By: Shane Brennan
Liverpool travelled to Italy on Wednesday evening to face Napoli, The Reds were looking to make it seven group stage victories on the bounce but they knew it wasn’t going to be easy against a side that are in good form at the moment, But what did we learn?
Liverpool were rattled right from the off as Victor Osimhen was put clean through on goal with only Alisson Becker to beat, he managed to round the Brazilian, but from a very tight angle his attempt was to go just wide, an early warning shot of what was, unfortunately, a sign of things to come.
Napoli didn’t have to wait long to hit the front as a shot fromPiotr Zielinski came off the hand of James Milner and a penalty was awarded, and Zielinski stuck the spot kick away, to give Napoli a well-deserved advantage.
Things very nearly got worse for The Reds as Osimhen ran through on goal up against Virgil van Dijk, the Netherlands International managed to make contact with Osimhen, from which a another penalty was given. This time however Osimhen took the spot kick, but the Nigerian international was denied thanks to a wonderful save from Alisson.
However Napoli’s Dominance continued, and when Joe Gomez was caught in possession, Liverpool were in deep bother when Zielinski found Zambo Anguissa he was one on one with Alisson as he finished brilliantly into the bottom right hand corner of the net, as last season’s runners up quite simply did not know what hit them.
Liverpool nearly got back into to it from a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick that found Virgil van Dijk in the area, but Alex Meret was equal to the effort, as Liverpool’s struggles continued.
And things were to go from bad to worse before the break when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia out muscled Joe Gomez to leave the Napoli man all alone as he was able to pick out Giovanni Simeone, as the game turned into a damaged limitation exercise for Liverpool.
The second half was also to start terribly for The Reds as Simeone picked out Zielinski in oceans of space, Alisson managed to keep out the first attempt producing a fantastic save, but with the way Liverpool’s night was going the ball came straight back to Zielinski to knock the ball home.
Much to Liverpool’s credit despite the game being all but over at the start of the second half they did not let their heads go down as Luis Diaz ran at the Napoli defence as he unleashed an unstoppable drive into the right hand corner of the net, and from a Alexander-Arnold cross he nearly grabbed another one back for The Reds. Sadly it just wasn’t to be as Liverpool suffered a really heavy defeat at The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Stand out performances
Harvey Elliott gave a 100% effort for his side,and Likewise Luis Diaz was on his game scoring an inspirational goal in the process.
This was a night when most things went horribly wrong for Liverpool, when they never really recovered from a bad start, it was a tough watch, and injuries are a contributing factor to Liverpool’s in different form at the moment. Each player on the team has to show sheer grit and determination if The Reds are to steer themselves out of a sticky situation