What a thrilling night it was in Naples, Italy. It’s the second game of The Champions League for Napoli, and after a disappointing loss to Juventus on Saturday this is was a great stage to bounce back. Going into the match we knew that Liverpool would be a tough opponent, and to win Ancelotti would have to pull something out of his sleeves, and that he did.
We start by first looking at the lineup, Ancelotti went with his 4-4-2, but would transition to a 3-5-2 in attacking situations.
In Goal we got David Ospina, and what a match this man had. The Colombian by far had his best showing as the Napoli goalkeeper, he constantly made big saves He looked similar to his form in The World Cup. He didn’t look scared to face this lethal top three of Liverpool, it was exceptional to see this confidence in Ospina.
The back is where Ancelotti made the right moves. He went with Maksimovic-Albiol-Koulibaly-Rui. By starting three natural Center Backs it gives a reliable wall during attacks, while Rui makes wide runs up the flank to attack crossing in balls in the box. This back line had to throw Klopp off as we have yet to see this backline combo this year. Overall this side did a fantastic job and was the center of this victory.
In the midfield, Ancelotti went with Callejón-Allan-Hamsik-Fabian. This group also played very well, as they had the vital role of not turning the ball over, as Liverpool have made a living winning balls in the Midfield and deploying their lethal counter attack, this is Liverpool’s bread and butter. Allan continued to showcase to the world his defensive prowess, he was all over of the pitch. Callejón continues to make a living on those wide runs crossing it in, as he assisted on the game winner. In 68th minute Zielinski and Verdi came in for Hamsik and Fabian.
Up top Insigne-Milik got the start. Milik had a solid match as he took some good shots, Mertens came in the 68th for him and added an extra jolt to the attack as he always does. What do we about Lorenzo Insigne, what a bounce-back match for him! He played superb, notching the game-winning goal in the 90th minute.
Napoli knew this would be a tough match, but after dropping 2 points in Belgrade, this win against Liverpool keeps them right of the thick of things in Group C. The game plan Ancelotti implemented was spectacular, knowing how dangerous Liverpool’s midfield could be at turning the ball over and creating counter attacks, Ancelotti and his group were prepared. Liverpool as well came in flat, especially with Salah and Firmino who both didn’t seem as dangerous. They seem to not expect what they were walking Into. The atmosphere was amazing and the result on the pitch was incredible.
Next for Ancelotti’s Army, will be an even more difficult test, as they travel to Paris to visit our old friend Edinson Cavani and PSG.
FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE.