LONDON (Rahnuma) Mohamed Salah scored the lone goal to give Liverpool a precious 1-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield and sent the Reds into the UEFA Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.
It was a result sufficient to lift Jurgen Klopp’s team above Napoli in the section by virtue of goals scored, with the head-to-head record and goal difference unable to separate them.
The Reds, who lost all their three away games, finished second in the group behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Salah, fresh from a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, proved a threat throughout the match and finally scored the textbook goal, his 13th of the season, in the 34th minute.
The Egyptian rolled Mario Rui’s attempt to foul him, shuffled around Kalidou Koulibaly and, from a narrowing angle on the right, knocked the ball through Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina’s legs into the far corner.
“This game was just amazing, it was outstanding… unbelievable,” said Klopp. “The boys played with their whole heart on the pitch; with each part of their body they were in that game. Our offensive defending, our offensive pressing was some of the best I ever saw.”
Liverpool, who were beaten by Real Madrid in last season’s final, will face one of the group winners when the last-16 draw is made on December 17.
Klopp said of the draw, “Until 7:55pm tonight, I was really not sure we would be in the draw still. Now we are in it, how could I sit here and ask for any team? I don’t care. We are second in the group so we will have an outstanding, strong opponent.”