Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's win over Napoli offered a reminder they are still "a top team", though he acknowledges they cannot rest on the achievements of last season.

The Reds got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Serie A leaders in their final Champions League group-stage game, with both sides heading through to the knockout rounds.

Late goals for Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez helped rebound from the latest disappointment of a difficult season, with Liverpool having lost late on to Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Klopp says his team know they have quality, but they need to sometimes take stock of themselves in order to achieve the right results amid a tough campaign.

"We don't doubt the quality, I don't think anybody doubts the quality," he said. "But that's part of the problem as well – we don't show consistency.

"That's why we have to [take] a proper step back, and tonight we did that."

"We are Liverpool, a top team. Nobody forgot what we did last year, the boys didn't forget that, but it's now not important really. I know people might get sick of it when I say it, but we really have to fight through.

"We showed everything. We showed pieces of good football, and the defensive stuff was on a high level.

"Napoli [are] a real force, really, and it could have been extremely difficult for us tonight, but the boys played a good game and that's why it was not.

"Tonight we will take the right conclusions of this game, even when the next one will be a completely different game for different reasons. We will take the good stuff out of this game and then start the next fight against Tottenham."

Mohamed Salah challenged Liverpool to carry their Champions League form into the Premier League and make the most of their remaining games before the World Cup.

The Egypt international poached the first goal in a 2-0 home win over Napoli on Tuesday as Liverpool ended their group-stage campaign in Europe on a high with a fifth successive victory in the competition.

The Anfield outcome was not enough for Liverpool to topple their Italian opponents from the top of Group A, but both march through to the last-16 stage with ambitions to go deep.

Yet Liverpool's domestic form has been poor this term, with just four wins in 12 Premier League games seeing them stuck in a mid-table rut, exemplified by recent losses to Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

Jurgen Klopp's side have Tottenham away on Sunday, followed by Southampton at home the following Saturday, before a large number of their players head to Qatar 2022.

Salah will not be among them, after Egypt's penalty shoot-out defeat to Senegal in African qualifying back in March, with his ambitions for the season all centred around bringing trophy success to Liverpool.

He savoured the moment against Luciano Spalletti's Napoli, who are leading the Serie A title race, and told BT Sport: "To win against one of the best teams in the world, one of the best coaches in the world, it's always a good feeling, but we just need to carry on.

"It's a good result for us – hopefully it gives us more confidence, and we just need to focus now in the Premier League and carry on."

Salah did not realise he had been awarded the opening goal, after Darwin Nunez's powerful header almost crept over the line before the ball trickled back out. Salah tucked it in to make sure but said afterwards: "Is it mine? Honestly, I didn't know."

He now has seven in this season's Champions League, making him the competition's top goalscorer for now.

Nunez got Liverpool's second from inches out in the final moments, the second tap-in of the game, and Salah said: "As a striker, I like to score and Darwin also likes to score, so we're glad that we got both goals today.

"I think it's important, that win today. It gives us more confidence, especially because we played a good game, and we played with the ball and without the ball, we tried to recover the ball quickly. As you can see in the league we're not doing great, but hopefully we can give ourselves a push, and we just need to win more games in the league."

After playing with two forwards recently, Klopp reverted to his long-favoured 4-3-3 formation, and it paid off.

Salah said choosing Liverpool's shape was "not my job, it's the gaffer's job", but he firmly indicated his preference for the three-man attacking line, with his role on the right of the trio.

"Any position that makes me comfortable, I'm happy about it, but I've played in the position for five, six years and I have to say that yes, the position is the best for me, but I'm not the manager," Salah said.

"The manager decides the tactics, and as a player you have to follow the leader."

Jurgen Klopp says it is "absolutely insane" his side finished their Champions League group with 15 points after making it five wins on the spin with victory over Napoli.

The Reds were beaten 4-1 by the Serie A leaders in the reverse fixture on matchday one – a loss Klopp described as the worst performance of his seven-year tenure.

Liverpool recovered with wins home and away against Ajax and Rangers to qualify for the last 16 with a game, against Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday, to spare.

A 2-0 win saw Liverpool inflict some revenge on Napoli for their September mauling, but they fell two goals short of overtaking their opponents at the Group A summit.

Klopp's side will therefore be unseeded in Monday's last-16 draw, but the German was pleased with what he saw against Napoli, who entered the game unbeaten in 17 matches.

"We showed tonight a really good reaction," he told BT Sport, referencing Saturday's 2-1 loss to Leeds United that leaves Liverpool ninth in the Premier League.

"I would have enjoyed the game even without the goals. Being compact makes all the difference. All of a sudden we are difficult to play against.

"If you see what Napoli can do in the moment, it was a really good game in our situation. The boys played a good game with a lot of courage.

