Napoli v Liverpool: Pictures
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Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has fired a warning to his team-mates following the Reds’ thrashing at the hands of Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Merseyside giants were off the pace throughout the encounter in Italy as they were thumped 4-1.
“We were miles too open,” Robertson hissed on BT Sport after the match. “You can’t come to a place like this and not be compact. We had chances in the game, they had chances – they were the miles better team.
“But when we’re a team that presses and you miss one challenge you need somebody to follow it up and then back his mate up. Too many times they got turned and they had big open spaces to run at us and take the ball in behind and cause our two centre-back problems where it was two v two, three v twos at times.
“Too many times they had spaces to run at us and cause us problems. You come away in a Champions League game, you can’t be wide open like that. We have to get back to basics – you have to be compact.”
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Liverpool struggled to get a grip on the showdown in Italy and almost fell behind in the opening minute as Victor Osimhen hit the post for the hosts. But the Serie A giants did take the lead in the fifth minute as Piotr Zielinski scored from the penalty spot.
Osimhen then had a penalty saved by Alisson midway through the opening period, before Andre-Frank Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone extended Napoli’s lead ahead of the interval. Zielinski found the back of the net for a second time moments after the break, before Luis Diaz struck after 49 minutes to give the visitors hope. But there was no way back for the Premier League side as their hopes of Champions League glory suffered a setback at the first hurdle.
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“We created chances tonight, we did,” Robertson continued. “But unfortunately we deserve this result. The way we were wide open, they found so many spaces – especially in the first half. It felt like they had an extra man and that’s not like us.
“You have to be ready to fight. I don’t think we were close enough to our mate. When they went to press the ball I don’t think people were backing them up quick enough. And when you do that unfortunately you get picked off like we did.
“They hit the post within the first minute and then they go and get a penalty. They go and get another penalty and you find yourselves 3-0 down quite quickly. When they went 1-0 up we had two good chances that might have been a wee bit different but we can’t dwell on that, we don’t want to think about that. Liverpool fans don’t really care about that. We’ve been beaten 4-1, we deserved it and we need to wake up and quickly because we can’t perform like that.”
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