighbours have done enough to secure a top four finish with 34 chants about them.

Outside of the Premier League it’s Leeds United who run away in top spot overall. There are 117 chants sung against the Elland Road club, who were beaten in the Championship play-off semi-finals by Derby last week.

Liverpool have the chance to end the 2018-19 season with some silverware in eight days’ time. They take on Spurs in the final of the Champions League in Madrid on June 1.


Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Aubameyang share Premier League Golden Boot award

– Mane scored twice as Liverpool defeated Wolves 2-0 on the final afternoon

– Aubameyang also netted two goals as Arsenal won their last game at Burnley

– They enabled them both to draw level on 22 goals with Liverpool forward Salah

– Sergio Aguero, who celebrated title with Manchester City, was one goal back

mo slaha and daughter
Mo Salah and daughter

The Premier League Golden Boot for leading goalscorer will be shared between Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after all three finished on 22 goals.

Liverpool forward Salah went into the final afternoon leading the way but was pegged back after his team-mate Mane scored twice in their 2-0 win over Wolves that proved not enough to win the title.

Aubameyang scored twice in Arsenal’s 3-1 win at Burnley to take his place at the top of the leaderboard.

mo salah lifts daughter
Mo Slaha, wife and daughter

It is the first time three African players have shared the award.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero scored in their title-clinching 4-1 win at Brighton but will have to settle for second spot in the Golden Boot race with 21 goals.

Though Salah finished the season with more assists than his two rivals, this isn’t taken into account so all three will share the honour.

Indeed, a beaming Aubameyang was presented with his accolade after being presented with it at Turf Moor.

salah mane and aubyemang

It is the third time this has happened in Premier League history – Chris Sutton, Michael Owen and Dion Dublin shared it in the 1997-98 season and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, Michael Owen and Dwight Yorke were tied in 1998-99.




Liverpool beat Newcastle in thrilling game to put pressure on Man City

Substitute Divock Origi’s 86th-minute header earned Liverpool a 3-2 win at Newcastle United on Saturday to send them two points above Manchester City and keep their Premier League title bid alive.

The race to secure the final two Champions League qualification places looks likely to go to the final weekend after Tottenham Hotspur again slipped up, losing to a last-minute goal at Bournemouth while having two men sent off.

Cardiff City’s 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace ensured they were relegated along with Huddersfield Town and Fulham, who lost 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers, while West Ham United brushed aside Southampton 3-0.

Liverpool have 94 points and Manchester City 92 but Pep Guardiola’s City have two games remaining, including Monday’s home match with Leicester City.Liverpool have just their final day home game with Wolves remaining but the result means the race will go down to the wire.

Virgil Van Dijk headed Liverpool in front in the 13th minute, but seven minutes later Newcastle drew level through Christian Atsu.

Liverpool restored their lead in the 28th minute when Daniel Sturridge, starting in place of the injured Roberto Firmino, back-heeled the ball from the corner to Trent Alexander-Arnold and the full-back’s cross was expertly turned in by Mohamed Salah.

Managed by former Liverpool boss Rafe Benitez, 14th placed Newcastle drew level nine minutes after the break when the visitors failed to clear a corner and Salomon Rondon’s brilliant fierce left foot drive beat the helpless Alisson Becker.Then, with their talismanic forward Salah carried off on a stretcher with a head injury and facing a massive blow to their title hopes, Origi rose at the near post to head in a Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick and give Juergen Klopp’s side the victory.

A win for Spurs at the Vitality Stadium would have secured a top-four slot ahead of next week’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Ajax Amsterdam.

But, after losing at home to West Ham United last week and then going down to the Dutch side in midweek, Mauricio Pochettino’s side failed to fire again and went down 1-0 after Nathan Ake struck in injury time.

Son Heung-min was first to be sent off for pushing Jefferson Lerma just before halftime with Juan Foyth shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle on Jack Simpson two minutes after coming on at the interval.

Spurs stay third on 70 points, four points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who have two games remaining. But Pochettino’s side know victory in their final game against Everton will see them qualify, with Chelsea and Manchester United also capable of securing a top-four slot.

“It is very painful to play with two players less than the opponent,” Pochettino said.

“We need to move on. We cannot change the decisions. We have ahead two finals against Ajax and Everton. It is in our hands. If it does not happen we will be proud because nobody expected Tottenham to be in the position they are today.

“We are fighting (five) teams, it is impossible for all six to get the top four, whatever happens I will feel proud and whatever happens in the (Champions League) semi-final I will be proud.”

Spurs also had to contest with a fine Premier League debut from 19-year-old goalkeeper Mark Travers, who was in inspired form for the hosts with a string of fine saves.

Cardiff never seriously looked like securing the win they needed to stand any chance of staying up, with Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend scoring the goals for Palace, who won for the fifth time in six away league games.The result confirmed Cardiff’s relegation after one season for the second time in five years. It was also manager Neil Warnock’s third top-flight relegation after also going down with Notts County in 1992 and Sheffield United in 2007.

At Molineux, Leander Dendoncker’s 75th-minute volley against Fulham moved Wolves a step closer to possible European football next season.

The Midlanders will be guaranteed to finish seventh in their first season after promotion if Leicester fail to beat Manchester City on Monday. Wolves would then need City to beat Watford in the FA Cup final to secure a place in Europe for the first time in 39 years.

The one bright spot for Fulham was Harvey Elliott, who became Premier League’s youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 30 days when he came on after 88 minutes.

Marko Arnautovic scored twice for West Ham — his first goals for four months — as the home side completed a routine 3-0 win over Southampton. Ryan Fredericks rounded off the scoring with his first-ever Premier League strike.


Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Mo Salah scores sensational 30 yard stunner



– Liverpool secured a vital win in their quest for the Premier League title by beating Chelsea at Anfield

– The home side got the breakthrough when Jordan Henderson found Sadio Mane with a chip to the back post

– Mohamerd Salah then fired a sensational driving shot from 25 yards into the top corner to put hosts in control

– Eden Hazard missed two great chances to reduce the deficit but was denied by both the post and Alisson

The only place to start is the 53rd minute. Liverpool had just taken the lead in a game of huge importance when Virgil van Dijk switched play out to the right flank.

There, waiting, was Mohamed Salah. His control was perfect and a deft touch enabled him to drift past Chelsea left back Emerson; his next touch, though, threatened to carry him into the path of Jorginho. So here he was, 30 yards from goal, on angle, with Blue shirts crowding in.

mo salah 30
Mo Salah: Salah kissed the turf after showing his match-winning qualities for Liverpool in a hugely important fixture in the title run-in

Where some see difficulties, others see opportunity. No prizes for guessing which option Salah chose. Back came his left foot and shot of such ferocity was unleashed that it had arrowed beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga before he had started to dive. It brought pandemonium to Anfield.

‘Wow!’ Jurgen Klopp said simply, with a telling smile. ‘It blew me away.’ Liverpool’s manager was not alone in being left dumbfounded by what he saw. It was a glorious and the moment needs such a description because it may yet turn out to be the pivotal incident in what is the highest quality title race the Premier League has ever seen.

Chelsea are deeply troublesome opponents for Liverpool and they arrived on Merseyside in the mood to be menaces, just as was the case in April 2014. They caused plenty of problems, not least the wondrous Eden Hazard with his balletic grace and glorious touch.


Liverpool thrash Bournemouth after recent slump

Liverpool has got its swagger back. The team that has had a rough stretch this past month has now got its mojo back.

It was Roberto Firmino’s backheel that told you the swagger was back. Obviously, the finish was from Mohamed Salah and that was more decisive. But it was the back heel which made it and indicated that some of the old synchronicity had returned.

Firmino is a centre forward who can be outstanding without scoring and this was one of those afternoons. And this was the moment was when his all-round understanding and anticipation of his team-mates came close to telepathy

The move to play in the Brazilian had also been a thing of beauty, Sadio Mane finding Naby Keita whose long range pass was perfectly weighted. And that in itself was an improvement on recent games. This was Jürgen Klopp hitting all the right notes of his heavy metal football: controlled yet rapid changes of tempo to dislocate the opposition.
Firmino might have taken the shot himself, though the angle was narrowing as Nathan Ake pushed him ever wider. But he sensed something behind him. Or he just knew that Mohamed Salah would be sprinting to join the attack.

