Carlo Ancelotti has told Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp not to worry about his side’s defeat to Napoli – because it means the Reds will probably win the Champions League.
Liverpool began the defence of their Champions League title with a 2-0 defeat away to Napoli , with a controversial penalty from from Dries Mertens and a goal from Fernando Llorente sealing the points for the Italians.
It was a second defeat in a row for Klopp’s side at Stadio San Paolo, with Napoli having won 1-0 at home to Liverpool 1-0 in their second Champions League group game last season.
That defeat ultimately didn’t do Liverpool too much harm, as the Reds of course went on to win the Champions League, triumphing over Tottenham in the final after a remarkable semi-final comeback against Barcelona .
And Napoli boss Ancelotti sent a reassuring message to Klopp after getting the better of his Liverpool counterpart on Tuesday.
Ancelotti was asked what he had said to Klopp after the two were seen smiling together at the end of the game.
He said: “I told him: ‘Don’t you worry, if you lose in Naples, then you end up winning the Champions League!”
Ancelotti clearly believes Liverpool can repeat their success of last season, describing Klopp’s side as “the best team in Europe”.
He said of his side’s win: “It’s always tough against Liverpool, from the first minute to the last. We had to sacrifice ourselves, but without losing our identity.
“The strategy was to play a complete game.
“High pressure if possible, but also defending deeper if needed.
“We did everything well. We have to get used to the different moments of the game. When Liverpool were in control we did well in defending and then took our chances.
“It was a very balanced game. So we did well, because I consider them the best team in Europe.”
Red Bull Salzburg beat Genk 6-2 in the other game in Group E, with teenage sensation Erling Braut Haland – son of former Manchester City and Leeds United defender Alfie Inge Haland – scoring a hat-trick.