Napoli vs Liverpool 4-1: A Night to Remember at the Maradona!

If this is a dream, please don’t wake them up. The Napoli fans must have been asking themselves in what alternate reality had they suddenly been teleported as they saw the Partenopei thrashing Liverpool 3-0 at half time in their Champions League first game. 

The match eventually ended 4-1 in a football night that they won’t forget soon in Naples. Luciano Spalletti’s side was absolutely perfect and found the back of the net with Piotr Zielinski (twice), Frank Zambo Anguissa, and Giovanni Simeone. They also took the luxury of missing a penalty with Victor Osimhen. Luis Diaz scored the only one of the night for the dazed Reds. 

It was clear from the very start that Liverpool were not going to have an easy night at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. Just 44 seconds after kick off, Osimhen was picked by Giovanni Di Lorenzo and dashed past Alisson Becker to see his shot crash into the post.  

Five minutes into the game, the Partenopei had already opened the scoring. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia beat his marker Trent Alexander-Arnold and served a brilliant pass to Piotr Zielinksi, who saw his conclusion deflected by James Milner with his hand. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Zielinski kept his cool to put his side ahead.

One would have expected a reaction from Jurgen Klopp’s band but the Reds seemed just confused and out of place. On 15 minutes, Virgil Van Dijk had no option than push down Osimhen in the box in a desperate attempt to stop his progression. It was penalty again, but this time it was the big Nigerian to step up and he saw his conversion attempt defused by Alisson.

Liverpool gave some signs of life with an Alexander Arnold free kick but Alex Meret was well alert and averted the danger for the Partenopei with a fine save.

The Reds’ performance at the back was just dreadful. With 28 minutes on the clock, a Joe Gomez blunder triggered Osimhen’s service for Kvaratskhelia. Van Dijk managed to push back the Georgian’s shot right on the goal line. 

Gomez didn’t seem to learn his lesson as a few minutes later he caused another Napoli fast break powered by Kvaratskhelia and finalized by Zielinksi and Anguissa. It was the Cameroonian to write his name into the scorecard, making it 2-0 for the home side.

There were bad news for Spalletti on 42 minutes as Osimhen picked up an adductor injury and had to leave the pitch. However, his substitute Giovanni Simeone didn’t make the Nigerian’s absence felt as he found the back of the net just three minutes after his entrance, well-served by a Kvaratskhelia in amazing form. 

At half time, the scorecard read 3-0 for Napoli. The whole Liverpool squad was just absent without official live, including their star Mohamed Salah.       

The half time break didn’t bring any change among the visitors lines – be it players or mindset – and Napoli took advantage of the situation to score a fourth one.

Anguissa picked Simeone with a filtering pass for which the Liverpool center backs had no answer, and the Cameroonian delivered the ball to Zielinski, who pounced on the rebound from Alisson’s first save to bag his brace and carve his name in Napoli’s historic night.

The Partenopei then had a moment of relaxation and that enabled Luis Diaz to score one for Liverpool, making their night just a little less miserable. Diaz’s goal shook the Reds a bit and Klopp’s troop enjoyed a few minutes of control, but their chances were controlled by Meret and the Napoli defense. 

Liverpool eventually finished their fuel and Napoli switched to cruise control mode, happy to wrap with no further emotion a game that will rightly become part of the club’s history. Their return to the Champions League stage after two years could not have been sweeter.   



September 7, 2022 – Champions 2022-2023 Group A

SCORERS: 5′ Zielinski (N, pen.), 31′ Anguissa (N), Simeone (N), 49′ Zielinski (N), 50′ Luis Diaz (L)

NAPOLI (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim Min-jae, Olivera (74′ Mario Rui); Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski (74′ Elmas); Politano (56′ Lozano), Osimhen (40′ Simeone), Kvaratskhelia (56′ Zerbin) (Idasiak, Sirigu, Juan Jesus, Ostigard, Zanoli, Elmas, Gaetano, Ndombele, Raspadori) Coach: Spalletti
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez (46′ Matip), Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner (62′ Thiago Alcantara), Elliott (76′ Arthur); Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino (61′ Nunez), Salah (62′ Diogo Jota) (Adrian, Davies, Tsimikas, Nunez, Bajcetic, Phillips) Coach: Klopp
REFEREE: Mr. Del Cerro Grande (Spain)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Rrhamani (N), Milner (L); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 4′
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