Spalletti declares Liverpool win will cause 'stir' as he lays down Napoli benchmark

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Luciano Spalletti acknowledged Napoli's 4-1 Champions League hammering of Liverpool will cause a "stir" as he urged his players to deliver again after laying down a benchmark.

Goals from Piotr Zielinski, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone sent Napoli in 3-0 up at half-time, though it could have been four if Victor Osimhen's penalty was not saved by Alisson.

That marked just the fourth occasion Liverpool have found themselves three goals down at the interval in the Champions League, with Zielinski adding a fourth soon after the break.

Luis Diaz curled in a fine curling effort to reduce the deficit, but the Reds never recovered from a toothless showing as they fell to their joint-heaviest defeat in the competition.

Napoli are also unbeaten in their last nine Champions League home matches (W6 D3), scoring 20 goals and conceding just five in this spell – which includes three wins over Liverpool.

With an impressive showing in UEFA's flagship club competition, Spalletti suggested his side have placed a marker for their performances and must seize the initiative after a memorable victory.

"It is an important result because the measures are always taken based on who the opponent is, and they are called Liverpool so the result will cause a bit of a stir," coach Spalletti told Amazon Prime Video.

"What becomes fundamental is to play the football we know how to do and follow it up for 95 minutes, without going in flashes, that highlights the level of personality."

Asked if the victory served as a lesson for what Napoli could achieve, Spalletti added: "No lessons, no presumption, no arrogance.

"When you play for Napoli you have to do this every day. We played a good game, now let's think about Spezia."

Napoli will look to capitalise on the impetus from their victory over Liverpool when they host Spezia on Saturday before facing Rangers, who were smashed 4-0 by Ajax in Wednesday's other Group A game.

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    The Bundesliga champions were eyeing an unlikely treble, with the DFB-Pokal final to come this weekend, but those plans came crashing down in a 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

    Ademola Lookman single-handedly powered Gian Piero Gasperini's side to their first title in 61 years, producing an individual performance for the ages with a decisive hat-trick.

    European heartbreak marked Leverkusen's first loss this season, with their last defeat coming to Bochum on the last day of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign, as Alonso's side were finally stopped.

    Yet the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder says nothing can take away from Leverkusen's memorable campaign.

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    Leverkusen are the first team to win the league title but lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same term since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

    "This season and achievements have surpassed all expectations," Alonso continued.

    "I was hoping and getting ready to maybe do something great but this has been so much more.

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    Nigeria winger Lookman is just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup.

    His single-handed match-winning heroics secured Atalanta's first-ever major European trophy as they became the 10th different Italian side to do so, second only to teams from England (13).

    The records continued to tumble for Lookman, whose hat-trick was the sixth in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

    Having no response to a performance for the ages, Leverkusen suffered their first defeat since their final game of the 2022-23 season, ending a 361-day unbeaten run from last losing 3-0 to Bochum.

    Gian Piero Gasperini's masterclass will etch his name into Atalanta history, with the Italian – aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday – the fourth oldest manager to win a major European trophy.

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