Liverpool got a nightmare start to their latest Champions League campaign when they lost 4-1 to Napoli in their first Group A match. Liverpool was humiliated as they returned to the Champions League when excellent Napoli won against Jurgen Klopp’s scruffy side. It was another shock performance for Liverpool, the most disturbing of the season. Liverpool endured one of the worst nights in their modern Champions League history. What a night the hosts remember as Liverpool hopes to forget soon what Liverpool has just been through. Napoli fans must have been wondering what alternate reality they were suddenly teleported to when they saw Napoli overpower Liverpool 3-0 at halftime in the Champions League first leg.
The hosts mutinied and were cleared mainly due to the mixing of Liverpool‘s top line and Liverpool’s apparent unwillingness to press as they had in recent past seasons. Eventually, Liverpool ran out of fuel, and Napoli switched to cruise control, happy to finish their first Champions League game without much excitement. Napoli then had a moment of relaxation, and this allowed Luis Diaz to score for Liverpool, which made Napoli’s historic night just a little less miserable.
Fan confidence in Naples dominated preparations for the opening of the Champions League on Wednesday, and die-hard Liverpool fans who made the trip were immersed in an extraordinary atmosphere that only got better after a tumultuous first half. Jurgen Klopp‘s team was having a lot of trouble dealing with Napoli’s frantic pace and tight pressing, and the Italian team came agonisingly close to putting some distance between themselves and Liverpool when Osimhen stole the ball from Joe Gomez and squared to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, whose effort was cleared off the line by Van Dijk.
Liverpool last conceded three goals in the first half of a Champions League match in October 2014 when Liverpool lost 3-0 to Real Madrid. A team that once seemed invincible now look mediocre with a terrible defence as they concede the opening goal in five of the seven games played this season. With five games remaining in Group A, it may be too early for Liverpool to panic over its playoff hopes. Robertson, who defended the Reds’ left side for the entire 90 minutes, has harshly criticised his squad while praising Napoli’s performance.
The loss marked a new low in a Liverpool season that was already on the verge of unravelling, and the team’s evident lack of dedication and ambition fell well short of the standards that had long been set for Klopp’s squad.