And so, selflessly and instinctively, and whilst running at speed with no chance to check, he back heeled the ball and it fell directly into Salah’s path. Bournemouth had already been on the back foot now but the angles of attack had changed in an instant and they were completely discombobulated. And they had the Egyptian bearing down on goal, with a free hit. The conclusion was inevitable

‘I don’t think you find a lot of players who do what Bobby is doing in that moment,’ said Jurgen Klopp. ‘Most of them try to shoot and get blocked and he is doing that little pass ….’ At this point Klopp just chucked at the audacity of it. ‘That little, little pass,’ he continued, with his enormous grin. ‘And then Mo is obviously a pretty cool finisher.’

We were but two minutes into the second half and Bournemouth could headed home at that point. Any-half time reorganisation, any motivational words from Eddie Howe were lost in the ether at that moment. Three-nil down to a rejuvenated Liverpool, the contest was as good as over.

Salah, as Klopp said, was ‘pretty much un-defendable’ and ‘outstanding.’ Yet it was more than that. This was the response that Liverpool’s fans had yearned for after two draws, one shaky win, one narrow one and a defeat in the last five games.

‘We are very self-critical,’ said Klopp. ‘It was clear that we were not happy with the two performances or even two of three games. There are always reasons for it, but we cannot speak too much about it in public because it always sounds like you are going for excuses. But the analysis has to be sensible. You have to talk about the right things with the boys and we did that. And that was the reaction we wanted to show today and the boys did that in an outstanding manner. So I’m really happy.’

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Mohamed Salah risks losing Liverpool the title with his diving antics

Every time Mohamed Salah dives, he risks costing Liverpool the Premier Leaguetitle.

His tumble against Crystal Palace was the second time in the last month that Salah has gone down too easily.

He won a penalty against Newcastle on Boxing Day after going to ground theatrically following the slightest of touches from Paul Dummett.

If he keeps diving, he risks being hit with a two-game FA ban. Liverpool only need to slip up twice to put Mancester City back in the title driving seat.

Without Salah’s firepower, would Liverpool have won the topsy-turvy game against Palace? This match proved that Klopp needs his main man available for every game.

When Salah stays on his feet, he is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League.

I love the way he is capable of blowing away teams at will. It would be a travesty if it is simulation, not his goalscoring, which ends up settling the most thrilling title race for years.

Salah’s diving comes at the end of a week in which Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was branded a cheat for spying on opponents’ training sessions – 11 Championship clubs have complained.

If we really want to do something about cheating in our game, why not crack down on diving? When Salah dived against Newcastle, the FA did not take action.

It was deemed that it did not meet the threshold for ‘attempting to deceive the referee’. If that was not a dive, then what is?

Until football gets to grips with this, we will see more of the same from players like Salah.


Liverpool maintain EPL lead in slim and tough fought Brighton win

Call it a blip. Or a dip. Or a slump. Or a wobble. It doesn’t matter any more. Whatever it was, it’s over. Beaten in the Premier League by Manchester City and knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves in the last nine days, Liverpool ground out a dour win on the south coast against a well-organised Brighton team who had not lost in four games.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fluent but it doesn’t matter. All that mattered was that Liverpool proved they weren’t going to weak at the knees at the first sign of adversity. All that mattered was that they rebounded. All that mattered was the three points.

‘It’s like when you fall from the horse,’ Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said after the game. ‘The best way to ride again is to get straight back on the horse. We didn’t make a big fuss of it when we lost. I’m completely happy with the way we did it and now we have moved on.’
They are seven points clear at the top again now, at least until Spurs play Manchester United on Sunday afternoon and City face Wolves at the Etihad on Monday evening. If any of their pursuers were expecting a Liverpool collapse, the victory at the Amex will have cooled their ardour.

Klopp’s side was far from its best but his players dealt with the pressure well. They knew it was vital to avoid dropping more points as City watched for more signs of vulnerability and they did the job. It wasn’t an exhibition of flowing football but Klopp didn’t care.

‘We are not the Harlem Globetrotters,’ he said. ‘We have to deliver results. It was not easy because Brighton are doing very well.’

The 1-0 victory was won with a penalty from Mo Salah after he had bamboozled Pascal Gross in the area early in the second half and been pulled down but it was built on another titanic display by Virgil van Dijk, who was described by Mats Hummels before the game as the best defender in the world. ‘It’s nice when these guys compliment each other,’ Klopp said. ‘That’s cool.’

Van Dijk’s command in the air and his composure on the floor was the foundation of Liverpool’s win even though the Brighton fans preferred to give the credit to referee Kevin Friend for his award of the penalty and a perceived bias towards the league leaders. ‘One-nil to the referee,’ they sang towards the end but Liverpool didn’t mind. The ship has been steadied.

