Liverpool forwards not firing?

Liverpool didn't manage a single shot on target against Napoli

Independent

Mohamed Salah's scoring struggles for Liverpool this season are being exaggerated, claims Jamie Carragher

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Mohamed Salah 's scoring struggles so far this season are being exaggerated and insists the Egyptian should not be judged on his spectacular goal return in his first year at Anfield.

Salah has scored three goals in nine games for Liverpool this season - compared to four goals in his first nine appearances of the 2017-18 campaign - and missed two presentable chances in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, seeing another effort cleared off the line by Antonio Rudiger after rounding Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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Do Liverpool's forwards need to up their game?

By Joe Harker

In Liverpool's Champions League loss to Napoli they didn't manage to register a shot on target, a startling statistic for Jurgen Klopp's team. The manager says he doesn't remember when that last happened for one of his teams but it was a testament to Napoli's ability to control the game. This was the first group stage defeat Liverpool have experienced with Klopp as manager and it is the first time since 2006 that they have not had a shot on target in the Champions League.

While much praise is due for Napoli and the way they shut down Liverpool's attempts at attacking, criticism must also be applied to the forward line for their failure to threaten during the game. They were kept at arms length by Napoli for huge stretches of the game before a Lorenzo Insigne winner condemned them to defeat.

After the match Klopp criticised Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for their performances. The manager was unhappy with them holding onto the ball for too long and making runs that lead to nothing. He also blamed himself for the poor performance and said he would rewatch the game to figure out where he got things wrong.

Liverpool only had four shots in the game, with neither Firmino nor Mane having a chance at goal. If the players are being too selfish and try to do everything by themselves then they will continue to struggle. Part of the brilliance of Liverpool's forward line last season was how well they combined with each other to pick apart defences.

Liverpool's most dangerous forward last season was Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, who is experiencing a difficult start to the current season by his high standards. Klopp has said he is "relaxed" about Salah's form and expects it to improve soon. He said: "The quality is there and so everything is fine.

"There's nothing that I can tell you here because that's between us like always. But it was absolutely clear that we would stand in a situation like this here and talk about it."

Michael Cox of ESPN believes Salah's current problems aren't too serious a problem for Liverpool but his improvement would go a long way to making them a more formidable force again.

With a game against Manchester City coming up this weekend Liverpool will have to get back to their best quickly. Although the quality of their opposition makes it a daunting game Klopp's men have beaten City in their last three meetings.

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ESPN

Salah 4/10, Keita 3/10 as Liverpool lose

11:09 PM BST

Steven KellyLiverpool blogger

A poor performance by Liverpool was finally exploited by Napoli with one late goal. They could have conceded more.

Positives

The scoreline could have been more embarrassing, but some consolation came from another good display by centre-back Joe Gomez. The next two games in the group against Red Star Belgrade may see Liverpool regain their advantage.

Negatives

Too many to count but passing was especially abysmal, making extended possession virtually impossible and encouraging the home side to take chances and go for the win.

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