CLOSINGS: View Closings

Champions League: Liverpool advance as Alisson, Salah star against Napoli

A Liverpool fan favorite who emerged last season combined with a new goalkeeping hero in the Reds' 1-0 win o...

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 12:20 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 12:20 PM

A Liverpool fan favorite who emerged last season combined with a new goalkeeping hero in the Reds' 1-0 win over Napoli that sent the 2018 finalist into the Champions League knockout phase.

Mohamed Salah netted a hat-trick in the English Premier League last weekend against Bournemouth and while he didn't replicate the feat Tuesday -- he could have given his chances -- the Egyptian scored the lone goal in the 34th minute.

Football (Soccer)

Soccer events

Sports and recreation

Sports events

UEFA Champions League

Continents and regions

England

Europe

Liverpool

Mohamed Salah

Northern Europe

Sports figures

United Kingdom

Jurgen Klopp

Read: Was Ronaldo's bicycle kick greatest goal ever?

Read: Reus back from the brink, again

Summer signing -- from Roma -- Alisson then bailed out the host in injury time, stopping substitute Arkadiusz Milik in what was easily the visitors' best opportunity at Anfield. Beating Napoli and also qualifying for the last 16 could be worth as much as $13.8 million to Liverpool.

"What a goal from Mo, and the save Ali made -- I have no words for that," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told reporters. "I am very proud of the boys tonight.

"I'm still full of adrenaline. This game was just amazing. The boys played with their whole heart. Our defending and pressing was some of the best I ever saw."

The Reds knew they needed to win by a 1-0 scoreline or two clear goals on the final match day to advance instead of Napoli if Paris Saint-Germain beat last-place Red Star Belgrade away -- which it did 4-1 -- and indeed Liverpool claimed second in Group C on goals scored.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

Out went Napoli's 12-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

"We started well, but then we started making many mistakes in the middle due to their high pressure," Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti was quoted as saying by UEFA. "The second half was tactically messy, we absolutely needed a goal. It's true they missed many chances on the counter, but we also could have scored."

Only four spots remained in the round of 16 heading into the final match day and now there is only one.

Another English team goes through

Another Italian side was trumped by English opposition as Tottenham grabbed second place in Group B at Inter Milan's expense. Former PSG midfielder Lucas Moura scored in the 85th minute for Spurs in a 1-1 tie at group winner Barcelona, while Inter could only draw last-place PSV 1-1 at home.

Inter needed to better Tottenham's result to progress but in the end departed on head-to-head away goals.

"Congratulations to the players, I think they were fantastic -- massive effort," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, the former boss at Barcelona's city rival Espanyol, told BT Sport. "So happy for our fans who were here and our fans in London and around the world. It's a massive, massive achievement for the club."

Tottenham's task was made simpler when Barcelona didn't start five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi. Rather he entered as a 63rd-minute sub.

There has been much talk in England about how Liverpool's front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have yet to find last year's scintillating form but Klopp's side lead the Premier League without suffering a defeat and ultimately got the result it required against Napoli.

There was thus more woe for Ancelotti against Liverpool -- guiding AC Milan in 2005, he saw the Reds overturn a 3-0 deficit to win the Champions League final. AC Milan and Ancelotti, however, did top Liverpool in the final two years later.

Mind you Liverpool made it nervy for the home fans by wasting opportunity after opportunity Tuesday. Of 22 shots, a mere eight were on target.

It all started in the seventh minute when marauding left-back Andy Robertson found Salah with a wonderful cross in front of goal. Salah didn't get the first touch he wanted and the ball fell safely to keeper David Ospina.

Napoli's only other decent chance, besides Milik's effort, probably came in the eighth minute when club legend Marek Hamsik curled his effort over the bar.

James Milner's header flashed wide and teammate Mane saw his goal rightfully crossed off for offside in the 22nd.

Read: USA, Sweden in same group at women's World Cup

Read: Atlanta wins MLS Cup

Alisson and Virgil van Dijk have been colossal for Liverpool since joining from Roma and Southampton, respectively, this year but Napoli felt the central defender should have seen red when his follow through caught forward Dries Mertens in the ankle. He was given a yellow instead.

Salah shrugs off defenders

Salah struck moments later when he shook off two defenders and poked the ball through Ospina's legs from a tight angle.

And in the second half, the chances kept on coming for Liverpool, with Salah shooting wide when in alone, Firmino depositing his header straight at Ospina and the Colombian keeper foiling the Egyptian twice in the same sequence.

In between Mane squandering two seemingly can't-miss chances in the dying minutes, Alisson denied Milik before a follow-up was ruled out for offside. Again it appeared to be the correct call.

No wonder Alisson received a big hug from Klopp at the final whistle.

"(Alisson) has been fantastic for Liverpool and for us," van Dijk told Liverpool's website. "He gives confidence to everyone."

The final qualifier will come on Wednesday, either Lyon or Shakhtar Donetsk from Group F. But it will be difficult to match Tuesday's drama in what was another memorable European night at Anfield.

Huntsville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 68°
Florence
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
Fayetteville
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 247587

Reported Deaths: 3131
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36376562
Davidson31748337
Knox1273889
Rutherford11893114
Hamilton11758109
Williamson710256
Sumner6114110
Wilson469059
Putnam444056
Montgomery421756
Out of TN407935
Madison378079
Sullivan376346
Bradley358723
Washington347651
Sevier335122
Blount334336
Maury330737
Robertson261441
Hamblen246448
Tipton236723
Dyer223732
Unassigned22063
Gibson216244
Hardeman189833
Coffee189425
Obion178822
Trousdale17758
Greene175052
Bedford170920
Fayette169225
Dickson169119
Anderson168814
McMinn164036
Loudon162311
Lawrence161820
Cumberland161025
Wayne16007
Weakley156126
Carter155633
Jefferson155521
Monroe146228
Warren143910
Lauderdale143617
Henderson141626
Hardin139720
Macon134325
Roane13027
Franklin129519
Haywood129527
Overton122717
Hawkins120925
White118814
Johnson11507
Carroll114826
Marshall113810
McNairy112927
Rhea111118
Cheatham106011
Cocke105814
Campbell103012
Bledsoe10174
Smith99113
Lake9853
Giles96936
Fentress91611
Lincoln8973
Crockett86820
Hickman80315
Henry79611
Marion7739
Chester73214
DeKalb73217
Decatur66311
Grainger6114
Grundy57011
Union5433
Claiborne5266
Polk51113
Jackson4525
Humphreys4504
Morgan4437
Houston42017
Benton4199
Unicoi4183
Cannon4152
Clay40613
Lewis4033
Scott3845
Sequatchie3462
Stewart33111
Meigs3276
Perry3082
Pickett2747
Moore2692
Van Buren2071
Hancock1193

Community Events