Gerard Grimes reports from the Aviva Stadium
Goals from James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno saw Liverpool ease to a 5-0 win over Napoli at a packed-out Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds took the lead after just three minutes as Naby Keita won the ball back on the edge of the box and played it to Sadio Mané.
Mané held the ball up, played it back to Milner on the edge of the box and he fired past Orestis Karnezis to give Liverpool the lead.
Liverpool had already threaten once James Milner was played in clipped the ball into the six-yard box towards Roberto Firmino, but it was claimed by Napoli keeper Karnezis.
Napoli almost found an equaliser soon after conceding as Lorenzo Insigne was afforded space through the middle, but his attempted lob over Alisson bounced just wide of the far post.
Liverpool were denied a second a minute later as Salah played a ball across the box to an unmarked Mané, but his shot was blocked by Raul Albiol.
The Premier League side didn’t have to wait long though as from the corner, played short by Liverpool, Wijnaldum rose highest to head home James Milner’s cross.
Napoli were gifted a chance on 23 minutes when Alisson’s poor kick out put Keita under pressure and Allan won the ball. He played in Arkadiusz Milik, but the forward sliced wide of the near post.
Their next chance came two minutes later when José Callejon played the ball left to Insigne, but he saw his low effort fumbled around the post by Alisson.
Liverpool had the ball in the net when Salah threaded the ball into the path of Firmino, who slotted into the bottom corner, however the Brazilian had just strayed offside and the goal was chalked off.
It was Klopp’s side who had the first chance of the second half too as Mané cut in from the left and tried to find the far corner with his right foot, but his effort flashed just wide.
Liverpool made it three on 58 minutes as substitute xherdan Shaqiri’s ball to the back post was headed back across goal by Salah.
Salah’s header was blocked by a Napoli defender, but the ball fell back to the Egyptian and he made no mistake, firing the ball into the top corner.
After a host of changes by both sides around the hour mark, the game again sprang to life, with Napoli’s Mario Rui breaking forward from midfield and leaving Alisson scrambling with an effort that trickled wide of the near post.
Fresh off the bench, Daniel Sturridge had two chances in quick succession to get his name on the scoresheet.
He first hit a one-on-one straight at Orestis Karnezis before his attempted lob two minutes later bounced just wide of the far post.
Sturridge finally got his goal in the 73rd minute when Divock Origi saw his shot saved by Karnezis, but the keeper could only palm it as far as Sturridge who made no mistake, slotting home from just inside the box.
It was five for Liverpool with 13 minutes to play as Sturridge’s superb crossfield ball from deep inside his own half picked out Moreno.
The full-back took on Elseid Hysaj and fired a left footed effort into the roof of the net past Karnezis at his near post.
Klopp’s side almost had a sixth when youngster Curtis Jones played in Dominic Solanke, but the forward saw his effort palmed onto the roof of the net by Karnezis.
Napoli almost scored a consolation goal in injury time as Rui stole the ball off TrentAlexander-Arnold, and cut it back to Simone Verdi but his effort was brilliantly blocked by Nathaniel Phillips.
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Nathaniel Clyne (Trent Alexander-Arnold 61), Joe Gomez (Nathaniel Phillips 76), Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson (Alberto Moreno 61); James Milner (C) (Fabinho 55), Naby Keita (Divock Origi 70), Georginio Wijnaldum (Curtis Jones 61); Sadio Mane (Dominic Solanke 61), Xherdan Shaqiri, Mohamed Salah (Daniel Sturridge 61).
Subs not used: Loris Karius (GK), Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Rafa Camacho.
Napoli: Orestis Karnezis; Elseid Hysaj, Raul Albiol (Nikola Maksimovic 59), Kalidou Koulibaly (Vlad Chiriches 70), Sebastian Luperto (Mario Rui 46); Jose Callejon (Amadou Diawara 61), Allan, Marek Hamsik (C) (Marko Rog 61), Fabian Ruiz (Adam Ounas 61); Lorenzo Insigne (Roberto Inglese 61), Arkadiusz Milik (Simone Verdi 61).
Subs not used: Nikita Contini (GK), Davide Marfella, Alberto Grassi, Vinicius.
Booked: Raul Albiol (58).
Referee: Rob Hennessy.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Naby Keita (Liverpool).