Napoli vs Liverpool summary: Napoli easy win, score, goals, highlights, Champions League 2022/23
Napoli humble Liverpool
Napoli 4-1 Liverpool
Liverpool were runners-up in the Champions League last season but you wouldn’t have guessed that from tonight’s match. Klopp’s side were off the pace from the start and looked to be lacking concentration, organisation and motivation.
In the opening minute Napoli had already created a fine chance, when Osimhen broke away down the right and very nearly made Alisson pay for coming rashly off his line - the striker’s shot hit the post. Did Liverpool heed the warning? They did not. Napoli were allowed room to move the ball to Zielinski at the top of the box, who had time to get his shot off. It was going wide anyway, but Milner, instinctively, moved his arm out and the ball brushed it. Penalty for the home side, converted neatly by Zielinski.
And the home side had a second penalty just 10 minutes later (having had the better of the play in the intervening moments) when Osimhen was brought down by Van Dijk (worrying for Klopp… Van Dijk doesn’t give away penalties). The Nigerian striker grabbed the ball, only to see his effort saved by Alisson; that stop though in no way turned the tide of the match. Napoli, while wasteful, were creating enough danger every time they came forward that the second was only a matter of time, and it came from Andre Zambo Anguissa, after superb work from the man behind the opening goal Zielinksi.
Osimhen, who was lively all evening, was forced off after taking a knock in the 41st minute and he was replaced by Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone’s son, Giovanni Simeone. He’s recently arrived on loan from Hellas Verona, but if the Liverpool fans were hoping he’d need time to find his feet, they were very mistaken. Four minutes after coming on he made it 3-0 with a simple tap in from Kvaratskhelia (who also had a fine game).
Half-time and the match seemed to be pretty much done and dusted, and when Zielinski popped up right at the start of the second half to make it 4-0 it was. Although Luis Diaz got one back almost straight away, and seemed to believe he could turn it around single-handedly, his Liverpool team-mates appeared pretty much resigned to their fate.
Napoli aren’t top of the Group, with Ajax having beaten Rangers 4-0, but they’ll feel like they're flying this evening. Klopp and Liverpool know they have a lot of work to do.
Klopp: "We need to reinvent ourselves"
At the end of 80s, Irish rockers U2 had the world at their feet with the huge success of the Joshua Tree catapulting them to massive stardom, but when their next album, Rattle and Hum, failed to build on what they’d done to that point… it was time to tear it all down and start again. Cue Achtung Baby. It was like they’d become a new band overnight.
The point being, when you’re at the top, sometimes the only way to grow is to rethink it all. Having won the Champions League in 2019 and been runners-up in 2021, with a brand of heavy metal football expertly pounded out by a group of smart, devastating footballers, after tonight’s thumping by Napoli, coach Jurgen Klopp admitted it was time to “reinvent ourselves”.
After the 4-1 defeat he said, “it looks like we need to reinvent ourselves. There’s a lot of things lacking. We have to try to find a set up to be much better in pretty much everything,” said Klopp.
Exactly what that means will be one of the fascinating stories of this season. U2 turned to hip hop beats, funk guitars and a huge dollop of lyrical and performative irony to turn their backs on classic rock. What will Klopp turn to to reinvent a Liverpool side that have strutted their stuff so proudly across Europe in recent years?
Full time! Napoli start the 2022/23 Champions League in style!
Liverpool need to go home and have a long hard think about what that was.
Lozano gets the ball out on the right and his cross pings straight off Robertson for a corner. Which leads to another one...
Four minutes of time added on. Napoli winning 4-1.
Robertson swings in a corner from the left and it falls very pleasantly for Diogo Jota who lets fly... straight into a defender.
Napoli get the ball and lackadaisically bring it out from the back. They are in no rush.
Zerbin, bouncing around on his fresh legs, goes on a fine run, evading all manner of challenges. He makes it to the top of the box, and in his head he's firing it into the top corner... in real life he hits a tame one that's easily dealt with by Alisson.
Simeone gets the ball at the top of the box, but the pass is slightly underhit meaning by the time he pulls the trigger the defence is across to cover and the Argentinean's shot is blocked.
He then gets called up for offside just after.
Napoli keeper Meret takes a knock and needs treatment, but he's fine to carry on.
