Late goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez gave the Reds a much-needed boost as they beat Napoli, but it was not the four-goal winning margin that they needed to replace the Italian side at the top of Group A and earn a seeding for the first knockout stage tie.
While the group stage got off to a disastrous start for Liverpool, hammered in their opening match against Napoli, it was five wins from five after that, and their tally of 15 points was more than six group winners managed.
That’s little consolation though, and Jurgen Klopp’s side go into the last-16 draw knowing they could be given a nightmare test.
Who could Liverpool face in Champions League last-16?
As a result of finishing second behind Napoli, Liverpool will face a group winner next as they target another deep European run.
However, due to rules preventing clubs in the last-16 being drawn against teams either from the same country or the same group, the Reds will not face Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham or Napoli.
There are therefore only four possible opponents for the Reds, which on paper at least appear to be two that Liverpool will not want to draw and two that they would be happier with.
Klopp’s side will certainly be keen to avoid Bayern Munich, the only side to finish with a perfect group-stage record as they swept aside Inter Milan, Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen, and a reunion with Sadio Mane.
Real Madrid would also be an incredibly tough draw, with the defending champions getting the better of Liverpool in last season’s final.
If it is not either of those two sides then it will be a Portuguese opponent for Liverpool. Porto came top of Group B but have a miserable recent record against the Reds, losing the six matches the sides have played against each other since 2018 by an aggregate score of 18-2.
Benfica are the other side Liverpool could face, after they scored five goals in the final half an hour against Maccabi Haifa to win 6-1 and pip PSG to top spot in Group H.
Liverpool possible last-16 opponents: Bayern Munich, Porto, Real Madrid, Benfica.
When is the Champions League last-16 draw?
The draw will take place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday, November 7, 2022.
It’s expected that the ceremony will get underway at 11am GMT, with the Europa League and Europa Conference League draws being held later in the day.