Napoli – Liverpool: Napoli’s Superb Performance Crashes Liverpool Into Pieces (4-1)
After a sublime first half, Napoli blew away Klopp’s Liverpool with an outstanding display of attacking football. For a night, Napoli stole their opponents’ trademark style made of pressing and verticality, leaving the Reds reflecting on one of their most disappointing European defeats in recent years.
Tactical analysis and match report written by Giovanni Cesaroni.
Liverpool and the Champions League: a special relationship made of iconic triumphs and some crushing defeats. With the unsavory taste of last season’s final against Real Madrid still in their mind, the Reds descended to Napoli in yet another episode of this recent Champions League rivalry.
Questions had been asked whether this heavily renewed Napoli, back in Champions League after a two-year absence, would still be able to challenge Klopp’s side: major changes in the summer saw the arrival of intriguing talents and some players looking to revive their careers, hence some doubts among experts were still hanging, despite a positive start in their Serie A’s first five fixtures.
For this match, Spalletti started with a 4-3-3 formation: Mathias Olivera made his debut from the start in place of the regular left-back, Mario Rui. Min-Jae Kim, Amir Rrahmani and Giovanni Di Lorenzo completed the rest of the back line while Stanislav Lobotka took his place as the pivot in the midfield trio formed also by Frank Zambo Anguissa and Piotr Zielinski. Up front, Matteo Politano was preferred to Hirving Lozano on the right, with the Georgian sensation, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, on the left and Victor Osimhen as striker.
For the visitors, Klopp had to make some amends to his traditional . . .