Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: Mohamed Salah secures Champions League last-16 place
Liverpool qualify from Champions League Group C in second place behind Paris Saint-Germain
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 11/12/18 10:25pm Liverpool advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League with a tense 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute, finishing past David Ospina from a tight angle.
Needing to win to qualify, Liverpool spurned a host of chances to add to their lead, with Sadio Mane missing two glorious opportunities from close range.
That allowed Napoli to stay alive and only a point-blank injury-time save from Alisson prevented Arkadiusz Milik from scoring and knocking Liverpool out of the Champions League.
The result sees Jurgen Klopp's side finish second in Group C behind Paris Saint-Germain, who won 3-1 against Red Star Belgrade.
Both Liverpool and PSG will now look forward to the last-16 draw on December 17, having come through one of the more difficult groups in this season's competition.
In truth, Liverpool's night should have been comfortable than it was, given the number of chances they created.
They were the better side throughout, with Salah and Milner spurning early openings either side of Marek Hamsik shooting over from the edge of the box.
The opening goal arrived in the 34th minute when Salah shimmied past Kalidou Koulibaly and then finished past Ospina, who was caught creeping out of his goal in expectation of a cross rather than a shot.
Salah shot wide at the start of the second half after breaking into the box before Roberto Firmino headed at Ospina.
It looked only a matter of time before Liverpool scored again as James Milner curled wide and then Salah took the ball around Ospina, only to be denied by a flying save from the goalkeeper.
As the clock ticked down, and with Napoli only needing to score once to advance, the atmosphere grew more tense.
Mane was denied from close range by Ospina before Jose Callejon spurned Napoli's best opening when he shot over at the back post.
Mane then missed a superb chance, firing wide from an excellent position in front of goal.
That kept Napoli in the game and only a superb save from Alisson in injury-time prevented Milik from snatching a draw for the visitors that would have seen them advance at Liverpool's expense. https://www.skysports.com/football/liverpool-vs-napoli/401911