Jurgen Klopp insisted that Liverpool’s failure to secure an early qualification for the Champions League Last 16 changes nothing after their 1-1 draw with Napoli.
Napoli took the lead when Dries Mertens fired a well-taken finish past Alisson Becker, before Dejan Lovren levelled things up in the second half with a bullet header.
The draw means Liverpool will have to wait until the last matchday of the group stage before they can book their place in the Last 16 – with a trip to RB Salzburg in December to be decisive.
Klopp told BT Sport: “In [the Napoli] dressing room they feel like they are already through and maybe they are. Everybody here thinks, ‘Oh my god, it will be tough’ and it will be tough, that much is clear.
“The way Napoli set up, it didn’t help that they scored, they could follow their plan all the time, we had to increase pressure all the time. We were not brilliant but we put pressure on them.
“I was not happy with the last 15 minutes of the first half. Second half it was just intense and of course it’s not easy, they really defended the goal they had.
“We didn’t have the biggest chances, maybe one or two. For tonight it might not be enough but it’s still our situation. When we go to Salzburg, if we had done it tonight we would try to win there, so it’s still our goal.
“They closed the centre so we needed to come from the wing. The plan is one thing but the boys have to execute it, and they crossed too early. We take that, it was always a hard one.
“The biggest thing is the Fabinho injury, that’s massive. It’s early and we all hope it’s not too serious but it’s pretty painful and in an area you don’t want to have pain, around the ankle.”
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