Amidst all the worrying pre-match incidents involving Liverpool fans suffering at the hands of Napoli hooligans, and the talk of Roy Hodgson’s Anfield future, a game of football broke out in the San Paolo stadium.
A weakened Liverpool side brought back a point (we correctly predicted 0-0 at 7/1) after a distinctly average game. Napoli are no world beaters, but with Liverpool’s recent form being so dismal a point was arguably the best to be expected. Although the reds extended their run without a victory to 7 games, Shelvey, Kelly, Spearing and Skrtel can all take some credit from their own performances.
The enigma that is Ryan Babel however continues to fade in to the background. Handed yet another Liverpool opportunity, the Dutchman failed to offer anything of note. His exit, the talk of the last 3 transfer windows, is surely now a matter of time.
Shelvey made his full Liverpool debut and looked like he was not suffering the same lack of confidence as most of the first time. Making strong runs forward he was a promising sign for Liverpool’s future.
The reds started brightly but were eventually pegged back, too rigid across defence and midfield and prone to allowing too many crosses to come in.
On the stroke of half time Napoli had their best chance of the game, Konchesky was on the line to clear the ball. Television replays quickly proved that the ball hadn’t crossed.
The reds best chances of the game were in the second half.
First Milan Jovanovic showed enterprise on a run forward before putting Babel in with acres of space. The player failed to lift his shot, instead sliding it across the ground for the keeper to deal with.
Shortly after a cross from Shelvey found N’gog, his clever turn and shot however was deflected across the face of goal.
The game between Utrecht and Steaua was a draw, and the reds stay top of the group with 5 points from 3 games.
The reds face Napoli again at Anfield in a fortnight.