"I saw the bravery to go in for challenges, making a proper fight of it and two set-pieces give us the three points – 15 points in the Champions League group is absolutely insane."

The win over Napoli was Klopp's 400th game in charge of Liverpool, and his 100th in the Champions League with the Reds and Borussia Dortmund.

He is just the seventh manager to reach that milestone in the competition, while only Pep Guardiola (61) has won more than the German's 58 games in those first 100 outings.

Liverpool survived a scare when Leo Ostigard had a goal ruled out by a VAR check lasting more than three minutes, with the technology coming to the Reds' aid two more times.

Mohamed Salah gave the hosts the lead in the 85th minute and substitute Darwin Nunez, who played a part in that opener, added a second in the 98th minute.

Those two goals were also subjected to VAR checks, but Klopp joked he could have no complaints over the delays due to his side being on the right end of the decisions.

"I heard it was some technical issues [for the delay on the first goal]," he said. "It is tough but in the end it is good for us. 

"Three times in our direction. I did not see the first goal. But after a long time they seem to have made the right call."

Despite their 13-game winning run coming to an end in their first defeat since April, Napoli finished top of their Champions League group for only the second time (also 2016-17).

The Italian side had scored a competition-high 20 goals across their opening five group matches, but they mustered just two attempts on target at Anfield.

"We're very disappointed," said defender Ostigard. "We thought we were in the game, especially in the second half. To lose at the end is tough to take. We came here to win."

Liverpool's confusing season continues. Beating Napoli 2-0 looks a dazzling result when set in a certain context, yet utterly meaningless in another.

Did they deliver for Jurgen Klopp? If so, why didn't they deliver for Klopp against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United on the past two Premier League weekends?

Two tap-ins ended Napoli's unbeaten run that stretched back to April, but Liverpool needed to win by four goals to pip their visitors to top spot in Champions League Group A after a shocking September night in Naples.

So Napoli advance to the last 16 as group winners, Liverpool joining them as runners-up, and that was more or less what everyone expected from the first minute of this tussle.

But just for a moment, Mohamed Salah's match-winning strike meant the world, and Darwin Nunez's last-gasp second goal of the game put a red cherry on the cake.

Liverpool were not English football's down-and-outs before this game, but some would have had them heading that way after those rotten league defeats plunged them firmly into the mid-table mud.

And this was most certainly not the old Liverpool. That team has gone for now, but Klopp commanded his charges to never "lose sight of our own qualities and our own potential", insisting they "can turn things around" and describing it as their "responsibility" to do so.

He urged the players to "change the perception that exists" of them, to summon their "bravest face" for the rest of Europe to witness, and on this night they just about obliged.

The last time Napoli visited Anfield, on November 27, 2019, it was a meeting of soaraway league leaders and a team in crisis. Liverpool led the Premier League by eight points from their nearest rivals, who at that point in the season were Leicester City.

Napoli, meanwhile, were in disarray after first-team players rebelled en masse and quit a training retreat just days before the Anfield visit. That getaway was ordered by club president Aurelio De Laurentiis and there were reports of heavy fines for those that fled.

On the pitch back on that occasion, Napoli were without a win in six matches in all competitions as they arrived in Liverpool. Carlo Ancelotti was a fortnight away from the sack, while in the present day it is Klopp's position that appears at its most endangered in years.

The game finished 1-1 three years ago, Liverpool coming from behind in what one press box colleague that night described to me as the Reds' "worst performance of the season".

Liverpool went on to win the Premier League, their first domestic league title triumph since 1989-90.

Napoli are presently chasing their first Serie A crown since... 1989-90. A day after Halloween, such parallels were almost spooky, these teams seemingly heading in opposite directions.

So what did Tuesday's rematch bring? Well, firstly, a meeting of soaraway league leaders and a team in crisis.

As Liverpool's form goes from bad to worse in the Premier League, Napoli are racing away in Serie A, five points clear of second-placed Atalanta, whom they face on Saturday. They were on a 13-game winning streak ahead of this tussle, including a 4-1 mauling of Klopp's men back at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Ahead of kick-off, Klopp's agent dismissed a theory the German manager could resign, pointing to a contract that has almost four years to run. This was Klopp's 100th Champions League game, across his time with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, making him the first German boss to reach that landmark, but it arrived at a dark hour in his Reds reign.

What could he, and what could we, hope to learn? What was needed from Liverpool was a performance, something to carry into the Premier League games against Tottenham and Southampton that come before the World Cup break.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, at 24 years and 25 days, became the youngest player in the club's history to tot up 50 Champions League appearances.

In his landmark outing, Alexander-Arnold was confronted by a defender's worst nightmare in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the young Georgian winger who is taking Europe by storm this season and shone in the first half here before fading.

