Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has suggested that the Italians feared Liverpool during their crunch UEFA Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men only needed to avoid defeat at Anfield to make sure of their progression from the group. Instead, they fell into the Europa League after Mo Salah’s goal secured a 1-0 victory for the Reds.
Koulibaly has admitted that his team were intimidated by the current Premier League table toppers. Talking after the game, the Senegalese said: “It was an important game, we knew they had to win.
“We could avoid that goal and we should have done more to score one.
“Maybe, unconsciously, we feared Liverpool because we know they are very strong and that it’s not easy to play against them.”
The Naples outfit have now fallen into the Europa League three times in their last four appearances in the Champions League after finishing third in their group. They have won the competition once in 1989, when it was then known as the UEFA Cup.
Despite that, the Italians have been installed as one of the favourites to lift the trophy this season, just behind Chelsea and Arsenal. They can be backed at 10/1 with Paddy Power to win the Europa League.