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Live Commentary: Liverpool 1-1 Napoli - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole live coverage as Liverpool and Napoli play out a 1-1 draw in their Champions League encounter at Anfield on Wednesday night.
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Liverpool have been held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli in Wednesday night's Champions League fixture at Anfield.

Dries Mertens gave Napoli the lead in the 21st minute, but Dejan Lovren earned Liverpool a deserved share of the spoils midway through the second half.

The Premier League leaders must now avoid defeat to Red Bull Salzburg on Matchday Six to guarantee their place in the last 16 of the competition.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on Merseyside courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Champions League encounter between Liverpool and Napoli. With just a point separating the two teams at the top of Group E, the winner of the game at Anfield will earn their place in the last 16 of the competition.

As the two teams make their way out on Merseyside, let's see who features in each starting lineup...


LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Alexander-Arnold


NAPOLI XI: Meret; Maksimovic, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Di Lorenzo, Allan, Zielinski, Ruiz; Lozano, Mertens

NAPOLI SUBSTITUTES: Ospina, Callejon, Llorente, Elmas, Luperto, Younes, Gaetano


KICKOFF:  Napoli get us underway!

After witnessing an exhilarating clash between Valencia and Chelsea, this game has thankfully started slowly with both teams having spells on the ball.

Napoli put together a smart move down the right-hand side, but it comes to an end when Di Lorenzo sends a cross behind for a goal kick.

We are going to have a stoppage in play while Di Lorenzo receives treatment for what was a heavy fall on his shoulder. He should be ok to continue, but that looked nasty for a short while.

We are still going through the motions at Anfield. There is very little happening at either end of the pitch. I'm sure that will change sooner rather than later.

There's half an opening for Liverpool when Koulibaly misjudges a leap for the ball with Salah, but the winger cannot take advantage as his cross goes straight into the hands of Meret.

SHOT!  Napoli break down the other end through Mertens and Lozano, but the ball eventually falls for Ruiz around 30 yards out. The Spaniard wastes no time in getting a shot on goal, but his half-volley is always heading into row Z of the Kop.

We are having another break in play, this time for Fabinho who has gone down after a coming-together with a Napoli man. The Brazilian has picked up an ankle problem, and looks in no rush to get to his feet.

Good news, Liverpool fans. Fabinho is back on and ready to continue. We still wait for our first clear-cut opportunity of the contest.

Not such good news, Liverpool fans...

Fabinho had to pull out of his first challenge after the ankle injury, and he will soon be withdrawn.


SUBSTITUTION! Wijnaldum is the player who is coming on in the place of the Brazilian.

GOAL!  LIVERPOOL 0-1 NAPOLI (DRIES MERTENS)

Dries Mertens celebrates scoring for Napoli against Liverpool in the Champions League on November 27, 2019.© Reuters


GOAL!  Napoli take the lead in controversial circumstances. Mertens looks to have fouled Van Dijk on the halfway line, but play continues. The Belgian has all the time in the world to drill the ball into the far corner on the half-volley. It's a fine finish but despite the VAR check, it surely had to be a foul. Klopp will not be happy.

We also had a check for an offside. It was extremely tight but after a three-minute delay, the goal is confirmed.

SHOT!  Van Dijk tries his luck from 30 yards out, probably out of frustration than any genuine hope. The centre-back's shot is always rising over the crossbar.

All things considered, Napoli look really comfortable here. They haven't been at their best in Serie A, but they look full of belief this evening.

We go through the half-hour mark at Anfield with Liverpool still trying to fashion out a chance. Napoli have everyone camped behind the ball and no further than 50 yards away from Meret's goal.

Robertson gives the ball away around 40 yards from goal and Napoli have three-on-three. However, the final pass is poor and Van Dijk is able to make an important interception.

Napoli try to get Mertens in behind Van Dijk again, but Alisson comes out to deal with the danger. Nevertheless, the offside flag eventually went up.

SHOT!  Liverpool win a free kick on the left and it's Robertson to take. The defender's outswinging delivery finds Van Dijk by the penalty spot, but the centre-back's header is tame and straight at Meret.

Napoli look like they want this more than Liverpool. The home side just haven't got out of first gear since kickoff. Klopp will want half time to come around as soon as possible.

Robertson commits a cynical foul close to the touchline and Ancelotti is incensed. Rather than hand out a yellow card, which would have been deserved, the referee instead gives Ancelotti a talking to!

Robertson remains in the thick of the action but on this occasion, the full-back curls a corner straight out of play. It has been one of those halves.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Elsewhere, Salzburg have gone two goals ahead against Genk. Klopp has just received a yellow card for remonstrating with the referee on the touchline.

SHOT!  Milner takes it upon himself to create a chance before the break by working his way into the area, but the midfielder's left-footed shot is saved by Meret at the near post.