Leo Ostigard thought he had headed Napoli ahead when he powered in a free-kick from Kvaratskhelia in the 53rd minute. In the 57th minute, the goal was disallowed for offside, with VAR seemingly operating at traction engine pace.

Napoli had never won away from home against an English side in European competition, drawing three times and losing on eight of their previous visits. It was looking like this might be the night they ended their wait.

And then, with five minutes plus VAR timing remaining, Salah prodded in from a foot out after Nunez's header from a corner was saved on the line.

Anfield roared, Luciano Spalletti frowned, and Jurgen Klopp allowed himself a smile before hugging the substituted Curtis Jones. Nunez tucked in from even closer range deep into stoppage time, and suddenly it was songs and good times again at the famous old ground.

Napoli should be fine and keep winning in Serie A. They impressed again, but perhaps slackened off once it became clear Liverpool would not be hitting four past them.

Quite what happens next for Liverpool is anybody's guess. They could yet head into the World Cup break in the Premier League's bottom half, or this might be a turning point.

This result and performance was "a really good reaction", according to Klopp. "I'm really happy," he told BT Sport.

His team have won five Champions League games in a row, so why wouldn't he be happy? Ah yes, the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah's late goal gave Liverpool the lead before Darwin Nunez's stoppage-time sealer secured a 2-0 win over Napoli to give Jurgen Klopp victory in his 400th game in charge, ending the visitors' unbeaten start to the campaign.

Both sides were already assured of a place in the knockout stages of the competition, with only a four-goal winning margin enough to see Liverpool usurp Napoli in top spot.

The Reds managed two late strikes courtesy of Salah and Nunez, with Salah scrambling one over the line in the 85th minute after Alex Meret just about kept out substitute Nunez's header.

Nunez added a second from the final act of the match as Napoli, who earlier had a Leo Skiri Ostigard effort ruled out for offside, saw their unbeaten run ended at 17 matches.

Neither team could really find any rhythm in a quiet first half that took half an hour for the first shot on target to arrive, with Tanguy Ndombele forcing a save out of Alisson.

Liverpool attacked up the other end and only an Meret stop prevented Thiago Alcantara from opening the scoring, shortly before Curtis Jones headed just over the crossbar.

Ostigard guided Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's free-kick delivery past Alisson eight minutes into the second period, but VAR – after a three-minute wait – ruled the defender was offside.

Kvaratskhelia then had a powerful volley saved by Alisson as Napoli, who had won their previous five group outings with a competition-high 20 goals, pushed for a winner.

A winner did arrive, albeit at the other end as Meret prevented Nunez's header from crossing the line, but Salah was there on the follow-up to poke over the line.

Nunez, introduced in the 73rd minute, added further gloss to the scoreline when tapping in a saved Virgil van Dijk header from under the bar.

What does it mean? Victory for Klopp on milestone occasion

Liverpool did not win by the four-goal margin required, which was never likely against in-form Napoli, meaning they will be unseeded in Monday's draw for the last 16.

But the Reds at least manage to put Saturday's league loss to Leeds United behind them with a narrow, if arguably slightly undeserved, victory in Klopp's 400th match in charge.

It was also the German's 100th Champions League game in his career, making him the seventh manager to reach that figure.

Darwin's chaotic cameo

Nunez has gained a reputation of being an 'agent of chaos' because of his erratic playing style, and so that proved in his 20 minutes or so on the field against Napoli.

He played a big part in the opening goal and then added a late second, albeit after a nervy VAR check, for what was his first Liverpool goal in the Champions League.

Spalletti's side thwarted

Napoli had won 13 games in a row entering this match, including five from five in the Champions League with 20 goals scored – four short of Bayern Munich's all-time record.

The Serie A leaders managed just two shots on target and accumulated an expected goals (xG) value of 0.43, with this going down as an off-day for Luciano Spalletti's talented side.

What's next?

Liverpool will look to reignite their Premier League campaign when they travel to Tottenham on Sunday, while Serie A leaders Napoli head to second-place Atalanta on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah's late goal gave Liverpool the lead before Darwin Nunez's stoppage-time sealer secured a 2-0 win over Napoli to give Jurgen Klopp victory in his 400th game in charge, ending the visitors' unbeaten start to the campaign.

Both sides were already assured of a place in the knockout stages of the competition, with only a four-goal winning margin enough to see Liverpool usurp Napoli in top spot.

The Reds managed two late strikes courtesy of Salah and Nunez, with Salah scrambling one over the line in the 85th minute after Alex Meret just about kept out substitute Nunez's header.

Nunez added a second from the final act of the match as Napoli, who earlier had a Leo Skiri Ostigard effort ruled out for offside, saw their unbeaten run ended at 17 matches.

Neither team could really find any rhythm in a quiet first half that took half an hour for the first shot on target to arrive, with Tanguy Ndombele forcing a save out of Alisson.

