I can’t remember the last time Liverpool made things easy for themselves, seriously. The Champions League has a great history for us and Jurgen Klopp took us to another final last season, but we lost to Real Madrid.
The team played some excellent football all the way to the final, and it seemed we were set to expand on our pressing football this season.
Things were never going to be easy when we were handed a group with Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, but after our 3-2 win over the French side in our first game, we looked set to progress easily.
However, things don’t happen easily for us. We just lost our third away game in the group, the first time that has happened in the Champions League, and the pressure is on us to get the right result on 11th December.
It is pretty simple, to be honest, Liverpool need to beat the Italians 1-0 or with a two-goal margin. Napoli recorded a 1-0 win at Naples early on but we have scored more goals than the Italians in the group, and just need to avoid a one-goal margin win with them scoring.
Of course, we have looked poor in Europe except against PSG in the first clash and the home tie against Red Star.
The loss against the Serbians away was the shocking result. Had we picked up the three points in that clash, a draw against PSG or even Napoli in our final group games would have been enough to take us into the next stage but as things stand, we need some inspiration.
Anfield is made for such European nights
This isn’t the first time we are under such pressure to perform in the Champions League. We all remember Steven Gerrard’s winner over Olympiakos during our winning run in 2005, and the Greeks had actually scored a goal.
The legend came up with a fantastic goal and we might need something similar like that again. Liverpool have dealt with such problems under Jurgen Klopp too. We all remember that Europa League win over Borussia Dortmund with Dejan Lovren scoring the late winner.
Last season in the group stage we needed a win on the last day against Spartak Moscow, and we battered the Russians 7-0.
Expecting a similar result against Napoli is a little extreme but we have the capability to get things done.
Klopp has had a tough time with some of our away games but our Premier League form has been excellent. Its just some of our game plans don’t work well, like playing a trio of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum in the midfield.
There is no creative threat and that was exploited well by PSG on Wednesday.
Big games coming up for Liverpool
Everton are up next for the Reds in a Merseyside derby and the crowd for that game has to be at their best. We have two low key clashes against Bournemouth and Burnley before the Napoli game at Anfield.
The Reds face Manchester United after the Italian tie, and hopefully, we will be planning for the Champions League knockout round rather than thinking of getting knocked out or even worse, playing in the Europa League.