Liverpool ‘shown up’ and duo hammered at half-time as Ferdinand, Owen and Fowler lay into Klopp’s men

Joe Gomez Liverpool September 2022

BT Sport’s in-house pundits ripped into Liverpool and in particular two of Jurgen Klopp’s back four as they were ripped apart in the first half against Napoli.

Klopp’s men were 3-0 down at half-time in the Champions League clash and could have been 5-0 down after the hosts missed a penalty and hit the post. Goals from Piotr Zielinski, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had Napoli home and hosed at half-time.

Liverpool had managed 56% in the first half, but Napoli almost broke through at will in what was arguably one of the worst first-half performances under Klopp.

Joe Gomez was particularly woeful, getting caught out for two of the goals and almost costing the Reds a third when he tripped allowing Victor Osimhen to square for Kvaratskhelia. Forunatelty Virgil van Dijk managed to clear the ball off the line.

But Trent Alexander-Arnold offered little protection ahead of Gomez and the England man was also hammered at half-time.

Needless to say Klopp hooked Gomez at half-time, with Joel Matip replacing the former Charlton man.

Analysing the goals at the interval, Robbie Fowler told BT Sport: “I know Gomez will get all the stick because he gets caught out, but look at the desire from Trent. As much as we give him all the plaudits for the way he attacks teams, his desire to get back and help the team is poor.

“Liverpool defensively have been absolutely shocking.

Liverpool ‘teased’

Rio Ferdinand added: “Liverpool will be embarrassed. That is an embarrassing 45 minutes, particularly from a defensive standpoint. What you can’t accept as a manager and as a player is a lack of effort and desire.

“You accept mistakes. But when people do not run and don’t have the desire or intensity to get back and play…Silly mistakes from Gomez, but you have got to get back.

“It’s just not good enough, look at Gomez, he’s got to follow Kvaratskhelia (2nd goal). They have been teased, embarrassed and shown up and this won’t be good to watch again.”

Michael Owen was also very critical of a Liverpool side, who have had a nightmare start to the season. He even claimed the fans “have been expecting this”.

“The right-hand side of Trent and Gomez has been torn apart. Don’t get me wrong Napoli have been out of the blocks quick, with strength and desire,” said Owen,

Liverpool ‘destroyed’

“It’s been a catalogue of mistakes. And Gomez will be looking at virtually every goal and thinking ‘can I have done better?’

“Trent also, on a couple of occasions he will be looking at himself and asking ‘can I do better and the answer is yes.’

“I think Liverpool fans have been expecting this for a while. They’ve not been right for weeks.”

Analysing the game for the BBC, former Leeds defender Jonathan Woodgate said: “Napoli have been absolutely destroying Liverpool. It could be 4-0 in this first half. It wouldn’t surprise me if Joe Gomez gets taken off at half-time, he’s finding it tough.

“The two centre-halves will be absolutely delighted to see the back of Osimhen because he’s been so difficult to play against it. He’s destined for the Premier League.

“Kvaratskhelia just walks past Alexander-Arnold, Gomez isn’t strong enough and it’s a tap-in. It could be five. They’ve been very good at times Napoli, but Liverpool have been poor.”

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