Napoli travelled to Sardegna to take on Cagliari Monday evening, and the visitors earned a fruitful 5-0 result. The Azzurri are now four points ahead of Juventus who have a game in hand due to their match being postponed.
Five different players scored for the Partenopei and the whole side played well. Therefore, let’s examine the player ratings.
Pepe Reina (6.5): The Spanish goalkeeper had a solid performance all around and kept the clean sheet. Reina had to deal with some shots on goal in the first half, but the second was a lot less hectic. He also came out to grab the ball or punch it clear when needed.
Elseid Hysaj (6.5): Hysaj played well on both sides of the ball. The Albanian international picked up an assist on Dries Mertens’ goal. Hysaj was able to fight his way into the box and whip a tasty ball in low to the Belgian. On the defensive side, he was able to stop Cagliari attacks on his side for the most part.
Raul Albiol (6.5): Albiol dealt with Leonardo Pavoletti well and put pressure on the ex-Napoli striker. Pavoletti had some chances, but Albiol’s defense disoriented his shots. The center-back also did well in the passing game, as he usually does.
Kalidou Koulibaly (6.5): ‘K2’ turned in a solid performance tonight. There have been other games where Koulibaly has been more dominant, but the effort was there. The defender’s passing was also on-par with the rest of the club.
Mario Rui (8): The home side seemed to target the Portugese left-back often in the first half. Balls were fed through the air on Rui’s side of the pitch, but he really grew into the game. Rui stopped the ball on different occasions. The perfect free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top-right corner of the net will be what Napoli fans remember tonight.
Jorginho (7.5): Jorginho played the part of the distribution general as usual for the Partenopei. The team’s movement and direction of play often came through the midfielder and his passing was impeccable.
Allan (9) MOTM: Allan gets the Man-of-the-Match award tonight against Cagliari. Time and time again, Allan has been referred to as Napoli’s workhorse and gladiator; last night, that was the case again. The Brazilian fought to intercept balls all game long in the midfield. He didn’t score, but he picked up an assist on Jose Callejon’s game-opening goal. Allan showed that he was a decisive player in this one.
Marek Hamsik (7): The captain played very well in the second half and scored a goal for his efforts. Hamsik passed the ball well throughout the match, helping the attack move through Lorenzo Insigne and Mertens. The goal that curled into the net was the cherry on top.
Jose Callejon (7.5): The Spaniard turned in a very good performance for the Azzurri at Cagliari. He opened the scoring as mentioned with a shot across the goal that got past Alessio Cragno. Callejon also continued to play on both halves of the ball. He drew numerous fouls in the midfield going forward and when he tracked back.
Dries Mertens (7): The Belgian found his way onto the scoresheet as he scored a tap-in via a Hysaj assist. Each time he received the ball, it looked like he could create a chance. Mertens could have scored a goal earlier in the first half, but his effort went wide. It seemed that his jersey was pulled, but a penalty wasn’t called.
Lorenzo Insigne (7.5): Insigne demonstrated speed and his technical skills in this match. He was crossing balls into the box all game long and nearly scored at the end of the first half. Insigne laid the ball off to Hamsik for an assist on the captain’s goal in the second half. He also scored a penalty late in the game to make it 4-0 after his shot was stopped by a handball to earn the penalty.
Piotr Zielinski (6.5): Zielinski came on for Mertens in the 64th minute. The Polish international did well to attack Cagliari head on even though the match seemed to be decided. He also won the free-kick to set up Rui’s stunner.
Christian Maggio (N/A): Maggio came on for Hysaj in the 73rd minute, so there weren’t enough minutes to warrant a rating.
Amadou Diawara (N.A): Diawara replaced Jorginho in the 74th minute. Similar to Maggio, there wasn’t enough playing time to warrant a rating for the young midfielder.