Klopp sees Spalletti making subs and decides he wants a piece of the action. Harvey Elliott sees his number come up, and is replaced by Arthur Melo, who makes his debut for Liverpool.
Spalletti wants more change in the world and decides Eljif Elmas can take Piotr Zielinski's place on the pitch.
Piotr Zielinski won the first penalty and scored it, before getting Napoli's fourth at the start of the second half, which basically absolutely killed the tie, even though Luis Diaz did get one back soon after.
Come in please Mathias Olivera Miramontes, your time is up!
He's replaced by Mario Rui
Salah was very quiet tonight. Very little movement and when he did have the ball he did little with it. He managed to completely miss - not even miscontrol - a ball from TAA midway through the first half. Like there's less focus than before.
Salah signed a new three-year contract with Liverpool this summer, worth about 21 million dollars a year.
Napoli conjure a little something up and it's Lozano who has a ping from the edge of the box, but it's just wide. Still 4-1 to Napoli.
It's rather calm out there at the moment. Both sides happy to go down the other end, but it's Liverpool making more effort, as you'd expect, but it's not like they are throwing the kitchen sink at Napoli.
Rrahmanin taken by surprise by the pace of Luis Diaz who beats him to the ball out on the left. The Napoli defender is forced to bring the Liverpool man down and goes into the book.
TAA wastes the resulting free-kick.
Klopp rings the TRIPLE substitution bell:
Darwin Nunez on for Roberto 'Bobby' Firmino
Thiago on for James Milner (booked and gave away a penalty)
Diogo Jota on for Salah, who goes off to rest his legs. Wolves on Saturday.
Meret! Tasty save from a header from Luis Diaz, who has decided he's going to level the tie himself. The keeper tips over spectacularly.
Simeone and Lozano get in behind the defence and if they'd worked out a cunning plan to get the ball towards the goal between them probably should have scored. Instead they get into a muddle and Lozano ends up skelping the ball towards the goal from distance. It is not a pretty effort, flying high and uncontrolled somewhere in the rough vicinity of the goal.
Spalletti decides it's a ripe time for a double sub, and Politano trundles off to be replaced by Chucky Lozano.
Kvaratskhelia goes in a massive run up the left wing, but as he heads into the box he runs out of juice and ideas. And that's his last participation in the game - he's been great - as he's taken off for Alessio Zerbin.
Robertson, who has been constantly active, tries his luck with another cross, but once again he's frustrated as keeper Alex Meret comes to collect.
Luis Diaz tries to repeat his previous effort, doing some decent solo work and curling a shot goalwards. It's just wide of the right post.
Luis Diaz gets Liverpool on the scoresheet! That's an absolute peach of a strike from distance to give the visitors something to cling to.
Zielinski! Gets the ball with lots of time, but sends his first shot into Alisson's body before he sends the rebound home. 4-0!
Second half underway! Can Liverpool turn things around? They have come back to win from 3-0 down at half-time as any Liverpool fan will be delighted to tell you.
Half-time! Well that is 45 minutes that Liverpool will want to forget as soon as possible. Shambolic would be one adjective, but you could pick a few. They were sloppy, unfocused and leaky as a sieve at the back and offered very little up front.
Napoli took advantage but could have had more, having hit the post in the first minute, failed to convert a second penalty and also had what should have been an easy tap home saved on the line when Kvaratskhelia failed to get it past Van Dijk.
Napoli fans had reason to think the fun might be somewhat over when Osimhen went off injured near the end of the first half, but replacement Simeone was on the score sheet within four minutes of coming on to make it 3-0.
Instant impact! Simeone has only been on the pitch for four minutes and he's scored!
Liverpool defence utterly shredded: Kvaratskhelia on the left has it far too easy and sends a neat ball into the middle where Simeone, all on his lonesome, just has to tap in. And he does.
Sad sight. Victor Osimhen, who is constantly explosive, is coming off after he takes a knock and Giovanni Simeone, son of one Diego Pablo Simeone, coach of Atlético Madrid, comes on.
Simeone is 27 now and joined Napoli on loan from Hellas Verona this summer.
Lovely lay off by Elliott to TAA, who puts his foot right through it from out right, alas for him there is a defenders peg in the way and the ball ricochets to safety. Solid strike though, one to go to school on for technique.