Before the game, Klopp had reacted with amusement to talk of a crisis because his team had suffered two successive defeats. Until the turn of the year, he pointed out, people had been telling him Liverpool had built an unassailable lead in the league.

‘Nothing happened,’ Klopp said. ‘Each team in the world can lose at Man City. So we spoke about why, what we did, what happened, what we could have done better – of course, but that’s how we do it always. And then we moved on.’

Liverpool came close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute when Fabinho, playing as a makeshift centre half, spread a long pass wide to Andy Robertson on the Liverpool left. Robertson is one of the best crossers of the ball in the league and his curling pass was measured for Roberto Firmino to run on to, only for the Brazil forward to slice it wide from six yards out.

Brighton kept their opponents at bay until midway through the half when Liverpool’s pressure almost told again. The move started, as many of Liverpool’s had already done, with a perfectly judged chipped pass from Van Dijk to Robertson and the ball was worked across the face of the Brighton box to Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right.

There had been suggestions that Alexander-Arnold had sprained an ankle in the warm-up and that his participation in the game was in doubt but he showed few signs of discomfort as he turned inside Gaetan Bong and curled a left-foot cross into the box. Xherdan Shaqiri rose to meet it and glanced it towards David Button’s right hand post but it flashed just wide.

It was a rare headed chance for either side. Much had been made before the game of the aerial dominance of both defences. Shane Duffy had made 91 headed clearances this season already before the game began, the most of any defender in the league. Van Dijk had won more aerial challenges than any defender in the league. It was no surprise that high balls into the box yielded little joy.

Liverpool began the second half with more conviction and Salah went close after a mistake from Dunk had ceded possession. It was a short reprieve. Four minutes after the interval, Mane played the ball into Salah in the box and he turned past Gross.

As Salah shaped to shoot, he was brought down from behind by Gross and Mr Friend pointed to the penalty spot. Salah’s movement in the box is so sharp he has won a succession of penalties recently and when he stepped up to take it, he dispatched it confidently past Button, who guessed the right direction but was beaten by the pace of the ball. Brighton pressed for an equaliser as best they could but Liverpool were always able to keep them at arm’s length.

‘I thought we played well against the best team in the country,’ Brighton manager Chris Hughton said. ‘They are at the top of the table so that speaks for itself. They are in pole position and I think they are favourites.’

When the final whistle blew, Klopp turned to Salah, who had been substituted a minute earlier, and wrapped him in a bear hug. Liverpool have momentum again. The blip is over.

Daily Mail

Dominant Liverpool thrash Arsenal in 5-1 win

Four years ago, in the spring, Liverpool fans gathered five and 10 deep on Anfield Road to greet the coach carrying their players to the ground before matches. The swell began near the King Harry pub, where the road curves to the left and up a small hill and the numbers grew and grew as the bus rolled past the junctions of Tancred Road, Coningsby Road, Sybil Road and Alroy Road.

The supporters cheered and yelled and stood on walls and shinned up lamp-posts and found whatever vantage point they could. On the coach, the players watched and wondered at the fervour they had unleashed. Smoke from flares turned the world red. Brendan Rodgers, the manager at that time, filmed some of the scenes out of his window. He still has the footage on his mobile phone.

Those days are coming again. That fervour is building again. We all know how it ended in 2014, we all remember Steven Gerrard’s slip, but when Liverpool smashed five goals past Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday night, they moved nine points clear at the top of the Premier League and their new dreams of paradise rediscovered could be suppressed no longer.There is still a long, long way to go and Manchester City, who Liverpool play at the Etihad on Thursday night, are far too good for anyone to pretend that the title race is going to be anything other than a hell of a fight. Liverpool have fallen away before, as their detractors will continue to remind them in the weeks and months ahead.

But there is a curious feeling that the chips are falling Liverpool’s way. Before the game, the stadium announcer read out with relish the news of Tottenham’s defeat by Wolves at Wembley, and Liverpool and Arsenal fans alike filled Anfield with cheers. Liverpool have not played at their fluent best many times this season and yet they remain unbeaten.

Liverpool have momentum at their back and emotion filling their sails and Jurgen Klopp’s energy surging through them and history beckoning them towards their first title for 29 years: every team that has been six points clear at the top of the Premier League at the turn of the year has gone on to lift the trophy.

