Team Line-Up's

Liverpool Napoli
Reina De Sanctis
Johnson Aronica
Carragher Dossena
Kyrgiakos Campagnaro
Konchesky Cannavaro
Spearing Pazienza
Poulsen Maggio
Meireles Hamsik
Shelvey Gargano
Jovanovic Cavani
N'Gog Lavezzi
Hansen Gianello
Gerrard Grava
Lucas Santacroce
Wilson Zuniga
Skrtel Yebda
Eccleston Sosa
Kelly Dumitru
Gerrard for Jovanovic 45'
Eccleston for Poulsen 64'
Lucas for N'gog 81'
Yebda for Hamsik 83'
Gerrard 75' Lavezzi 28'
Gerrard 86'  
Gerrard 89'  
Yellow Cards
Johnson 24' Dossena 46'
Kyrgiakos 66' Campagnaro 66'
  De Sanctis 75'
Red Cards
Fredy Fautrel

Match Stats

Liverpool   Napoli
52% Possession 48%
7 Shots On Target 3
8 Shots Off Target 4
2 Corners 5
9 Fouls 11
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0

Match Report

Steven Gerrard came off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a win over Napoli in their Europa League Group K game.

Napoli had taken the lead when Ezequiel Lavezzi raced clear and slotted in.

But Gerrard's introduction breathed new life into the Reds and he beat keeper Morgan de Sanctis to an Andrea Dossena backpass to net an equaliser.

Gerrard then slotted in a penalty after Salvatore Aronica brought down Glen Johnson before the Reds skipper dinked in a third to complete his hat-trick.

Napoli had looked the more accomplished side as they passed it about with an authority and composure Liverpool's play had lacked until Reds boss Roy Hodgson introduced Gerrard at half-time.

The midfielder cajoled his stuttering side into a greater urgency and, after David Ngog and Raul Meireles missed two gilt-edged chances, it was left to the Reds captain to grab an equaliser.

A player who has consistently come to Liverpool's rescue, Gerrard was at it again as determination and dynamism helped raise his side's game and, a penalty as well as a late goal taken with aplomb, completed an impressive turnaround.

The victory will also have been extra sweet as it was played out in front of the club's new owner John W Henry, whose previous game watching Liverpool came when they were beaten at Everton in the Premier League.

Henry, whose New England Sports Venture group completed their takeover of the club in October, was sampling his first Anfield experience along with newly-appointed director of football strategy Damien Comolli.

And, while Hodgson's men started off promisingly, they quickly faded as the visitors took a stranglehold of the game.

Lavezzi had a shot deflected wide off left-back before he lofted a ball to release Edinson Cavani on the home goal only for the Napoli striker to blaze horribly over.

The Italian side were controlling possession against a disjointed Liverpool side made up of mostly youngsters and fringe players.

Lavezzi is a powerfully-built and stocky figure with a deceptive pace, guile and touch about his game and he was at the heart of most of Napoli's threatening forward forays.

He almost punished Jonjo Shelvey for giving the ball away when he curled a shot wide of Reds keeper Pepe Reina's goal before he made no mistake when the home side again made a mistake.

This time it was Reds midfielder Christian Poulsen who mistimed a header which fell to Cavani and he instantly nodded the ball forward to release Lavezzi, who raced through and slid a shot under Reina.

Poulsen tried to make amends for his error be slipping a ball through to Ngog but the young striker could only side-foot wide under pressure from ex-Reds left-back Dossena.

Gerrard's arrival sparked Liverpool to life in the second half but they were failing to make the most of their dominance as they wasted two promising chances.

Meireles slipped a ball across to Ngog, whose attempt to turn in a shot from close range was blocked by keeper De Sanctis.

The two players again combined and this time it was Meireles who could not find the finishing touch as he sent an eight-yard shot wide.

However, when Dossena struck a backpass too tamely, Gerrard pounced and his bravery was rewarded as he beat Sanctis to the ball and got his team back on level terms.

Napoli defender Salvatore Aronica was fortunate to stay on the pitch for a tackle on Ngog but Liverpool will feel justice was done when the Italian was punished for bringing down Reds right-back Johnson.

Gerrard drove in the resultant spot-kick before Liverpool's pressure, including a well-timed Lucas Leiva tackle, left him to wonderfully dink past De Sanctis and enhance his reputation as the Anfield side's captain marvel.

Head to Head - Napoli