Liverpool get the season underway with the FA Community Shield at the weekend against Manchester City. Photo:

If Liverpool had played as shoddily as this the last time they faced Napoli, they would not be European champions.

That was at Anfield in December when a Mo Salah goal sent the Reds through to the last 16 of the Champions League at the expense of Carol Ancelotti’s side, who needed only a draw.

Had Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik finished as confidently that night as he did here — nonchalantly flicking home the second goal — they would have grabbed that point.

Milik was clean through in the 93rd minute in December only for goalkeeper Alisson to produce an outrageous save that kept Liverpool on course for a sixth European title.

Their status as the continent’s best made for a raucous welcome at Murrayfield yesterday. But Jurgen Klopp admitted the arrival was as good as it got. ‘The reception was outstanding, incredible. That was the positive part,’ said the Reds boss. ‘The game was not positive. We conceded simple goals. We lost the ball.

‘We need to make better decisions and have a better formation. It was not good. We will be a different animal when the season starts.’

Klopp will be cheered today by the belated return to training of Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Manchester City.

Liverpool, though, were well beaten here. Their performance lacked imagination and energy — hallmarks of their brilliant season — and was stained by a worrying sloppiness.

The brilliant Lorenzo Insigne curled the opener on 14 minutes after Divock Origi had lost the ball. Klopp was not happy, taking issue with Virgil van Dijk in particular.

But the German could not even muster the will to berate his players after Napoli’s second on 29 minutes, instead standing with his feet wide and hands behind his back in resigned disappointment.

Amin Younes prodded Napoli’s third early in the second half.

Harvey Elliott’s lively debut late on was a plus, the 16-year-old having only arrived from Fulham yesterday morning.

Daily Mail