Certainly not the best start from Liverpool
Simon Hughes, who's with The Athletic, has no doubts about the first half hour.
Just like after the first goal, Liverpool react and get up the other end. This time Van Dijk gets on the end of a cross but Meret is there to deny him.
Liverpool had somehow avoided conceding the second goal... until now! Zielinski picks out Andre Zambo Anguissa and he makes no mistake! Napoli finally get the second and Liverpool are stunned.
Napoli have to make it two, but somehow waste the chance! Osimhen skips through the defence and squares it to Kvaratskhelia who just has to stroke it home... but Van Dijk gets back to block! What a waste from the home side.
Lovely move from Liverpool working it down the left and getting the ball across into the centre, where it breaks down between Firmino and Harvey Elliott, but that's encouraging for Klopp & Co.
Liverpool with a couple of corners in succession, and after the second one the ball comes back to TAA who spots Salah in space on the left in the box, He floats a lovely diagonal ball across, but the Egyptian appears to lose concentration and entirely fails to control it.
Alisson SAVES! Was not a great penalty from Osimhen, and the Brazilian keeper was more than equal to it. The rebound fell to a Di Lorenzo, but his effort flies miles over the bar.
Osimhen to take the penalty after he was brought down by Van Dijk, who goes into the book.
Ref Del Cerro checking for a penalty after Van Dijk brings down Osimhen! And it's clear. Second penalty for Napoli!!
Andrew Robertson wins a corner for Liverpool and then takes it himself, alas for him the Napoli keeper shows his merits and claims it.
Barcelona have opened the scoring against Viktoria Plzen by the way. You can follow that with Paul over here.
Salah gets a shot away! But it's blocked and spins away to safety...
James Milner into the book for a rather reckless challenge. He must be utterly loving the way this is going so far tonight (he gave away the penalty too).
Liverpool fans will be wanting to try those first few minutes again. It's been a bit of a feature of the side so far this season in some games, with the team struggling to get in the groove early doors. Very costly this evening.
Liverpool, rather shocked by that opening spell and the Napoli goal, manage to get the ball up the other end and win a corner, but TAA's ball in (pretty decent) is cleared.
Zielinski! Sends Alisson completely the wrong way and fires home left. 1-0 Napoli! Some start from the home side.
Another Napoli chance! Ball played across from the left to Zielinski at the top of the box who goes to slot it home but it flies wide.
But wait! the ball brushed Milner's hand as it flew towards goal, and that is a penalty!
Alisson forced to come out again as Napoli get in behind Van Dijk, this time the keeper deals with the problem, sticking his head on it and clearing.
Napoli should be in the lead! That's a terrible effort from Alisson, coming out and failing to get the ball. Osimhen skipped past him but from the resulting tight angle he hit the post.
Napoli vs Liverpool underway!
Napoli hold onto the ball but they're going mostly backwards. Liverpool, heavy metal blasting in their heads, head straight up to press high and hard.
Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande makes a bit of a mess of the coin toss, appearing to forget who had what, but it's all sorted with some pointing and a few smiles, with Napoli winning it and kicking off.
Anthem time! Still a good 'un. Will they ever jazz it up, like the jingles on the radio gently morphing over time, or is it in fact timeless...
Liverpool fans look in good cheer inside the ground. The English club were given an official allocation of 2,736 for this game against Napoli, but the suspicion would be there are a few more in there.
The Diego Armando Maradona stadium holds 55,000.
Big Virg - you can't argue with that moniker from the Liverpool Community Manager - starts tonight.
Wednesday Champions League fixtures
Here are all the games in the Champions League today (full schedule).
All the games kick off at 3pm ET, except for the two with a scoreline which are just finishing.
Ajax 4-0 Rangers
Napoli - Liverpool
Brugge - Leverkusen
Atlético - Porto
Barcelona - Viktoria Plzen
Inter - Bayern
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Sporting
Tottenham - Marseille
Interesting that the two finalists in the UEFA Europa League last season, Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt (who won it), have both been rather humbled on their first outing in this year's Champions League.
