Four things Klopp got wrong as Liverpool thrashed by Napoli in Champions League

Liverpool were absolutely humiliated in Naples on Wednesday night, with the hosts Napoli winning 4-1 against a completely shell-shocked Jurgen Klopp side.

The game got off the to the worst possible start for the Reds as James Milner conceded a penalty inside five minutes, and Piotr Zielinski converted with ease from the spot. But it got worse after the half hour mark, as mistakes from Joe Gomez meant that Liverpool trailed 3-0 at the break following strikes from Andre Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Zielinski scored just 90 seconds after the restart, but Luis Diaz restored a bit of order as he got one back two minutes later. It's back to the drawing board once again for Klopp, who has a lot of work to do if he wants to get Liverpool to another European final, and here Daily Star Sport takes a look at what he got wrong on the night.

READ MORE: Raging Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp slams 'embarrassing' question from reporter

Starting Milner from the off

With Thiago back in training and Arthur Melo now in the squad, fans expected a bolstered midfield for their first Champions League outing of the season. But Milner was named in the starting line-up next to Fabinho and Harvey Elliott.

Milner has been a brilliant servant to Liverpool, and fully deserves all his plaudits, but it was the wrong choice from Klopp on Wednesday as the 36-year-old was overwhelmed from the start. An early desperate lunge resulted in a penalty for the home side, and he was booked moments later for a clumsy challenge, in a nightmare opening ten minutes.

Klopp's options have been limited, but we have become so used to seeing Milner come off the bench to add experience in the closing stages. However, in this instance, starting the veteran was the wrong call, and Liverpool were chasing the game before it had really got going.

Van Dijk's defensive partner

Again, like the lack of midfield options, injuries to both Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate has left Klopp with either Joe Gomez or Nat Phillips to partner Virgil van Dijk. Klopp has experimented with both, but Matip was watching on from the bench, with the Liverpool boss clearly not overly confident about his fitness.

But Klopp may have wished he gambled, as Gomez had a game to forget as he was responsible for two of the three goals in the first half. To begin with, Gomez was too cool and lost the ball at the back, and that attack ended in a goal for the home side.

And he switched off after that, as he struggled to deal with his error, although it was his lack of awareness that allowed things to get worse. Klopp brought Gomez off at half-time, and it was Matip that came on.

Overlooking Osimhen inclusion

In the week leading up to kick-off, Osimhen was named as a huge doubt for Napoli which was seen as a major boost for Liverpool. But whether it was good fortune for the hosts, or a smokescreen to throw Liverpool off, Osimhen was named in the starting line-up after all.

And the Reds did not look comfortable with the Nigerian striker, and he constantly caused problems as they looked completely unaware of how to defend him. Not even Van Dijk could do so, as he was wrong-footed by the striker before giving away a penalty.

The resulting penalty was missed, and Osimhen was later taken off through injury after all, but he bamboozled Liverpool while he was on the pitch. And his influence was a major part in Napoli's first-half thrashing.

Not learning from previous efforts

Believe it or not, Liverpool have never won away from home against Napoli, although maybe that won't come as too much of a surprise after Wednesday's showing. In recent years, Liverpool have lost both 1-0 and 2-0 in Naples, with a 0-0 draw coming back in 2010.

In those games, the hostility of the home crowd proved too much, and they weren't able to play their game due to the swarms of Napoli pressure. You'd have thought that their previous efforts would have been used as a case study, but clearly not.

The same narrative happened again, and this was the worst example yet, or the best from a Napoli perspective. Liverpool may not have been in great form, and this was a great chance to turn things around, but although they lost, no one expected this.


  • Liverpool flop goalkeeper gifts striker ball 30 yards from net in unreal blunder

  • Liverpool urge fans to stay in hotels and 'don't wear red' over safety fears in Italy

  • Joe Cole and Peter Crouch left in stitches over 'Harry Hill glasses' on BT Sport

Source: Read Full Article