Liverpool attacked up the other end and only an Alex Meret stop prevented Thiago Alcantara from opening the scoring, shortly before Curtis Jones headed just over the crossbar.

Ostigard guided Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's free-kick delivery past Alisson eight minutes into the second period, but VAR – after a three-minute wait – ruled the defender was offside.

Kvaratskhelia then had a powerful volley saved by Alisson as Napoli, who had won their previous five group outings with a competition-high 20 goals, pushed for a winner.

A winner did arrive, albeit at the other end as Meret prevented Nunez's header from crossing the line, but Salah was there on the follow-up to poke over the line.

Nunez, introduced in the 73rd minute, added further gloss to the scoreline when tapping in Virgil van Dijk's goal-bound header from under the bar.

The only Champions League group with qualifying places still to play for on Tuesday is Group D, with all four teams in with a reasonable chance of progression.

Marseille host leaders Tottenham while Sporting CP take on Eintracht Frankfurt, with each team knowing a win will see them through and defeat will mean third our fourth spot.

It has been a sensational start to the season for Napoli, and they can complete a perfect Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

Luciano Spalletti's men travel to Liverpool looking for a sixth win in six Group A games, and will top the group as long as they avoid defeat by four or more at Anfield.

As the Champions League group stage prepares to draw to a close, Stats Perform takes a look at the Opta numbers behind these and the rest of Tuesday's clashes.

Marseille v Tottenham

Having lost six home matches in a row in the Champions League between March 2012 and November 2020, Marseille have since won two of their last three such matches (L1), including last time out against Sporting. They have not won consecutive home games in the competition since the 2010-11 campaign when they beat MSK Zilina and Chelsea.

Despite currently sitting bottom of Group D, Marseille can still top the standings if results go their way. Only once in 10 previous campaigns have the Ligue 1 side finished top of their Champions League group, which was in 1992-93 when they went on to lift the trophy.

Spurs have failed to win any of their last four away matches in the Champions League. Should they fail to win here, it will be their longest run of games without a win away from home in the competition.

Antonio Conte will be concerned that Tottenham have failed to score in any of their last three away matches in the Champions League; the last English side to go on a longer run without a goal away from home in the competition was Manchester United between October 2004 and November 2005 (five games – a record for an English club).

Sporting CP v Eintracht Frankfurt

In what is their first ever Champions League campaign, Eintracht Frankfurt can still win their group if results go their way. The only German club to win their first group participation in the competition was Kaiserslautern in 1998-99, while the last Bundesliga side to progress to the knockout rounds at the first attempt was Stuttgart in 2003-04.

Sporting are looking to progress to the knockout stages in consecutive Champions League campaigns, having been eliminated during the group stage in seven of their previous eight participations (progressing in 2008-09).

Eintracht's Mario Gotze has recorded an assist in each of his past two appearances in the Champions League; only once before has he set up a goal in three consecutive games in the competition – between November 2012 and March 2013 for Borussia Dortmund.

Sporting have been shown three red cards so far this season in the Champions League – the last team to have more players sent off in a single group stage was Anderlecht in 2013-14 (four).

Liverpool v Napoli

This will be the eighth meeting between Liverpool and Napoli in European competition, with the Italian side (three) edging the Reds (two) in terms of victories so far (two draws). After their 4-1 win in this season's reverse fixture, Napoli could beat Liverpool in consecutive games for the first time.

The Italian side have travelled to face the Reds on three previous occasions in European competition, but are yet to win at Anfield (D1 L2) – losing 3-1 in the Europa League in November 2010 and 1-0 in the Champions League in December 2018, before a 1-1 draw in November 2019, also in the Champions League.

This will be Jurgen Klopp's 100th match as a manager in the Champions League, across spells with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool. He will become the first German coach to take charge of a century of games in the competition.

Napoli have scored more goals than any other team through the first five matchdays in this season's group stage (20). The only team to score more during a single group stage in the previous four campaigns has been Bayern Munich (twice, 24 in 2019-20 and 22 in 2021-22).

Bayern Munich v Inter

Speaking of which, Bayern and Inter have met on eight previous occasions in European competition, with the German side winning half of those meetings (W4 D1 L3). Indeed, they are unbeaten in the three matches in the Champions League that have taken place in the group stage (W2 D1).

Inter are themselves unbeaten in their previous three away games at Bayern (W2 D1). This makes them the team to have faced the Bavarians away from home on the most occasions without ever losing in European competition.

Bayern have won each of their last 12 group-stage matches in the Champions League, and are looking to become the first side in history to win all six group games in consecutive campaigns. They would also become the first side to do so on three separate occasions, having also achieved perfection in 2019-20.

Inter are unbeaten in three away games in the Champions League, and could go four games without defeat away from home in the competition for the first time since December 2003 to February 2005 (five games).

