That was at Anfield in December when a Mo Salah goal sent the Reds through to the last-16 at the expense of the Italians, who needed only a draw. Had Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik finished as confidently that night as he did here then they would have had that point.
But the big Pole made no mistake this time when nonchalantly flicking beyond Simon Mignolet for Napoli’s second goal just before the half hour. That early lead, nor the 3-0 full-time score, did not flatter the visitors. It said much that Liverpool’s best effort came courtesy of a Napoli defender who inadvertently turned towards his bottom corner and was spared by a diving save from Alex Meret.
That apart, Jurgen Klopp’s side offered nothing in attack. The midfield and defence weren’t winning any awards either. There is plenty to be of concern for Klopp right now and the return of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – all afforded extended breaks – cannot come soon enough.
Yes, pre-season results should be taken lightly but performances less so, and this was a very poor performance.
It lacked imagination and energy – the hallmarks of their brilliant season – and was stained further by a worrying sloppiness.
Klopp admits the welcome they received outside Murrayfield was as good as it got. ‘The reception was outstanding, incredible. That was the positive part,’ said the Reds boss.
It was three on 52 minutes after that man Insigne saw his shot parried by Mignolet and the ball bounced to Amin Younes, who prodded in from six yards.
Mercifully, for Liverpool, the Italians eased in the closing stages, for it could well have been more. One plus did emerge for Liverpool and that was the sight of Harvey Elliot making his debut late on, the 16-year-old having only arrived from Fulham on the morning of the game.
It is his senior comrades, however, who need to sharpen up before next weekend’s opener against Manchester City in the Community Shield.