Napoli came out comfortable 3-0 winners at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.
Maurizio Sarri’s men will be very pleased to have opened up a 7 point gap between them and 4th placed Lazio. Now they can look more comfortbaly towards toppling Roma for a second place finish in Serie A rather than looking over their backs with as much fear as before of Lazio overtaking them. Here is how we rated each Napoli player’s individual performances from the match:
Pepe Reina (6): Reina had almost nothing to do all night. Other than a 10 minute onslaught from Lazio after Napoli’s second goal (in which Pepe made a nice save on Keita), the Spaniard could have set up a picnic in front of net and wouldn’t have had to worry.
Elseid Hysaj (6): It was a decent match from Napoli’s Albanian full back. He can certainly do better defensively than he did tonight, as Felipe Anderson and Keita had his number for the majority of the second half. Otherwise hit overlapping runs were as usual, great.
Raul Albiol (6.5): Despite being absolutely toppled by Keita in the second half, Albiol had quite a decent match. Luckily for Raul, after being burned by Balde his cross fell short of 3 Lazio players in the area and Napoli came out with a clean sheet.
Kalidou Koulibaly (6.5): Koulibaly struggled a bit with his passing composure in the first half where he tried a few passes that had low percentage success rate and he lost the ball a few times. However, his presence at the back is so vital to this Napoli squad and it makes the midfield a little more comfortable that they know if they lose the ball, K2 will sweep the mess.
Ivan Strinic (7): It is certain to me, Ivan Strinic must start over Faouzi Ghoulam in every match. The Croatian has been far more superior to his Algerian counterpart for the majority of this season. He proved it again tonight where he attacked and defended soundly and provided much needed solidity down the left flank.
Allan (7.5): It was an unbelievable match from the Brazilian. Little by little, he is starting to pick up his last season’s form in which kept him in the running for a Brazilian National Team spot. His defensive work-rate is so essential to this Napoli side because the forwards can count on him if the ball is lost.
Jorginho (8): Ah, here’s the Jorginho we all know and love. He was supremely excellent tonight. Almost every ball he touched was golden and he completed 86 passes in the first half. When’s the last time you heard of a player completing that many passes in one half of football?
Marek Hamsik (7): His assist to open up the scoring was beautiful. Hamsik did most of his work in the first half, as the second half came along he was noticeably fatigued. It was right of Sarri to take him off.
Jose Callejon (6.5): Likewise to Hamsik, Callejon did all of his work in the first half and as the second came along, he looked fatigued. His pressing of Radu in the first half let Napoli steal a lot of balls and gave Napoli a clear advantage over Lazio.
Dries Mertens (6): It wasn’t Dries’ best match in a Napoli shirt. However, the little demon did pester Lazio’s back-line a lot and wore them down. This was important for Insigne’s second goal in the dying minutes where Lazio’s back-line were noticeably tired.
Lorenzo Insigne (8.5 MOTM): This has to be the 10th match in a row where Insigne is man of the match. He has just been on a ridiculous run of form as of late for Napoli and his two goals today were a reward to his hard work. He definitely deserves a pay rise from Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
Arkadiusz Milik (6.5): Milik came on very late but made an instant impact with an exquisite cross to Zielinski who then laid the ball into the path of Insigne for Napoli’s third of the night.
Marko Rog (6.5): Rog is screaming out for more minutes with every performance he puts in. He almost scored tonight and it would have been a just reward for the amount of work he puts into every minute he is on the pitch.
Piotr Zielinski (6.5): Zielinski showed that he can even play right wing in the case Callejon is inevitably tired (like tonight) or injured. Napoli didn’t miss a beat when he came on.