Bayern have scored in 42 of their last 43 home matches in the Champions League, netting 136 goals across this spell at an average of 3.2 per game. They have scored in each of their last 21 in a row since being held by Sevilla in April 2018.

Other fixtures:

Viktoria Plzen v Barcelona

3 - Viktoria Plzen have lost all three of their previous games against Barcelona in the Champions League, scoring just one goal and conceding 11 times in return.

3 - Barcelona have lost each of their last three away matches in the Champions League, and could lose four in a row for the first time since a run between November 1994 and October 1997. 

Rangers v Ajax

5 - Rangers have lost all five of their games in the Champions League this season. No Scottish side have ever been beaten six times within a single campaign in the European Cup/Champions League.

4 - Ajax have lost each of their previous four games in the Champions League; they have not lost five in a row in the competition since September 2004 under Ronald Koeman.

Bayer Leverkusen v Club Brugge

18 - Leverkusen forward Patrik Schick has played 18 times in the Champions League without scoring a goal. His three goals in major European competition have all been scored in the Europa League, where he averages a goal every 138 minutes.

1 - Club Brugge have already qualified for the knockout stage, and could finish top of their group for the very first time in a single edition of the tournament.

Porto v Atletico Madrid

3 - Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa has saved three of the four penalties he has faced in the Champions League this season. This is already the most ever by a goalkeeper in a single season on record in the competition (since 2003-04). 

4 - Atletico are winless in their last four Champions League games (D2 L2). They last had a longer run without a victory in the competition between December 2008 and December 2009, when they went nine games without one prior to head coach Diego Simeone's arrival.

Luciano Spalletti says Napoli will "not be fooled" by Liverpool's recent struggles, nor by Jurgen Klopp suggesting the Reds cannot record an emphatic victory to top their Champions League group.

Klopp's side must defeat Napoli by four goals at Anfield on Tuesday to win Group A, having been thrashed 4-1 by Napoli on matchday one in the reverse fixture before recovering with four successive wins.

While Liverpool progressed to the knockout stages with a game to spare, the Reds have struggled in the Premier League this season, sitting ninth in the table – some 15 points behind leaders Arsenal.

Klopp heralded the potential of Napoli on Monday, suggesting a four-goal victory would be near-impossible as he backed the Serie A side to reach the final, though Spalletti took the praise with a pinch of salt.

"I think I've read that he said they don't think about winning 4-0 ... I think he said it seriously," the Napoli coach said in a jovial manner.

"If he said it seriously that he can't win 4-0 if he wants to, let's talk about it! Excessive compliments sometimes serve to lift you up and then smash you down.

"[Klopp] made the last two Champions League finals, so he is better than everyone, he and his team. We accept compliments if they are sincere, but compliments do not make results and standings.

"We know the game will be very hard. We will have to be the same as always, as in the first leg, and it is almost impossible to repeat that match.

"To finish first or second, everything changes, it seems stupid to answer whether we want to win or not – we came here with the best intentions possible.

"Then there is a stage like Anfield, against those players there, and we will have to prove that we are up to it."

Back-to-back domestic defeats against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, in between a European victory over Ajax, have raised more questions over Liverpool's capabilities.

Spalletti refused to accept the Reds are a struggling side, though, suggesting their results belie Liverpool's performances in recent weeks.

"Liverpool are a team in great health – let's not be fooled by the result of the last match, which I have watched as well as the previous ones," he added.

"I find Liverpool the same as always. It is clear if they miss ten goals in front of the goalkeeper and by chance everything goes wrong, as in their last game [against Leeds], a result can be questioned.

"But teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, they have the best footballers in the world, here in the Premier League, and we come to gamble against them."

The great Arrigo Sacchi is in awe of "genius" Luciano Spalletti's Napoli team, comparing them to his Milan side and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Sacchi's Rossoneri were widely considered one of the greatest club teams of all time, but the coach sees similarities in Napoli's class of 2022-23.

The Partenopei are unbeaten through 12 matches in Serie A, opening up a five-point gap at the top already as they chase a first Scudetto since Diego Maradona's time at the club.

In the Champions League, Napoli have five wins from five, including remarkable 4-1 and 6-1 defeats of Liverpool and Ajax respectively.

Sacchi, in an interview with Il Mattino, suggested a run to the semi-finals should be "the minimum goal" for this season, while he is backing them for domestic success.

His praise went further, too, as he said: "This Napoli are spectacular and a team one step away from legend.

"They are in the wake of the greats of the past, [Rinus] Michels' Ajax, Guardiola's Barcelona and my unbeatable Milan.

"I never get tired of watching them play. How could I? There is style, there is pride, there is a spirit of belonging, there is beauty, and there is a coach who has put ideas at the centre of everything.

