All except Luis Díaz flopped massively as Liverpool succumbed to a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli in the Champions League..
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All except Luis Díaz flopped massively as Liverpool succumbed to a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli in the Champions League..

Napoli thrashed Liverpool 4-1 at thome at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium last night during the sides’ UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 clash for the 2022/23 season.

Liverpool have been criticized recently for being unable to replicate the scintillating performances from past few years amid their injury crisis. Now they are even more powerless in the face of the menacing Napoli, which has no doubt disappointed many people. The Reds has been bombarded by the Serie A powerhouse from the beginning, causing the defense line to collapse many times, with Piotr Zielinski, Andre-Frank “Zambo” Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone each scoring to put the away side significantly behind their opponent at 3-0 by the end of the half. It wasn’t until Colombia international winger Luis Diaz rescued his side in the second half and head coach Jurgen Klopp made some tactical adjustments to improve the disadvantage that Liverpool’s performances improved much, but this was only done after Zielinski got his double, rendering the Reds’ fightback too late. In the end, the woeful Liverpool side succumbed to their heaviest defeat in their European competition in 56 years with 4-1 humiliation. Napoli are currently second in the group on goal difference, while Liverpool are third.

First Half

As soon as the game started, Napoli almost got off to a fantastic start. Only 75 seconds after the start of the game, Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s through ball from the right, found Victor Osimhen, who successfully beat the offside trap and dribbled past the outrushing Alisson unmarked at the right side of the box before striking with his right foot from a difficult angle. Unfortunately, the ball hit the bottom right post and gone out of the line. Liverpool were lucky to have escaped the first onslaught. In the 4th minute , Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s through ball from the left side of the box found Zielinski, who followed up quickly in the middle and stopped the ball before volleying the ball into the of the net with his right foot, with which the ball was accidentally blocked by James Milner’s with his arm before being parried out by Alisson. The referee decisively blew his whistle and gave Napoli a penalty on the spot. Zielinski’s right footed attempt put past Alisson who jumped to the wro ng side into the bottom left corner of the net to put Napoli one ahead.

In the 15th minute, Andre-Frank “Zambo” Anguissa’s through ball from the center circle found Osimhen who have successfully beaten the offside trap and then dribbled into the left side of the box before being taken down by Virgil Van Dijk, who was chasing him back closely. After being reminded, the referee went to the sidelines to watch the VAR and awarded Napoli another penalty. Osimhen took the penalty with his right foot, but the ball was saved by Alisson at the bottom left corner. After following up quickly and picking up the loose ball, Di Lorenzo’s shot with his right foot at a very close distance in front of the right just went too high.

In the 28th minute, Joe Gomez’s marking mistake at the back, allowed Osimhen to quickly follow up and dribbled past the former, then dribbled into the right side of the box ahead of an outrushing Alisson before passing through to Kvaratskhelia who hit the ball with his right foot in the middle, but the ball was blocked by Van Dijk in front of the goal line. 3 minutes later, Anguissa and Zielinski’s beautiful one-two resulting in the former volleying past the outrushed Alisson with his left foot on the left side of the box, which deflected off the lower left corner post the lower left corner of the net.

In the 34th minute, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross into the box through a free kick found Van Dijk who jumped the highese in the middle with a header only to be met by Alex Meret’s flying save at the top right corner. 10 minutes later, Kvaratskhelia dribbled past Alexander-Arnold and Gomez to the the edge of the box, and then made a back pass to Giovanni Simeone who pushes the ball into the lower left corner of the empty goal from the middle.

Second Half

As both teams changed sides, Liverpool started the other half just as sloppily as how they started the game. In the 47th minute, Simeone’s pass from the right found Zielinski who quickly followed up and struck with his right foot in the middle of the box. The ball was initially parried away by Alisson, but the former was able to quickly follow up and put the loose ball into the empty net with a right foot at a very close distance in front of the middle to complete his brace.

2 minutes later, Andy Robertson intercepted the ball and made a through pass from the left. Luis Díaz quickly followed up, made an inside cut and then dribble to the edge just outside of the box before drilling past Meret into lower right corner of the net with a fierce right-footed shot to help Liverpool cut the deficit. In the 61st minute, Alessio Zerbin’s clearance error from the edge of the line was intercepted by Alexander-Arnold, the latter then crossed the ball into the box, but Luis Díaz’s flying header in the middle of the box was tipped off the crossbar by a Meret super save in the top center of the goal.

5 minutes later, Jürgen Klopp sent Thiago, Darwin Núñez, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip and Arthur on from the bench, and the team finally made great progress on both ends of offense and defense, but the Premier League giants were never able to beat the resilient Meret again. The game ends with Liverpool being thumped 4-1 away by Napoli.


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