Former Premier League footballer Ray Parlour believes that Liverpool have no reason to panic despite their 2-0 defeat to Napoli in the Champions League.
A late Dries Mertens penalty and a strike from Fernando Llorente got Liverpool’s defence of their Champions League crown off to a poor start in Naples.
However, speaking on TalkSPORT, Parlour believes there were positives to take from the display, and the side will not let their heads drop despite leaving Italy empty-handed as they look to maintain their perfect Premier League record at the weekend.
He said: “It’s been a great start to the season for Liverpool – five points clear in the Premier League. I know it’s a defeat last night, but you can’t worry about that. They’re a pretty confident side.
“They’re champions of the Champions League, so they’d be confident of getting through the group, no problem.
“It’s no big deal for me at the moment. It’s a defeat, and [Jurgen Klopp] won’t be happy with that. But I thought it was a really soft penalty, and before that Liverpool were on top – they were the ones who looked like they were going to get the opening goal.”
Liverpool may be able to take heart from the fact that they know losing to Napoli won’t necessarily dampen their Champions League hopes – having lost in the same fixture last season on their way to glory in June.
That may increase the pressure on the later fixtures, though – and the next round sees them come up against Red Bull Salzburg, who hit six at home to Genk on Tuesday night.
So Parlour’s notion that they’ll feel confident of making it through the group is by no means a given – though it is difficult at this stage to suggest that either Salzburg or Genk will provide a challenge like PSG did last year, which led Liverpool to edge Napoli on goals scored just to get through the group.
And with the Reds back in action at the weekend, they have the opportunity to enter their next European fixture on a positive note – though they have to get through trips to Chelsea and Sheffield United in order to do so.
Liverpool fans – how concerned are you after the Napoli game? Are your chances of winning the group gone? Let us know by entering the discussion below!
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