Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich also kicked off their campaigns with wins, but Rangers were crushed 4-0 by Ajax in the Netherlands as they returned to the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have won just two of their first six Premier League games this season and there was to be no improvement on their trip to Italy as Napoli took an early lead and never looked back.
Piotr Zielinski converted a penalty in the fifth minute, and Victor Osimhen then had a second Napoli kick saved by Alisson Becker.
Yet Napoli – who had beaten Liverpool at their own stadium in the group stage in 2018 and 2019 – led 3-0 at the break as André-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s fine finish was followed by a tap-in from the substitute. Giovanni Simeone.
Liverpool fell behind again two minutes into the second half as Zielinsky followed to score after his initial effort was saved, but Luis Diaz pulled one back.
“We were miles too open. You can’t come to a place like this without being compact. They were by far the better team,” the Liverpool left-back said. Andy Robertson told BT Sport.
“You have to wake up and rapidly because we can’t play like that.”
– Rangers crushed by Ajax –
The six-time European Cup winners’ next Group A match will be at home to Ajax, who could have won by more than four at home to Rangers last season. Europa League finalists play in the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2010.
Edson Alvarez headed Ajax up front before a Steven Berghuis shot was deflected and a superb individual strike from Mohammed Kudus made it 3-0 at Ajax at half-time.
Steven Bergwijn jumped on a poor backtrack to seal victory late in Amsterdam, leaving Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst to give a grim assessment of his side’s prospects.
“To compete in the Champions League, you spend hundreds of millions. For us, to compete is too much to ask,” insisted the Dutch.
Lewandowski became the first player to score a Champions League hat-trick for three different clubs as the former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern star marked his first competitive appearance for Barcelona in style.
The Catalans crushed Czech champions Viktoria Plzen 5-1 in Group C, with Frank Kessie lead in the opener before Lewandowski made it 2-0.
Jan Sykora retired one only for Lewandowski to score again before half-time and then netted his third goal midway through the second half.
The Pole now has 89 Champions League goals, three more than Karim Benzemawith only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ahead of him.
Ferran Torres scored the fifth for Barca, whose next match will be away to Lewandowski’s former side Bayern.
The Germans picked up an impressive 2-0 win away to Inter Milan on Wednesday, with Leroy Sane bypassing Andre Onana for the opener of the first half, then forcing Danilo D’Ambrosio to score an own goal in the 66th minute.
– Richarlison reinforcement for the Spurs –
by Antonio Conte Tottenham struggled to smash Marseille in north London until the French side had Chancel Mbemba sent off just after half-time.
Richarlison scored the opener in the 76th minute with a header from Ivan Perisic’s cross, and the Brazilian came back shortly after to make it 2-0.
“I think we felt a bit of pressure in this competition, but in the end we have to be happy,” Conte said of the win.
Also in Group D, Sporting Lisbon scored three second-half goals to win 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, with former Spurs youngster Marcus Edwards, Francisco Trincao and Nuno Santos all on target.
In group B, Antoine Griezmann headed in the winner in the 11th minute of injury time as Atletico Madrid beat Porto 2-1.
In an incredible finish, Porto had Mehdi Taremi sent off late before Mario Hermoso put Atletico ahead with a deflected strike in the 92nd minute.
hermoso then conceded a handball penalty, allowing Matheus Uribe to equalize in the 96th minute, only for Griezmann to have the last laugh.
The only other match in Champions League history to score three goals in stoppage time was Porto’s encounter with Atletico in December last year.
In the same group At Abakar Sylla on your mind was knocked down the line by the goalkeeper to give Club Brugge a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.