Liverpool’s poor away games performances are going to cost them Champions League knockout berth
Liverpool’s poor away games performances are going to cost them Champions League knockout berth. They have lost each of their away game at group stage. First, they had a disappointing performance against Napoli as they lose 1-0, then Red Star Belgrade shocked them notching 2-0 victory, and now PSG gave them a setback winning 2-1 at Parc des Princes.
Now, it all comes to Anfield where Reds have always been prolific in European games. They’ll have a final showdown at Anfield against Napoli in a do or die match. It’s a must win game for the Reds with better goal difference to prove themselves as they’re deserved finalist last season.
No one expect last season finalist to be knocked out of group stage. They are in a tricky situation, but they must find a way to earn themselves a knockout berth. It will be good for their reputation.
It’s not going to be easy against veteran Carlo Ancelotti’s side who currently leads group C with 9 points, but they must try. Five time European champions sit third on the points table behind PSG who also have 8 points from their matches.
There is no denying in fact that PSG is going to win their match against Red Star Belgrade and will top the group C table. But, now the sword is hanging on Liverpool and Napoli, one will have to satisfy with Europa League demotion.
However, things are still in Liverpool’s own hand. They have a home game to play but poor away games records may cost them their Champions League knockout berth. UEFA Champions League rule says that if teams are tied on points in the group stage, they are separated by the head-to-head record between the sides.
Napoli beat Liverpool 1-0 at home in the reverse fixture. If PSG beat Red Star in their final game, they’ll progress meaning Liverpool will have to deal with these situations. They must win 1-0 to take them through on their head to head record courtesy of their away goal. A win by 2-0 or 3-0 will be convenient to take them through with a better head-to-head record, but a 2-1 or 3-2 victory will get them eliminated because Napoli will have away goal advantage in head-to-head battle.
Liverpool is almost the same team with the same manager of past two seasons, but they don’t play the same football anymore. At least we can say that now. They are still unbeaten in Premier League, but they haven’t been the charismatic side, we are used to watching under Jurgen Klopp. Reds have lost some charisma and they’re not playing their attractive attacking football. They must give a final showdown in Europe before focusing on Premier League.
Anfield is obviously not going to give Napoli a very warm welcome. But, it’s Liverpool players who will have to rise on the occasion and dismantle a calm and composed Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Napoli coach has already started playing his mind games. He said that he’s not concerned about Liverpool. Veteran coach rates Serie A away game against Atalanta, more difficult than Liverpool.
He said as Goal reports, “We must go there with courage and play. Now let’s think about Bergamo, which is more difficult than Liverpool.”
He added on Napoli’s 3-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade, “I’m satisfied. We played with great intensity for 60 minutes, then there was a psychological decline, which was inevitable. The goal [for Red Star] could have been avoided immediately, but we cannot be doing maths when we go to play Liverpool. We have shown our qualities, we have an advantage that makes us proud. We are leading the most difficult group of Champions League.”