Everybody can feel it. Everyone knows how much it would mean to this team, which used to be the gold standard for clubs in England and Europe to measure themselves against, to be the champions again. That will be the greatest obstacle in their way: that it will mean too much. That the pressure of a goal so desired will crush them as it did in 2014.

Klopp is keenly aware of that. He is already weary of questions about the title and after the match, he made it obvious he considered them absurdly premature.

‘It’s a marathon we are running,’ he said, ‘and before the marathon, the weather is brilliant, new trainers, new shirt and people say “you could win today” but we have to run. And all the people around are buzzing and you have to run. That’s what we try to do.’

What Klopp cannot banish, even with his humour and his eloquence, is the fact Liverpool are closer now to the title than they have been for a long time. Their lead says that. The manager’s experience also says that a blip will come and that that will be when we find out if his side has the mental strength to stay the course.

Liverpool were irresistible against Unai Emery’s side. Some of their attacking play was breathtaking. A few highlights: Xherdan Shaqiri’s ball with the outside of his left foot that should have led to a goal for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino’s body swerve in the mesmerising run that led to the second goal of his hat-trick, Salah’s delicate touch to set-up Sadio Mane’s strike.

If you want a measure of how completely Arsenal were outplayed, despite having the temerity to take an early lead, consider this: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who went into the game as the league’s leading scorer, only had seven touches in the first half and four of those were kick-offs.

Six minutes had gone when Liverpool demonstrated the confidence that is flowing through their team with a move that went from one end of the pitch to the other. First of all, they beat the Arsenal press effortlessly, showing complete command of the ball in their own penalty area and then advancing seamlessly up the pitch.

Dejan Lovren chipped one pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold from his own box that would have felt like a risk for any side that is not having the season Liverpool is having. Arsenal’s initial energy exhausted, Liverpool moved the ball forward to Mane, who turned beautifully past his marker and played the ball into Firmino. His goalbound shot was flicked wide by Salah but Liverpool’s intent was clear.After that beginning, though, Liverpool displayed their fallibility. First Fabinho played a dreadful square ball that was picked off by Alex Iwobi, who ran at the Liverpool defence and brought a decent save out of Alisson, diving low to his right.

Three minutes later, Van Dijk, who has been rightfully lauded as one of the best defenders in Europe, played a loose ball out of defence that was picked up, once more, by Iwobi.

Iwobi advanced down the left and curled a beautiful cross behind the Liverpool defence and into the path of Ainsley Maitland-Niles who slid in to tap it into an empty net.

Anfield was stunned. It was the first time Liverpool had been behind in a league game since their match with Leicester on December 30 last year.

They did not allow the shame to linger. Firmino played a ball in to Salah on the edge of the box and as Stephan Lichtsteiner tried to clear the ball, he kicked it against the backside of Shkodran Mustafi and the rebound ran to Firmino who lashed it in from close range.

Within two minutes, Liverpool were ahead. Lucas Torreira, Arsenal’s attack dog, lost the ball as tamely as a pussycat in the centre of midfield, and Firmino drove at the Arsenal defence.

When Sokratis and Mustafi came to meet him, Firmino slalomed past them both and placed the ball neatly past Bernd Leno. Anfield erupted.

Liverpool’s uncertainties were stilled now. After half an hour, they went further ahead. When Arsenal cleared a corner, Andy Robertson retrieved it and smashed a 40-yard crossfield ball to Salah on the edge of the box. Salah met it with a cushioned sidestep into the path of Mane, who rifled it into the roof of the net.

Arsenal tried to hit back and Maitland-Niles on the Arsenal right was a constant threat but as the clock ticked over into first-half injury time, Liverpool put the game out of reach.

Alisson volleyed a driven pass to Salah on the right wing that Michel Platini would have been proud of and the Egypt forward, criticised by some for going down too easily against Newcastle on Boxing Day, tumbled again under the clumsy challenge of Sokratis, who failed to get the ball but was still outraged when Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. Salah smashed the penalty down the middle.

Mane and Salah wasted chances to put Liverpool further ahead after the interval but 15 minutes into the second half, another penalty turned a drubbing into a rout. Sead Kolasinac was penalised for a shove on Dejan Lovren and Firmino completed his hat-trick by sending Leno the wrong way with his spot-kick.

