New Napoli keeps flying and passes over a fragile Liverpool to score

After losing flags of recent years, such as Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli has been keen to reassure its fans at the beginning of a new era and nothing could serve that more than a relentless rout over the current European runners-up. This Wednesday, Armando Maradona Stadium vibrated with each Neapolitan onslaught against Liverpool’s fragile defensive system and the 4-1 rout was even cheap.

With Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s immediate adaptation and Victor Osimhen’s exuberant form, Napoli haven’t been feeling the changes of pieces in these first few weeks of the season. He is doing well in the Italian Championship, in second place and undefeated, and has achieved a huge victory in his debut in a group that starts with a balanced scenario. In the other game, Ajax also thrashed Rangers.

Perhaps tired from the effort of keeping four title fights to the end last season, perhaps feeling the embezzlement, Liverpool started the campaign very badly, but was sketching recovery. Nothing went right in southern Italy, however, and against qualified opponents such as Napoli, Ajax and the Europa League runners-up, he will need to quickly find his best performance so as not to get complicated in the fight for a spot in the round of 16.

One of Liverpool’s problems at the start of the season has been the defence. It even looks like that pre-Van Dijk that caused so many worries. Opponents have no trouble making that pass more in depth and leaving a teammate in front of the goal. And, very good at that, Victor Osimhen took advantage. In the first minute, he came out on Joe Gomez’s back, managed to dribble Alisson, who had gone to the edge of the penalty area, but, without much angle, hit the post.

Two minutes later, Kvaratskhelia arrived on the left, launched on a counterattack, took it to the middle and rolled for Zielinski to hit head on. James Milner made the block with an open arm. A clear penalty that was converted by Zielinski. Napoli had a second penalty in the first half, when Osimhen, on another stretched ball, tried to dribble over Van Dijk and was brought down.

It was a brief moment of relief for Liverpool as Alisson saved the Nigerian’s strike and Di Lorenzo sent the rebound wide. For a moment or two, the visitors seemed more in control, occupying the attacking field, trying to pick up pace to threaten Alex Meret. There is so much talk about the embezzlement in the red midfield, but defenders Ibrahima Konaté and Joel Matip (returning now) are also missing. Should not. Joe Gomez, with a recently renewed contract, was supposed to be able to hold on for a few games.

But, also hesitant in previous duels, Gomez had a bad first half. In the 27th minute, he stepped on the ball in an attempt to get out playing and left it to Osimhen, who invaded the area and, in Alisson’s face, rolled for Kvaratskhelia to push without a goalkeeper. Van Dijk cut across the line. After a feeble shot by Salah, about what Liverpool had a chance before half-time, Gomez faltered again, and Kvaratskhelia came in strong from the left.

The Georgian tried to dribble, couldn’t and left it with Anguissa, who scored very easily with Zielinski, deceiving all the opposing markers, before hitting Alisson’s exit to widen. Liverpool still gained a teaspoon because Osimhen had to go out injured, in the 41st minute, for Giovanni Simeone’s entry. But a minute before the break, Kvaratskhelia set fire to the left wing, with a crescent on Arnold and beating Gomez in the body to cross at close range, where Simeone appeared to complete.

Unsurprisingly, Gomez did not return from the locker rooms, replaced by Matip, returning from injury. The substitution did not have an immediate impact as Simeone again came out in the back of Liverpool’s defense thanks to an Anguissa shot. The forward played quickly to Zielinski, in the middle of the area. Alisson made a great save, but the Pole scored on the rebound. Complete disaster for Liverpool, who even reduced the damage a little immediately with a strike from outside the area by Luis Díaz.

It wasn’t a reaction draft, but Díaz almost scored the second in a strong header from the penalty spot, very well saved by Alex Meret, and Klopp tried to change the scene with three substitutions. Salah and Firmino left for the entrances of Diogo Jota and Darwin Núñez. And Thiago returned from injury in Milner’s spot. Arthur would still make his debut a few minutes later, but Liverpool never came close to returning to the game or looked like a better team than Napoli, who had a massive and well-deserved rout to celebrate their return to the Champions League after two seasons.

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About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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