HALF TIME:  Liverpool 0-1 Napoli

The half-time whistle goes at Anfield and Napoli deservedly take a one-goal lead into the break. While Mertens's goal was no doubt controversial, the visitors have stopped Liverpool playing for much of the opening 45 minutes.

A quick reminder of the two benches...

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Alexander-Arnold

NAPOLI SUBSTITUTES: Ospina, Callejon, Llorente, Elmas, Luperto, Younes, Gaetano


The two teams are beginning to make their way back out. Liverpool probably need a change of strategy but having already made one alteration, Klopp may hold fire for now.

KICKOFF:  Liverpool get us back underway!

Liverpool have had plenty of possession at the start of this second half, but Napoli win a goal kick when Koulibaly comes out on top in a duel with Henderson.

Klopp already has a number of substitutes warming up. It's a clear sign that he is not happy with this performance. Alexander-Arnold could be the next man to be introduced for Gomez.

Gomez gets down the right and then sends a cross straight out of play. The Englishman has been fine from a defensive standpoint, but he has offered little going the other way.

OFF THE LINE!  Meret fumbles what should be a routine catch and it gifts Firmino an opportunity a chance to get a shot on goal. However, while Meret remains out of position, Koulibaly gets back to clear off the line.

SUBSTITUTION! Here comes the change from Liverpool but rather than Alexander-Arnold, it will be Oxlade-Chamberlain who replaces Gomez. Henderson has seemingly gone to right-back.

Liverpool are starting to mount a bit more pressure. It's not as incessant as you would expect at this stage, but it's a considerable improvement.

CHANCE!  Big chance for Salah. Robertson is given the freedom to break towards goal before teeing up Salah, who is waiting around 14 yards from goal. However, the winger can only send a poor first-time strike straight at Meret.

CHANCE!  Now Firmino misses a fairly decent opportunity. Oxlade-Chamberlain picked out the run of the Brazilian at the back post, but he could only head wide from 10 yards out.

GOAL!  LIVERPOOL 1-1 NAPOLI (DEJAN LOVREN)

Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Napoli in the Champions League on November 27, 2019.© Reuters


GOAL!  Liverpool have their equaliser! An outswinging corner from the right finds Lovren, who rises above Mertens to power a header into the corner from 15 yards. It's a brilliant finish!

That's an important goal in the context of the group. Liverpool now return to the top, one point ahead of Napoli and three ahead of Salzburg. They will still want a winner.

Napoli are still offering very little at the other end. It might be worth Liverpool throwing caution to the wind here. Klopp looks to be holding back with his final alteration.

PENALTY APPEAL!  Liverpool have a strong shout for a penalty as Koulibaly grabs hold of Salah inside the area. However, the Egyptian doesn't look to go down, which seemingly encourages the referee to wave play on.

SUBSTITUTION! Napoli make their first change as Llorente takes the place of Lozano.

Liverpool are continuing to press forward, but it appears that Klopp is going to act on the bench. Alexander-Arnold is stripped and ready.

Napoli are definitely taking longer when it comes to set pieces and throw-ins. It looks like Ancelotti is ready to settle for a point.

SUBSTITUTION! Here comes Alexander-Arnold, who takes the place of Milner. Henderson has moved back into the centre of midfield.

SHOT!  This is ambitious from Wijnaldum, but worth a go all the time. The Dutchman is able to chest the ball down on the edge of the area before striking a volley towards goal, but the ball goes marginally wide of Meret's right-hand post.

SUBSTITUTION! Napoli make their second switch as Elmas is introduced for Mertens.

Like towards the end of the first half, Napoli have everyone behind the ball. They are certainly willing to take their chances in Genk. Liverpool are seeing all of the ball.

SUBSTITUTION! Ancelotti makes his final change, bringing on Younes for Zielinski.

Liverpool are really piling on the pressure now, and it takes two bits of last-ditch defending to keep the ball out of the six-yard box. Koulibaly has been a colossus for large parts of this contest.

Just a minute to go now. Despite Liverpool's best efforts, the atmosphere is a little flat. A second home goal would no doubt change that.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

YELLOW CARD!  Robertson goes into the book for shoulder-barging Di Lorenzo towards the advertising hoardings. There wasn't a lot in it, but it's a fair enough decision. Koulibaly also got booked for running 60 yards to argue with the referee.

YELLOW CARD!  Allan is now carded for more protests over a different decision. It's all so unnecessary...

FULL TIME:  Liverpool 1-1 Napoli

The full-time whistle goes on Merseyside and Napoli have successfully held on to earn a point against Liverpool. While the Premier League giants remain at the top of Group E, they will be at risk of going out of the competition if they lose at Red Bull Salzburg next month.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on November 5, 2019
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