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Napoli: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly – Match 23


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Napoli found their winning ways again in the Serie A campaign by beating AC Milan with a score of 3-1. Napoli’s goal came forom Gokhan Inler and a brace from Gonzalo Higuian. Although, AC Milan opening the scoring with a goal from Taaarabt (his first for in an AC Milan jersey) after 7 minutes, Napoli kept pushing forward attacking the AC Milan net and getting equalizer only four minutes later. At the end of this match Napoli had a total of 27 shots towards target (14 were on target) and six corners (to AC Milan none).

Good:

  • Gonzalo Higuain: Finally bringing his goaless drought (in Serie A) to a halt by scoring both the game-winning and insurance goal for Napoli. HIs first goal came from a great over the top service ball from Inler, which Higuain cleanly met with his head to redirect it pass Abbiati. His second goal of the match came from a nice passing play started by Hamsik with a through ball to Callejon who then hit the ball across to Higuain who had an easy finish.
  • Gokhan Inler: Seemed to have played with great emotion (as we saw him commemorate Carmelo Imbriani after his goal) and got Napoli back into the game after conceding an early goal. His goal, albeit needed some luck deflecting off De Jong, Inler did what he usually does best and is fire a shot from distance, which ended up deceiving Abbiatti to find the back of the net. Inler also provided a superb assist on Higuain first goal of the match, which gave Napoli the 2-1 lead. If Napoli wants to keep it’s Champions League spot, Napoli need more matches from Inler like these ones.
  • Napoli gameplay: Although they conceding a bad goal (as discussed below), Napoli took the match to a fragile AC Milan squad. The match finished 3-1, however the scoreline could of easily of been 4 or 5 to 1. Hopefully Napoli continue with this type of gameplay, clean-up their defense and finish more scoring chances they create.
  • Honorable Mentions: Marek Hamsik, Adel Taarabt, Dries Mertens

Bad:

  • First goal defending: I do not understand if this is the players on the pitch doing (Albiol, Fernandez) or the manager showing them how he wants them to defend, however the constant back-peddling when an opponent has the ball and is approaching the box is mind-blowing! I do not have any stats but there is more than one instance where Napoli could of simply stepped up to stop the opponent from getting closer to shoot. This has to stop.
  • 3 players suspended: The next Serie A match vs Sassuolo will be without the likes of Gohkan Inler, Jorginho and Jose Callejon due to the accumulation of yellow cards. It is bound to happen for central midfield players after so many games played but Callejon yellow card was a useless one. To make things worse due to the lack of available players, it will mean Napoli fan will have to endure playing minutes of Goran Pandev.

Ugly:

  • Mario Balotelli Incident/Media: Once again Balotelli was in the media for the wrong reason, even though it was not his fault. After being subbed off, the cameras showed Balotelli crying and his head in his jacket. The media (unprofessional ones) took to blogs/twitter to say that Napoli fans at San Paolo made racist chants towards Balotelli. This was completely false and made the situation worse. Unfortunately, the amount of media/social platforms out there it is difficult to stop unreliable media from reaching out to the masses.

In the end, Napoli played a much better match than recent Serie A matches (especially the Atalanta one) and need to continue on this form if they want to keep a Champions League spot. Also, with Roma held to a 0-0 draw by Lazio the difference is down to 4 (Roma have 1 game in hand). Napoli’s next match is vs Sassuolo, a side that held Napoli to a 1-1 draw at San Paolo.

Forza Napoli!

@ItalianFD

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