"In a country where we only look for profit, Spalletti focuses on merit, on strategy, and not on tactics."

Among teams in Europe's top five leagues, Napoli have won the joint-most matches in all competitions (15 – also Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain) and have the outright best winning percentage (88.2).

Only Bayern (69) and PSG (54) have netted more goals (50 for Napoli), while the Bundesliga giants are the sole side averaging more goals per game (3.45 vs 2.94).

Napoli's early season success is all the more impressive given the number of stalwart stars who left the club ahead of the campaign.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz were sold for significant fees, while greats Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne moved on at the end of their contracts.

But Napoli invested superbly, signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Kim Min-jae and a host of impressive loan recruits.

"It's a lesson for everyone: ideas are worth more than money," Sacchi continued.

"What [owner Aurelio] De Laurentiis did this summer is something extraordinary: he took semi-unknowns and put them in a project where there was a vision, which many clubs lack.

"And the rest was done by the genius of Luciano."

Jurgen Klopp thinks Napoli can go all the way to the Champions League final if they can maintain their current level of performance.

The Liverpool manager has already felt the force of Luciano Spalletti's in-form side this season, losing 4-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on matchday one of the Champions League group stage.

Napoli sit top of Group A with five wins from five games, and also lead Serie A by five points after beating Sassuolo 4-0 on Saturday.

When questioned at a press conference ahead of Tuesday's return fixture at Anfield whether Napoli can reach the Champions League final, Klopp said: "I think if they can play like they play at the moment, they have a good chance to go to the final... I think Napoli is the team in form in Europe, they play really well.

"Spalletti is a very experienced coach, has worked everywhere pretty much, and it looks like all his experience and a few really good signings and good decisions, he brought a group together which works on an exceptionally high level together."

Napoli have not lost since April, and have won a staggering 13 consecutive matches.

Liverpool have had a comparatively poor start to their season, sitting ninth in the Premier League with just four wins from 12 games.

They have fared well in the Champions League, though, winning four of their five group games to qualify along with Napoli for the last 16 with one game to go.

In order to leapfrog the Italians and top the group, Liverpool will need to win by at least four clear goals on Merseyside.

Klopp is not "scared" of facing Napoli again three days after his team were beaten 2-1 at home by Leeds United.

"When I speak about the positive aspects of Napoli at the moment it is because I am a football lover," he said.

"I'm not afraid or scared [of playing them] it's just a tough challenge, that's all. I really respect what they are doing and I know Luciano respects what we have done the last few years."

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will "not stop fighting" to improve despite a patchy start to their season.

After seeming to get back on track in the Premier League with wins against Manchester City and West Ham, Liverpool have suffered defeats against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United in their last two league outings.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of their final Champions League group game against Napoli on Tuesday, Klopp said he understood criticism of him and his team, but he feels the time to properly judge them will closer to the end of the campaign.

"We obviously do the job in public, and I think the judgement for [if the team is in decline] will come later, or maybe at the end of the season where we might say, 'That's obviously it for this group of players,' whatever, 'for this manager,' if you want, whatever questions will be asked then," he said.

"At the moment, it is not 100 per cent fair to judge this team because that means the squad, obviously, because we never had them [all] available. We miss especially now up front top quality [injured pair Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota], which is not helpful.

"That doesn't mean we don't have top quality [there now], but with the amount of games, you would usually make changes; we can't do that."

Liverpool are in ninth place in the Premier League, with four wins, four draws and four defeats from 12 games, and are still yet to win a league game away from home in 2022-23.

Klopp acknowledges his team's issues are not simple fixes, but he promised to give his all to try to turn their fortunes around, saying: "We can say now this was never [going to be] a quick fix, and now it looks like it is proven not to be a quick fix, but we will not stop fighting.

"Probably everything will be judged about me now, which is completely fine. When people look at me and say, 'He looks tired,' I'm not. I can't use that excuse.

"My job is not just to be here when the sun is shining; my job is also to be here when we have to go through a really rough period.

"And I will do that with all I have, or if possible, even more."

Reds vice-captain James Milner backed up his manager's words, saying Liverpool's difficulties stem from a number of small issues rather than one big problem.

"If it was one easy fix, you'd know and fix it," the 36-year-old told reporters. "To be a successful football team, there's so many little things that you need to do well, and at the moment, we're not doing those consistently enough.

"We've shown some very good performances this year, but we haven't had that consistency, and that's something that we need to improve."

Napoli have dismissed the idea they could offer Cristiano Ronaldo refuge in January as the Serie A leaders insist they "don't have to fix anything".

Sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli indicated the prospect of any major incomings or outgoings was remote, given Napoli are confident they have a strong group with the right balance.

