Liverpool defeated Napoli 1-0 at home on Tuesday to earn a position in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, keeping the English side’s hopes alive of making another deep run in the competition after finishing as runners up last year.
Liverpool managed to escape with a win thanks to a first half goal by Mohamed Salah and a brilliant save late by goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Clutch Save Sees Liverpool Go Through
In order to advance over Napoli, Liverpool needed to win against the Italian side, and the Reds came out firing. The hosts took 22 shots but were only able to get four on goal, keeping tensions high in a match they mostly dominated from start to finish.
The fact that the team only managed to net one goal nearly cost it the chance to go through. Three minutes into stoppage time, Arkadiusz Milik forced Alisson to make a point-blank save in order to preserve the clean sheet, ensuring Liverpool’s advancement.
“I’m not sure a manager was ever more proud of a team than I am at the moment,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport. “Mo scored an unbelievable goal and Ali made a save – I have no idea how you can make a save like this. Together with the crowd, together with the stadium it was just outstanding. We played an outstanding game.”
Liverpool will advance as the second team out of Group C despite being tied with Napoli on nine points, as the Reds scored two more goals in their group matches than their Italian counterparts. The group winner honors go to Paris Saint-Germain, who had little trouble dispatching Red Star Belgrade 4-1 in their final game of pool play to clinch a spot in the knockout rounds.
Tottenham Gets Critical Point at Barcelona
In Group B, a tense situation developed as Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan battled for the opportunity to advance behind Barcelona in second place. Heading into the final match day, It was Inter that appeared to have the advantage: they were facing PSV Eindhoven at home, while Tottenham had to travel to Barcelona.
Early on, both hopefuls fell behind 1-0. But a goal by Mauro Icardi appeared to give Inter the advantage in the 73rd minute, as they had put themselves in position to get a draw and finish one point ahead of Tottenham.
But minutes later, it was the English side that turned the tables. Luca Moura took a cross from Harry Kane and finished from close distance to give Tottenham a 1-1 draw. When both games finished with that score line, Tottenham and Inter were tied at eight points, but Tottenham went through 1-0 on away goals in the two matches between the sides.
Only one remaining knockout spot now remains, and that will be decided on Wednesday. In Group F, Lyon holds a two-point lead over Shakhtar Donetsk. However, the Ukrainian side will play host to Lyon for the final match, giving them the chance to advance with a win.
According to William Hill, Manchester City remains a 3/1 favorite to win the Champions League title this season, followed by Barcelona (9/2), Juventus (5/1), PSG (7/1) and Bayern Munich (9/1).