Napoli and German side RB Leipzig clashed at the Stadio San Paolo on Thursday evening in the Round of 32 in the Europa League and the result is one the Italian will want to forget.
However, the Azzurri rotated their usual starting eleven heavily in the 3-1 loss. The result also made it clear that Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri is really focused on winning the Serie A Scudetto this season.
Let’s examine the players’ performances with their ratings for the match.
Pepe Reina (6): Reina came up with multiple saves otherwise Leipzig could have scored more than three goals. There wasn’t much he could do on the goals conceded.
Christian Maggio (5.5): The veteran right-back did well in the first half for Napoli. He guarded the right side well, but made an error in the action that led to Bruma’s goal. Maggio was late on the offside trap, which kept Bruma onside and in turn, he was late to close out on the goal.
Lorenzo Tonelli (5): This match was nothing like his performance against Lazio this past weekend. Tonelli was late when closing out Timo Werner on the tying goal of the game and was also caught out with Koulibaly on the second goal.
Kalidou Koulibaly (5): K2 was caught out when Yussuf Poulsen stayed onside on the end of an over-the-top through ball to set up Bruma for the Germans’ second goal. He played well in the first half, but this was definitely not a usual Koulibaly performance.
Elseid Hysaj (5): Hysaj moved to the left-back role with Maggio on the left side for this match. Anyone who watched the game can tell how uncomfortable Hysaj is on his left foot. The effort was there though and although Marcel Sabitzer was dangerous, Hysaj exited the game with no goals conceded on his side.
Marko Rog (5.5): Rog received the assist on Ounas’ goal, but his performance was not the best tonight. The 22-year-old did show physicality and his will to be there unlike some of his teammates, but he lacked technical skill on the ball.
Amadou Diawara (4): The 20-year old just didn’t have it tonight. Diawara struggled in the midfield, especially on the passing side of the ball. Leipzig’s first and third goals were products of errant Diawara attempts. This could definitely because he’s had limited playing time, but it’s not acceptable.
Marek Hamsik (5): The captain wasn’t bad tonight, but wasn’t great either. He played calmly and played Zielinski well on a ball in the first half. It was a very bland performance for the leader of this club.
Adam Ounas (6): The youngster scored his first official goal for Napoli to put them in the lead at that point. The finish could not have been more perfect as he shot it low and driven across the goal. Each time he got the ball he tried to create something in attack, but it was tough with the lack of support from his teammates.
Jose Callejon (5): The Spaniard moved all game, but there wasn’t much for him to do. Leipzig was able to shut him down. Callejon did get a shot on goal in the first half, but nothing came to fruition for the rest of the match.
Piotr Zielinski (5.5): The Polish international played on the left-wing as Lorenzo Insigne rested to start the match. Zielinski was ineffective on the wing for most of the match. The youngster moved to the midfield when Insigne came on, but still failed to make any great contributions.
Lorenzo Insigne (5): Insigne came on in the 53′ for Marek Hamsik. However, the little Neapolitan turned in a very uninspiring performance. Insigne lacked the composure fans are used to seeing in his league performances.
Mario Rui (5): Rui came on for Hysaj in the 53′ to retain his left-back position from Hysaj. The situation is strange because after Rui came on, Leipzig seemed more dangerous on the left side. The visitors were able to create two goals on the left side.
Allan (5.5): Allan came on in the 61′ for goalscorer Adam Ounas. Sarri may have deployed Allan for his hard work ethic, but he didn’t get the Brazilian’s usual gladiator-like performance.