Napoli hosted Cagliari at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday afternoon and completely dominated the visitors en route to a 3-0 win. The victory continues the perfect start for the Partenopei and keeps them atop the Serie A table with 21 points. There’s usually new takeaways from every match, but today Napoli continued to show fans its true identity.
1. Sarrismo is no joke.
Napoli is simply a passing machine. Maurizio Sarri’s style of play has become well-known across European football by this point. However, seeing the Azzurri play that way consistently on a weekly basis to start off this season provides such awe.
The club completed 860 of 918 attempted passes today for a 94 percent success rate, according to Squawka Football. With all the ball movement, Napoli enjoyed nearly 73 percent of the possession. All of the club’s passing made it difficult for Gli Isolani to create any offense.
As per usual in Napoli’s midfield, the domination was led by Jorginho. The 25-year-old completed 117 of his 120 pass attempts. That calculates to a stunning 98 percent success rate. Defender and goalscorer in the match, Kalidou Koulibaly joined his teammate with a 99 percent success rate. He completed 83 of 84 passes.
2. Marek Hamsik is back and on his way to conquer a Napoli record.
The captain started off the season slow. However, the past few games have been better for the midfielder and today he scored his first goal of the season. Although, the goal wasn’t just any goal. The score marked Hamsik’s 114th goal with the club. Only the legendary Diego Maradona stands in front of the Slovakian with 115 goals. Hamsik is already a Napoli legend, but passing one of the greatest of all time will surely be a great feat.
The record isn’t what’s most important for Hamsik and Napoli right now though. The Partenopei will have a difficult schedule in the month of October. The side will face Roma, Manchester City and Inter back-to-back-to-back within a one week span.
Therefore, Hamsik snapping out of his early season slump is huge for Napoli. When Hamsik is in-form, he makes the midfield all the more dangerous. The Azzurri will be hoping that his goal means he’s back and ready to go in the most crucial time.
3. Napoli attack continues to be a scoring machine.
The team’s three goals on the day added to its lead as the top attack in the Serie A. Not only that, but it helped break and set a record. By scoring 25 goals through seven games, Napoli has broken their record of 24 through seven games in the 1957-1958 season. This also helped the club set the record of being the first side in Serie A history to win its opening seven matches of the season with at least 25 goals scored, according to Opta Paolo.
Napoli have scored at least three goals in each of their matches this season, setting pace for an incredible goal scoring record if it can continue. The Partenopei have already scored 11 more goals than they did last season at this point.
Since Sarri’s arrival, Napoli has scored 199 goals in 83 matches, which means the club averages over two goals per match. In 37 of those matches, the side has scored three or more goals.
Only PSG in Ligue 1 has more goals than Napoli across Europe’s top five leagues. Napoli is lethal to say the least.