Liverpool’s Champions League campaign got off to a horrific start in hot and humid Napoli on Wednesday as the superb Napoli scored 4-1.
Victor Osimhen set up the former early, hitting the post in the first 60 seconds before James Milner conceded a penalty in the fifth minute, which Pyotr Zelensky kept his cool.
Stunning Liverpool into surrender, he offered Osimhen his own opportunity to test Alisson from 12 yards after a timely challenge from Virgil van Dijk were penalized through a VAR review.
Alisson denied the Napoli striker’s penalty attempt, but Liverpool’s delay lasted only 13 minutes. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia outplayed Joe Gomez, who endured 45 minutes before being sent off, to give Andre Frank Zambo Anguisa a chance to shoot the ball down into the frail Liverpool keeper’s goal.
Things went from bad to worse shortly before the break as substitute Giovanni Simeone – in place of the injured Osimhen – was found unmarked in the six-yard box to turn a Kvaratskellia cross home.
Team news – Salah and Diaz’s start. Osimhen went through a bout
Liverpool made three changes as Jurgen Klopp’s men began their Champions League Group A campaign in Naples.
Andy Robertson, James Milner and Roberto Firmino entered after Saturday’s derby draw with Everton as Costas Tsimikas, Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez withdrew.
Thiago Alcantara was named to the bench after a month out, while Victor Osimhen was deemed fit to start Napoli.
Zielinski concluded the scoring for Luciano Spalletti’s new-look team two minutes into the second half to compound Liverpool’s misery, before Luis Diaz temporarily calmed the home team’s fans when he cut inside to bend a right-footed shot past Alex Merritt.
Diaz, Liverpool’s only savior on a lively evening, also saw a powerful header saved while midfield concerns subsided a bit with the return of Thiago and the debut of Arthur on loan to Juventus – both substitutes in the second half.
Liverpool overwhelmed in hostile Napoli
Liverpool started their Premier League campaign with two faltering victories in six matches and carried this poor form into their opening Group A match against the second-placed Serie A champions.
In contrast, Napoli have not lost in five domestic matches and score goals for fun, so it was no surprise when Liverpool’s leaky defense opened the door for both Osimhen and Zelensky in the first quarter of a particularly one-sided match.
Osimhen’s rush of overcoming Liverpool’s offside trap and dribbling around Alisson before a shot from outside the post saw the guests humiliated 102 days after the European final lost to Real Madrid in France.
The festivities are sure to last long into the night in southern Italy, while Liverpool hope their poor start to the season has come to a head after an embarrassing defeat.
Liverpool lost all three of their matches at Diego Armando Maradona under Klopp – their biggest defeat in the Champions League.
Klopp: Goals delivered on the board
Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp speaks to BT Sport:
“It was really hard to put up with but I wouldn’t say it’s not that hard to explain.
“First of all, Napoli played really well and we didn’t. That’s the first explanation for the defeat. The two penalties we conceded, they were a bit unlucky.
“The next two goals we contend are handed to them on a plate. That’s not great and we should have defended better in the first place, and of course in the last minute too.
Lesbian reds caught cold
Liverpool suffered their biggest defeat against a Premier League side in their opening Champions League match since Arsenal lost 3-0 to Inter Milan in 2003-04. It was the Reds’ biggest defeat overall in the competition.
“We weren’t coherent defensively or offensively. Until Thiago came on the pitch, I can’t remember a single counter-pressure situation. The reason for that is that we are too wide.
“You can see it on the pitch. We weren’t working as a team. That’s why we lose matches. We play in the strongest league in the world and we have a tough group in the Champions League as well.
“We have to play in three days against Wolverhampton. If the Wolves watched that game tonight they wouldn’t stop laughing and saying it was the perfect moment.”
Robertson: Liverpool deserved to lose
Andy Robertson of Liverpool speaks to BT Sport:
“We were miles very open. You can’t come to a place like this and not be stressed.
“They were the best team by miles. When you’re a team that’s pushing someone and missing a challenge, you need someone to follow along.
“A lot of the time, they turned around and had an open space to run, which caused problems in the centre-back, whether it was two-on-two or three-on-two.
“In a Champions League match you can’t be so wide open, you have to be pressured. We deserved that result. I felt they had an extra player.”
September 13: Ajax (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
October 4th: Notice (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
October 12: Notice (a) The match starts at 8 pm
October 26: Ajax (a) The match starts at 8 pm
November 1st: Naples (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
Liverpool Back to the English Premier League matches on Saturday when they host Wolves At 3 pm, while Naples He will try to maintain his unbeaten start in the Italian League while hosting it spices Saturday at 2 pm.