He added that to "fly with the fantasy" would not be Napoli's style this season, as they seek a first Scudetto since the 1989-90 season, when Diego Maradona was at the club.

Ronaldo could leave Manchester United in mid-season if a deal can be found that suits all parties.

His refusal to play as a substitute and early exit from the stadium last week against Tottenham led to United briefly banishing him from first-team duties, although the 37-year-old has since returned to the squad and looked set to play some part on Thursday against Sheriff in the Europa League.

However, Ronaldo's former team Sporting CP have ruled out a move, and now Napoli, having been linked with Ronaldo in the last transfer window, are distancing themselves from a possible deal for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Giuntoli told Mediaset: "We are very far from the market. At the moment we are thinking only of everyday life, trying to improve continuously."

Regarding Ronaldo, he said: "The January transfer market is one of repair and we don't have to fix anything, so I really think we won't do anything."

That stance covers how Napoli are thinking regarding their exciting, young Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, as well as striker Victor Osimhen.

Both have admirers in the Premier League, but Napoli are not minded to sell, at least for now.

Luciano Spalletti's team head Serie A with 29 points from 11 games, and they have also won five out of five Champions League group games, beating Rangers 3-0 on Wednesday.

Giuntoli said: "Kvaratskhelia is doing well, like many others, and is absolutely non-transferable."

According to Giuntoli, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis is firmly behind the football staff's plans for shaping the team to deliver success.

"The president is very happy with what we are doing, but like all of us he keeps his feet on the ground," Giuntoli said.

"Football is made up of balance, we must not fly with the fantasy. We are curious to discover our limits.

"Our prerogative has always been to move using our heads, both outgoing and incoming, and I think that, sometimes more, sometimes less, we have always managed to set up a competitive team. We do nothing without first having heard the coach."

Giovanni van Bronckhorst bemoaned Rangers' failings against "immense" Champions League opponents after another hammering at Napoli edged them closer to an unwanted record.

Rangers have shipped 19 goals in the Champions League this season, the most in a single group stage by a Scottish side, after a 3-0 dismantling by in-form Napoli in Group A on Wednesday.

Van Bronckhorst's side have lost five straight games in Europe for just a third time, with this being their first such sequence in a single campaign.

But Rangers could hit a new low with defeat in their final group outing against Ajax, entering that match with a goal difference of -18.

Dinamo Zagreb hold the worst group-stage record in Champions League history, pointless and with a -19 goal difference in the 2011-12 campaign.

Van Bronckhorst has repeatedly called on his side to learn in the face of high-quality opposition, and he echoed that message after yet another humbling in Naples.

"You can't imagine the opponents we are facing. We think about our performances, of course, but we have to be realistic," the Rangers manager told BT Sport.

"The level we are facing in this group is immense. You have to be ready for 90 minutes – I think the moments we created in the game, we should have taken.

"In too many games we are conceding too many goals. You want to compete at the highest level. It is tough, I said that when we qualified, but you want to be here.

"The more you play it, the more experience you will have as a team and as a player. It's a competition we want to keep competing in. You have to start well in an environment like the one we faced today.

"The two goals we conceded in the first 15 minutes, we are two against one in the centre against one striker. For us to give those goals, it's too easy.

"The reaction we showed afterwards was very positive. We had a big moment to score just before half-time. In the second half, we showed character, we were well organised and tried to push for the goal.

"We created some big moments, but if you don't take those moments in these kinds of games it is difficult to win."

Rangers host Ajax on Tuesday, when they must avoid defeat to avoid claiming at least a share of unwanted history.

Van Bronckhorst added: "[The Ajax game] is a chance to get our first points. We want to leave the tournament with our heads held high, and it's another chance to play at home."

Rangers' slim hopes of playing Europa League football in the new year are all but over following a 3-0 defeat to Napoli in Naples, heaping further pressure upon Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The Scottish side needed a result and a favour from Liverpool against Ajax to retain a realistic chance of finishing third, and while Jurgen Klopp's side did their part, Rangers were swept aside by the Serie A leaders.

Napoli took the lead after just 11 minutes, Giovanni Simeone rifling home after Giovanni Di Lorenzo teed him up, and the forward was on the scoresheet again five minutes later as he tucked home Mario Rui's cross.

Tanguy Ndombele's fierce strike from outside the box clattered off the bar before the break, while the second half saw Alfredo Morelos fail to connect from close range in the visitors' best chance of the game.

Any hope of a late comeback was crushed 10 minutes from the final whistle when Leo Ostigard was left unmarked and headed home Giacomo Raspadori's corner.

With Rangers three points behind Ajax and having lost their first meeting 4-0, Van Bronckhorst's side need a remarkable result in Amsterdam next week to clinch third place and Europa League football.

