Dries Mertens and Napoli show rivals that Liverpool have their flaws | Barney Ronay

Serie A side have had the better of Liverpool in most of their past four meetings, something future opponents could learn from

For the opening hour at Anfield the Napoli players must have been tempted to wonder, once again, what exactly all the fuss is around here. Take to the field expecting the red swarm, the hammers of the Premier League, a process of extreme thrash‑metal disintegration. And what do you get?

Not quite that, it turns out. Napoli have done this four times now in two years. In the first half they had the Premier League leaders pinned, rhythms stilled by the swarm of light-blue shirts around their usual passing triangles. It took Liverpool 35 minutes to muster their first effort on target. Ten minutes later the players walked off at the interval looking a little baffled, the crowd silenced, air sucked out of this tight corrugated arena.

Related: Dejan Lovren’s header rescues point for Liverpool against Napoli

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Read more: theguardian.com

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