Humiliation for Liverpool with vibrant Napoli tearing them to shreds | Champions League

A rupture occurred in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. It was Liverpool, ripped and devastated by Napoli on a humiliating night when Jurgen Klopp’s side looked like Champions League Beginners rather than veteran finalists from three of the past five years.

One of Liverpool’s fiercest defeats in Europe was the well-deserved end result of the worst European performance in Klopp’s nearly seven-year reign. Sure, it’s hard to think of a contender for that unwanted prize. The visiting team were torn from the start as their winning streak continued at Napoli, but in a far more worrying way than recent group-stage defeats here under Klopp.

Klopp stated before kick-off that he wanted Liverpool to quench the feelings and aggression Naples They are nourished inside their stadium by the principles of football and compact defence. His players never got the warrant. They poured oil on the scorching atmosphere inside the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona instead with a negative and chaotic performance in which their defense was repeatedly ripped apart. By the time Andre-Frank Zambo-Anguesa doubled Napoli’s lead in the 31st minute, it could have easily been 5-0 for Luciano Spalletti’s vibrant side. The hosts were cut at will in the first half. Liverpool, who were poor from back to front, offered little resistance.

Klopp’s instructions are almost redundant after just 42 seconds. Amir Rahmani and Stanislav Lobotka knocked the ball out of the defense with an easy cross before Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s pass sent Victor Osimhen in a 50-50 race with Alisson. The El Bassi striker got there first but hit the ball from a tight angle on the outside of the post. Napoli revealed his hand to play fast and steady passes behind the Liverpool defense. The visitors did not notice

Osimhen almost played again before the hosts took a deserved lead in the fifth minute from a penalty kick. Khwisha Kvaratskhelia, or Kvaradona as the Georgian was baptized after his explosive start to life in Naples, sent Pyotr Zielinsky over the edge of the area for a shot that veered just wide of Alisson’s goal. She was sent off by the outstretched hand of James Milner, Liverpool’s captain of the night, and Zelensky sent Alisson the wrong way with the resulting penalty kick. Milner quickly went to the book for a heavy lunge on Zambo Anguisa.

Napoli got a second penalty when the VAR advised Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande to reconsider Virgil van Dijk’s challenge to Osimhen. Play continued after the striker’s unsuccessful attempt to turn inside the Liverpool defender, but on the side screen the referee spotted a friction between Van Dijk’s right foot and Osimhen’s right foot. Osimhen, and not Zelensky, took the second penalty kick and in the same direction as the first. Alisson rushed to his right to make a great save and Di Lorenzo passed a golden opportunity from the rebound.

While del Cerro Grande was consulting his observer, Klopp lashed out at Fabinho and his defenders for their shameless opening. However, things got worse after the penalty kick was missed. Kvaratskhelia embarrassed Fabinho by flipping it three times in the same motion inside the center circle. Osimhen was sent off the ground by a dangling Joe Gomez to advance to the penalty area where Kvaratskhelia stood unmarked. But the pass to the 21-year-old was delayed and weak, giving Van Dijk the opportunity to eventually clear his shot from the goal.

Andre Frank Zambo Anguesa kicks the ball past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to score Napoli’s second goal. Photo: Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Soon it was the second when Gomez was stripped again, this time by Kvaratskhelia. Zambo Angisa exchanged passes with Zielinski and marched into the area unchallenged before beating Alisson with a fine finishing touch. This was his first goal with Napoli.

It was not the end of Liverpool’s agony. As poor as Klopp’s side were, and their problems were not limited to defense as Mohamed Salah struggled to control his most routine passes, they created enough opportunities to stir up the Napoli mood. Goalkeeper Alex Merritt passed a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick and saved well from Van Dijk’s header. Salah and Harvey Elliott also missed good chances.

Liverpool seemed relieved when Osimene limped off just minutes before the break to substitute Giovanni Simeone to score Napoli’s third goal with one of his first touches. Gomez’s horrific night continued as he went off maneuver and was fought off by the brilliant Kvaratskhelia near the sideline. Georgian centered low for Diego Simeone’s son to turn a simple percussion.

Gomez was unsurprisingly hooked in the first half and was replaced by Joel Matip. But the path continued. Within two minutes of the start of the second half, Simeone found Zielinski running into the Liverpool area unchecked, and although the playmaker’s shot was saved by Alisson, he hit the rebound over the goalkeeper. The ending underlined the ostentation that was touring the Napoli team.

Luis Diaz narrowly narrowed the difference when he cut from the left and beat Meret with a sure shot into the far corner. Liverpool’s first ever goal in Napoli was no cause for celebration, Liverpool may have dominated the final stages but were thoroughly defeated in the intense Italian heat, overpowered and humiliated by a team that wanted to win more.