While we wait for kick-off, here's probably today's biggest news in the Champions League... Chelsea's Tuchel sacked after last night's somewhat shock defeat to Dinamo Zagreb. It did happen after that defeat, but the reality is Tuchel was already on his way out, having lost the dressing room and the confidence of the execs, as bosses are known these days.
Champions League Group A
Here's how Group A looks, right now!
Ajax get their fourth
Both Liverpool and Napoli will need a thumping win to top Group A this evening, with Ajax now leading Rangers 4-0 after a meltdown in the Rangers defence.
Thiago and Arthur Melo
Thiago is in Liverpool squad and on the bench after a fair old while out with a hamstring injury.
Arthur Melo is also on the bench, as he waits to make his debut after his transfer-day loan deal from Juventus. Liverpool have stumped up €4.5 million in loan fees and will have the option to sign him for €37.5 million at the end of the season. (The dollar is at roughly parity with the euro at the moment)
Napoli starting XI
Napoli will line-up as follows for their Champions League home game against Liverpool:
Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Minjae, Olivera, Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski, Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Liverpool starting XI
Liverpool start against Napoli: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Elliott, Diaz, Salah and Firmino.
Sunshine on the Diego Armando Stadium
The view of the ground earlier on, kick-off between Napoli and Liverpool is at 3pm ET, 9pm local time.
Players out for Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp will be without injured captain Jordan Henderson this evening, and reports say he may not be back till after the international break.
The big German coach is also missing Fabio Carvalho, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Injuries were in fact behind the Reds decision to bring in Arthur Melo on loan on deadline-day, and the 26-year-old could make his debut tonight.
Thiago Alcantara may also make an appearance, having been out for a month.
Real Madrid bosh Celtic
It's not been a great start for Scottish teams in this year's Champions League, with Real Madrid beating Rangers' eternal rivals Celtic last night at Cetlic Park, 0-3.
Celtic were actually pretty decent for a lot of the first half and had to rue a number of missed chances, but the reigning champions turned on the style in the second half and bish, bash, bosh, that was it.
Ajax vs Rangers live
You can follow Ajax vs Rangers live here.
Ajax are currently leading through goals from Edson Álvarez 16', Berghuis 31' and Mohammed Kudus 33'.
Ajax cleaning up against Rangers
Looks like Ajax will be in at least joint top spot at the end of the evening, allowing commentators across the planet to make cleaning-product related gags. They are currently leading Scottish side Rangers 3-0 at half-time in the other Group A game this evening, that kicked off early.
That's only the second time Rangers have conceded three or more goals in the first half. Juventus popped three past them in the opening 45 back in October 1995.
Napoli vs Liverpool: the history
The two sides have met four times in the Champions League so far: Napoli have notched two wins, with one draw (a 1-1 group stage game in November 2019), while Liverpool beat Napoli in December 2018 to book their place in the last 16 at Napoli’s expense.
Napoli also beat Liverpool in the summer of 2019 in a friendly played in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, at Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish rugby. That one finished 3-0 in favour of the Italians.
And back in 2010/11 in the Europa League group stage, Liverpool won 3-1 at Anfield, thanks to a Steven Gerrard hat-trick, after a 0-0 draw in Naples.
First Spanish woman to be part of a refereeing team in the Champions League.
Here is Guadalupe Porras Ayuso, who makes history tonight in the Napoli vs Liverpool game.
Who is the referee for Napoli vs Liverpool?
It’s an all-Spanish set of officials this evening for Napoli vs Liverpool, with Carlos del Cerro Grande as the match referee, alongside him are assistants Pau Cebrián Devís and Guadalupe Porras Ayuso. César Soto Grado will be the fourth official, while Alejandro Hernández Hernández will be the video assistant referee.
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that Guadalupe is a women’s name - and indeed Guadalupe Porras is making history tonight, as the first Spanish woman to be part of a refereeing team in the Champions League.
How to watch Napoli vs Liverpool
If you want to pop the tv on in the background, here’s the lowdown on how to tune in.
Basically, in the US you’ll get coverage on Paramount +, with English commentary, and on ViX and ViX+, both Spanish-language.
Napoli vs Liverpool
Good afternoon and welcome to our live, minute-by-minute coverage of Napoli vs Liverpool, from the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples.
The Champions League matchday 1 group stage game gets underway at 9 p.m. local time, which is 3 p.m. ET and midday PT.