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Jurgen Klopp’s harsh words as Liverpool are hammered in the Champions League

Klopp admitted his side needed to ‘reset’ after a chastening night in Naples.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sent out some home truths to his players after they were hammered 4-1 by Napoli in the Champions League.

Klopp insisted it was his job to find a solution to Liverpool’s woes, as he admitted his side needed to ‘reset’ after a chastening night in Naples.

Just 102 days on from losing the final to Real Madrid on a chaotic night at the Stade de France, the Reds returned to continental action looking for a club-record seventh consecutive European away win.

But Liverpool’s stuttering Premier League form continued into Wednesday’s Champions League opener and they were fortunate to only be three down against Luciano Spalletti’s exciting, new-look Napoli at half-time.

Victor Osimhen struck the woodwork seconds into a game that was only five minutes old when Piotr Zielinski converted a penalty awarded for James Milner’s handball.

Napoli soon had another spot-kick but Alisson Becker denied Osimhen, before Virgil van Dijk – who had given away that penalty – got back to thwart Khvicha Kvaratskhelia with a fine goal-line clearance.

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But Liverpool wilted rather than rallied at the cavernous, creaking Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, where ex-Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and substitute Giovanni Simeone struck before half-time.

Napoli were celebrating a fourth moments into the second half as Zielinski grabbed a smart second, meaning Luis Diaz’s quick response was only ever going to be a consolation.

"Really tough to take, it's not that difficult to explain when you watched the game,” admitted Klopp. “To start with the two penalties… okay first of all Napoli played a really good game, we didn't, that is the first explanation for the defeat.

"They scored one penalty and missed another but the next two goals we served on a plate and we should defend better. 3-0 down having chances but never really in the game. We were not compact defensively or offensively. Until Thiago entered the pitch I cannot remember one counter-pressing situation, we were too wide.

"Everything is obvious but why it happened, I cannot answer now, let me think about about it. It is a really tough cookie to take, but I have to take it.

"We played bad in the first half but usually we don't concede three goal. With Alisson in goal, you have to be really bad for that to happen. We played here when we lost 2-0 and that was an awful game. It looks like we have to reinvent ourselves.

Liverpool are beaten in Naples© AP

"There is a lot of things lacking, the fun part is that we have to do it in the middle of a Premier League and a Champions League season.

"We have Wolves on Saturday and if they saw the game tonight, they cannot stop laughing, they would say - and I would too - it is the perfect moment to play them. We have to set up better in pretty much everything.

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"Lots of soul searching, you could see that on the pitch. We are not working as a team, it is not personal stuff or pointing (at each other). In football there are always solutions. We don't play good enough, that is obvious and that is why we lose games.

"We play in the strongest league in the world and have a pretty good Champions League group. There is a job to do, my responsibility and I need time to think about it. There are a few obvious things and we have to reset and go."


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