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Liverpool Legends Stunned After Reds Shell Shocked At Napoli

Liverpool Legends Stunned After Reds Shell Shocked At Napoli
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Liverpool's visit to Napoli took a severely unexpected turn on Wednesday night, with the English side going in at the break 3-0 down, and ultimately coming out 4-1 losers..

It was a dire first-half performance from the Liverpool defence, as Napoli tore them apart with ease.

The BT panel of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, and Rio Ferdinand absolutely tore into Liverpool's defensive efforts, and questioned their lack of desire.

BT panel question Liverpool desire after "embarrassing" Napoli drubbing

It can't be argued that the first half of Wednesday night's game was one of the worst, if not the worst 45 minutes Liverpool have played under Jurgen Klopp.

Napoli broke through the famed resolute Liverpool backline with ease, and had the lead within five minutes through a Piotr Zielinski penalty.

Another penalty was conceded by Liverpool in the first half, though goalkeeper Alisson managed to stop the second from Victor Osimhen. The two goals Napoli scored from open play, however, were both shocking defensive displays from Liverpool, particularly the right hand side of their back four.

At half-time, the footballing world was shell shocked, and Robbie Fowler, Rio Ferdinand, and Michael Owen were the men tasked with making sense of Liverpool's dire half.


The defensive efforts of right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold have been questioned on multiple occasions in recent years, and Robbie Fowler once again drew attention after his mistakes in the first-half.


Former Liverpool striker Fowler said that it was a worrying change of fortunes from the familiar Liverpool of the past few years. He questioned the desire not only of Alexander-Arnold, but of the team as a whole:

I think that's one of the things we couldn't question Liverpool on over the last few years, but I think today we are.

For Liverpool it's a tough game - Champions League, we know how good Napoli are at home. First five minutes, they've got four players running forwards. We were saying, you want one of your defenders to say, 'look, let's just not concede a goal, let's make sure we're hard to beat, let's make sure we're tight.'

I know Gomez will get all the stick because he gets caught out, but watch the desire from Trent as well. As much as we give him loads of plaudits in the way he attacks teams and his desire to get forward, his desire to get back and help the team defensively is poor.

I mean, to be fair, Napoli have been brilliant as well, but Liverpool defensively have been absolutely shocking.

Fowler would say at full-time that the desire was something that should "never" be questioned.

READ HERE: Richie Sadlier Defends Ange Postecoglou's Approach In Real Madrid Defeat

Former Manchester United man Rio Ferdinand went on to add to Fowler's comments, saying that some of the players looked unwilling to run, or to track back and help their teammates:


Napoli have been tremendous, first and foremost, in all areas of the pitch, but Liverpool will be embarrassed. That's an embarrassing 45 minutes, especially from a defensive standpoint.

What you can't accept as a manager, as a teammate, as a player, is a lack of effort, a lack of desire. You accept mistakes, but when people don't run, or they don't look like they have the intensity or desire to get back and play...you've got to get back and help your teammates.

It's just not good enough.

It's hard to argue with the comments from Fowler and Ferdinand. It was a dire half, which undersold just how good this Liverpool team have been for the past few years under Jurgen Klopp.

READ HERE: Richard Keys Has An Unexpected Choice For Tuchel's Successor

It was, however, Michael Owen's comments that were most cutting. Despite a 9-0 win over Bournemouth, the club have only taken nine points from a possible 18 in the league, with underwhelming performances throughout. For ex-Liverpool man Owen and the club's fanbase, the first-half performance at Napoli was not hugely surprising.

Liverpool fans will have been expecting this.

They're being shown up.

Serious questions will be asked of the Liverpool defence. It only took 90 seconds of the second half for Napoli to break them down again for their fourth and, though Luis Diaz would claw one back for Liverpool, it would ultimately finish 4-1 on a shocking European night.

Ferdinand would go on to double down on Owen's comments at full-time, saying that this kind of result had been "coming" for Liverpool, while continuing to question the desire of the team.

Owen would assess Liverpool as simply "not good enough" after the Napoli defeat, and it was hard to argue.

After a stunning 2021-22 season, 2022-23 suddenly has a much more difficult look to it for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp has a serious job on his hands to turn this around.

SEE ALSO: Reports: Tuchel's Refusal To Sign Ronaldo Lead To His Downfall

Thomas Tuchel


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