Daily Mail

Liverpool through to last 16 after fraught win over Napoli

The great European nights of Anfield folklore have usually had a goal scorer’s name written in lights next to them.

David Fairclough against St Etienne in 1977. Steven Gerrard against Olympiakos in 2004 and Luis Garcia against Chelsea four months later. And there are others. Now, after another breathtaking night of Champions League football on Merseyside, there is a goalkeeper to talk about too.

If Liverpool’s last Champions League campaign ended in goalkeeping calamity for Loris Karius in Kiev, this one was given the kiss of life by his replacement, the Brazilian Alisson at the Anfield Road End in the third minute of added time.
Napoli had been largely outplayed by Liverpool here. Only poor finishing by Jurgen Klopp’s team had kept their lead down to the single goal scored by Mohamed Salah in the first half.

But it was always likely that the Italian side would get one chance. It is usually the way in games like this and Carlo Ancelotti’s team had looked dangerous on the break all night. They were too good a team not to give themselves at least one puncher’s chance at glory.

The problem for Liverpool was that when it came, it came so late that there would have been no way back. And it did look for all the world as though the big Napoli substitute Arkadiusz Milik was about to end Liverpool’s interest in the competition at a surprisingly early stage.

Liverpool’s central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip had been excellent all night, almost faultless. Van Dijk, booked early, was absolutely magnificent on the whole.

But here three Liverpool players were attracted to the ball as a cross arrived from the right. That is the kind of thing that panic can do. And when the ball arrived at the feet of Milik on the edge of the six-yard box he controlled it perfectly to present himself with his chance.With the ball bouncing up nicely after his first touch, Milik did absolutely nothing wrong. The contact with the right instep was perfect and measured. The ball was on its way in to the net. It had to be a goal, it just had to be. Liverpool were on their way in to the Europa League.

But Alisson knew that he had only one chance. The odds were against him but if he made himself big then the gods may favour him.

So he did and they did. The ball struck him on the thigh and rebounded up in to the air. Milik tried desperately to retrieve a lost cause with an overhead kick as the ball dropped but the chance had gone and with it the game. It really was the most extraordinary end to a superb game, a contest kept on the knife edge all night not only by Liverpool’s failure to kill it but also by the complex mathematics that preceded it.

Liverpool knew, for example, that 1-0 would take them through but 2-1 wouldn’t. So even as they pressed for the second goal in a second half they dominated, they knew that just one strike from their talented opponents would do them like a stiletto through the shoulder blades.

Against that background, it was no surprise that this was a nerve shredder. Liverpool were terrific, they really were.There was a 20 minute spell at the start of the second half that saw Klopp’s team press and hurry Napoli with such ferocity that memories of last season’s destruction of Manchester City and Roma at Anfield came flooding back.

The only difference was that they didn’t score the glut of goals we have become used to. Salah gave them the lead in the 34th minute, turning away from Mario Rui, darting in to the penalty area past Kalidou Koulibaly and beating goalkeeper David Ospina at the near post.

It was a brilliantly taken goal that came in a half that Liverpool had dominated territorially without making too many opportunities that were clear.

Napoli had been dangerous on the counter and had created a couple of chances of their own. From the very start the Italians looked as though they could find a way to the Liverpool goal if they really had to.

But in the second half it was different. Liverpool played with a greater tempo, their transition and final pass were better and had their finishing been of the same standard then they would have eased away in to the distance.

Ospina – once of Arsenal – saved point blank from Sadio Mane and was also equal to a diving header from Roberto Firmino and a low drive from the improving Jordan Henderson. He should not, though, have been given a chance by Salah who dragged one chance wide of the near post and tried to take the ball round him on another occasion only to overrun it on the back of what may have been slight contact from a defender.

Van Dijk also missed a golden opportunity, slicing a volley in to the Kop from inside the six yard box after Liverpool had worked a free-kick nicely from the right side. At that point there were only a few minutes left and it seemed increasingly likely that something dramatic would happen at the other end.

When Napoli’s right-sided forward Jose Callejon spooned a very good chance over the angle of post and bar it seemed that the big moment of the second half had indeed come and gone. Callejon should have scored as it was practically an open goal.

But it turned out that there was still something left, something even more dramatic. Milik will wonder how he missed but the fact is he didn’t. He was denied. There is a difference,

Daily Mail