Liverpool lost its first Champions League game since raising the trophy in Madrid last May, while Lionel Messi made his first appearance for Barcelona this season.
Napoli beat the reigning champion Reds 2-0 on a late Dries Mertens penalty, while Barca was fortunate to finish scoreless at Borussia Dortmund.
Napoli scores twice late to beat Liverpool
Napoli broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute through Dries Mertens’ penalty, but not without a bit of controversy.
Liverpool fullback Andrew Robertson was judged to have brought down José Callejón in the box, but replays showed that while Robertson whiffed on his challenge, Callejón thrust himself forward in an attempt to draw a whistle.
He succeeded either way, and Mertens made no mistake (via Bleacher Report):
Dries Mertens gives Napoli the late lead over the defending champs 💪
— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) September 17, 2019
Fernando Llorente tagged on the second goal in stoppage time, and while Liverpool looked dangerous as usual going forward, the end product wasn’t quite there.
Fortunately for the Reds, they look to be clear co-favorites with Napoli in a group that also includes RB Salzburg and Genk, although Jesse Marsch’s Austrian champions were convincing in their own right.
Champions League scores
Napoli 2-0 Liverpool
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona
Inter Milan 1-1 Slavia Prague
Lyon 1-1 Zenit St. Petersburg
Chelsea 0-1 Valencia
RB Salzburg 6-2 Genk
Ajax 3-0 Lille
Benfica 1-2 RB Leipzig
This post will be updated.
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