Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp admitted that a solid defensive display from opponents Napoli made the difference in a 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Premier League leaders rescued a point at Anfield as Dejan Lovren headed home to cancel out an early Dries Mertens strike, with both teams occupy the qualifying positions ahead of the final game in Group E.
Having edged past Napoli en route to lifting the Champions League last season, Klopp confessed that the Partenopei had improved upon last term, despite going through a difficult period domestically.
“It is clear that we would like to have sealed qualification tonight, but Napoli found an early goal and fought to protect it,” the German coach declared in his post match press conference.
“It was not the usual Napoli, they defended with all their hearts and forced us to increase the pressure on them. Last year we beat them, but I was not expecting this Napoli.
“They may not be going through the best of moments, but they are an intelligent team that adapted and defended well.”
Champions League holders Liverpool take on Red Bull Salzburg in the final round of fixtures, knowing that a draw will be enough to see them progress.