Liverpool can seal progression to the Champions League last 16 when they play on Wednesday, but Barcelona could see their exit confirmed from Europe's top competition.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds make the trip to face Ajax in Group A knowing they are guaranteed a spot in the Europa League at the very least – and simply avoiding defeat would guarantee their place in the Champions League knockout stages.

It is a more dicey affair for Xavi's Barca, however, as they welcome Bayern Munich to Camp Nou in Group C knowing a loss would spell the end of their journey. Even a win will not be enough if Inter defeat Viktoria Plzen.

Tottenham will hope to keep their noses in front in Group D, with Marseille and Sporting CP just a point behind, while Atletico Madrid have work to do in Group B.

Stats Perform previews Wednesday's eight matches by picking through the Opta data.

Ajax v Liverpool

Ajax have made for generous opponents for Liverpool of late, losing their last three against the Reds in the Champions League. Only Juventus (four, 1997-2004) and Real Madrid (seven, 2010-2019) have previously won four in a row against Ajax in the European Cup or Champions League.

Yet Ajax remain the last Dutch side to achieve a home win against Liverpool, albeit that was back in 1966, with the Premier League side unbeaten in seven subsequent trips to the Netherlands.

Liverpool's countrymen have also made hay, as Ajax have won just one of their last eight home European matches against English teams, beating Manchester City in October 2012.

With or without another strong result, this will be an historic occasion for Liverpool and Klopp, who will match Rafael Benitez's 62 Champions League matches in charge of the Reds, who bring up 150 games in the competition.

Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Needing a win, Barca might have hoped to face any team but Bayern, who have a record three Champions League away wins at the Blaugrana. Along with Juventus and Real Madrid, they are one of three teams to have won more matches at Barca than they have lost.

Home and away, Barca have lost nine of their 12 Champions League matches against Bayern, including the past five in a row.

In fact, if Bayern win again, they will match Madrid's record of 10 wins against a single opponent in the competition – Madrid's dominance coming against Bayern.

Although Bayern are already through, they are seeking a fourth home-and-away double against Barca in a Champions League season (also 1998-99, 2012-13 and 2021-22). Dynamo Kyiv (in 1997-98) are the only other team to beat Barca twice in the same campaign even once.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting CP

Sporting won 2-0 against Tottenham in Portugal in what was the sides' first meeting, but they have a dismal record in England, with two victories in 15 attempts away to English sides.

Spurs have won six of their seven home European matches against Portuguese opposition, only losing to Benfica in the 2013-14 Europa League.

Both of Tottenham's wins in this campaign have come at home, where Antonio Conte is bidding to become just the second Spurs coach to win each of his first three at home in the Champions League – after Harry Redknapp.

He and Tottenham will know they must keep their focus early and late; Sporting's last three Champions League goals have come in either the first or last minutes of the match, netting twice in second-half stoppage time in the reverse fixture.

Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen

Atletico have not lost at home to Leverkusen in their prior four such matches, winning two and drawing two, but the Bundesliga team have started to turn the tide, winning two in a row against them in the Champions League.

That strong home record applies whenever Atletico face German opposition, though, as Borussia Dortmund were the last Bundesliga visitors to win there in 1996. Atleti are unbeaten in 11 since.

Diego Simeone needs his team to rediscover their scoring touch, having gone three without a goal in the Champions League.

That is their worst run under Simeone. Only once in the competition have Atletico gone four without netting, back in 2009 under Abel Resino.

Other fixtures:

Club Brugge v Porto

21 – Club Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has saved all 21 of the shots on target he has faced in the Champions League this season. He has prevented a competition-leading 4.9 goals, according to expected goals on target data.

4 – Four of Porto's last seven Champions League goals have come from the penalty spot.

Inter v Viktoria Plzen

12 – Inter have scored 12 of their last 14 Champions League goals in the second halves of matches. All three against Barca last time out came after the interval – only the third time an away team has netted three second-half goals at Camp Nou in this competition.

28 – Plzen have averaged just 28 per cent of the possession in the Champions League this season, the lowest average by a team in a single season since Opta data collection began in 2003-04.

Napoli v Rangers

4 – Napoli have won all four of their matches in the Champions League this season and could become the first Italian side to win their opening five games in a single campaign since Juventus in 2004-05. 

12 – No goalkeeper has faced more shots on target (29) or conceded more goals (12) than Rangers' Allan McGregor in the Champions League this season. Indeed, he has only kept four clean sheets in 21 appearances in the competition overall.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Marseille

50 – Eintracht Frankfurt's Mario Gotze could make his 50th start in the Champions League in this match. He has been involved in 25 goals in his previous 65 appearances, including 21 in his 49 starts.

3 – Marseille have won their last two games in the Champions League – both against Sporting CP – and will be looking to win three in a row for the first time since October-December 2010, when they won four on the spin under Didier Deschamps.

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