A lot has been made of Liverpool’s midweek defeat in Naples, but we need to get it right.

If you’re reaching the latter stages of all competitions you play in, then you’re facing 60-odd games a season.

And, if you’re operating in the ­rarefied air that Liverpool are doing these days and you lose only six or seven, then you’re doing exceptionally well because something close to 10 per cent is ridiculously low.

Last season, they played 53 games and were beaten in just seven.

So we need to put things into ­perspective and remind ourselves that Napoli have a good manager in Carlo Ancelotti, that they are a good team and that they beat the Reds last season as well – and it didn’t exactly do them any harm in the end.

Goals from Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente beat Liverpool in midweek

Liverpool’s loss to Napoli could be a blessing in disguise

Wednesday’s result won’t mean anything in the long run because both Liverpool and Napoli will qualify for the Champions League knockout phase.

And, actually, such defeats can serve as blessings in disguise because they refocus the mind. In dressing rooms, when you’re winning, you just think you’re doing everything right, even when there is still room for improvement.

But glitches like that one keep you grounded and that’s never a bad thing.

That’s why I expect Liverpool to be re-energised for today’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a game which promises to be a cracker for many reasons.

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Liverpool train ahead of the clash against Chelsea

There’s the ­history between these two sides and, if you add in the fact that teams will raise their levels against the champions of ­Europe, then it only adds to the mix.

For Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, the chance to test himself against Virgil van Dijk will be a massive step up and, for defender Fikayo Tomori, it’s an opportunity to face the best front three in the world.

Midfielder Mason Mount, if he’s fit following his injury in the Valencia game, also gets a chance to test himself against a ­midfield unit, which, if not the best in the world, is certainly functioning very well – whatever variation of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Fabinho and Gigi Wijnaldum boss Jurgen Klopp puts out.

I fancy Liverpool to nick it because they need to be ruthless if they are ­going to win the ­Premier League this season.

After winning the Champions League, can Liverpool go onto lift the Premier League?

That’s the big question for my old club – can they go on and finally do it?

While the ­other really big question is ­whether Manchester City can finally get their hands on the Champions League trophy.

There’s an argument that City’s defeat by Norwich and victory against Shakhtar Donetsk, allied to Liverpool’s midweek result, shows where both clubs’ priorities lie this time. If you’d asked Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the week leading up to the Premier League conclusion and Champions League final last season whether or not they’d have liked to have swapped positions, then both would have said yes.

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And this season, given the places both clubs are in, there’s no excuse for them to not achieve their aims, ­particularly Guardiola.

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Analysis in midweek showed that Jose Mourinho, with £1.4billion, had spent more money on players than any other manager and only Mourinho and Ancelotti, on £1.11bn, had spent more than Guardiola, at £1.03bn.

But Mourinho’s cash was splashed on 97 players, compared to Guardiola’s 52, and we know he’s at a club now which will back him to the hilt to finally conquer Europe.

For Liverpool, if not being all about the Premier League this time, then it’s certainly a very high percentage.

So today it’s simple. They need to let Wednesday’s defeat go, bounce back and be professional to ensure they bring one better than Chelsea.





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