Liverpool slumped to a 1-0 loss at Napoli on Wednesday thanks to a 90th minute winner from Lorenzo Insigne, a result that sees them drop to second in Champions League Group C, level on points with Paris Saint-Germain.
Mohamed Salah‘s quiet game for the Reds was a key reason they came up short, as the winger was well-marshalled by Napoli’s defenders and barely had an impact on the game.
Here’s a closer look at his performance.
Goals – 0
Shots – 2
Assists – 0
Passing Accuracy – 72%
Touches – 36
Dribbles – 0
Dispossessed – 3
Salah took up his familiar berth on the right wing but never got going on Wednesday, delivering a subdued performance in which he was the most ineffective player on the pitch.
It was not for a lack of trying, but this was a night where nothing came off for the Egyptian as the Napoli defenders had the measure of him. He put in a fair amount of effort defensively, but couldn’t contribute in the way Liverpool needed him most.
When a player is having a poor game, the most anyone can ask for is that he continues to put in the effort. Salah’s work rate was commendable, as he remained a diligent part of the Liverpool press, and chased down whichever Napoli player had the ball in his area.
He didn’t track back much – Salah staying high up the pitch is part of what makes the Liverpool counter so dangerous – but in all other aspects, this was a hard-working performance.
Drifted out of the game
Salah was barely involved, in an attacking sense. His 36 touches were the fewest touches of any player who started the game, barring his team-mate Naby Keita who went off injured in the 19th minute. Even Napoli keeper David Ospina had more touches of the ball.
Poor in possession
The 26-year-old was also ineffective when he did get on the ball. He misplaced nearly 30 per cent of his passes, and was dispossessed three times – stats that show just how off-colour Salah was on the night.
Salah’s latest return to Italy was much less triumphant than his previous one, when Liverpool edged past his former club Roma in last season’s Champions League semi-final. In truth, through ten appearances this season the star forward hasn’t reached last season’s heights, thrilling only sporadically.
This was a performance where he didn’t thrill at all, as he struggled to make an impact, or get going at all. This was among his worst displays in a Liverpool shirt.
RATING – 5/10