Friday, December 13, 2019

Lazio 1-2 Napoli: Milik, Insigne Spark Partenopei’s Impressive Comeback

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, Serie A 18 Aug 2018

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The thrilling duel between Lazio and Napoli had everything we could have expected from it. Goals, intensity, two star-studded squads, and a dramatic finish. In the end, though, Napoli ended getting the three points.

The Partenopei side came from behind and escaped with a 2-1 win from Stadio Olimpico, as goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigne cancelled Ciro Immobile’s opening strike in the first half.

Immobile breaks the deadlock, but Napoli reacts quickly

Both teams featured some of their new signings in the starting XI and as it tends to happen in the first weeks of a competition, the game got off to a sluggish start. It was nice to see some fresh faces, though. Milan Badelj started for Lazio in midfield, while Orestis Karnezis got the call between the posts for Napoli.

Neither club looked overly dangerous early on, however, and the first 20 minutes did not have a lot of emotions on either end of the pitch. Immobile, however, had other plans. The Italy international took things on his own hands and after an impressive solo effort, he placed the ball past Karnezis so Lazio grabbed a one-goal lead midway into the first half. The goal woke Napoli up, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked like a completely different side once they were down on the score.

Lorenzo Insigne, Piotr Zielinski and Marek Hamsik all had chances to equalise the match before the break. Arkadiusz Milik had a goal disallowed in the 42nd minute due to a foul, but the Polish had his revenge just before the half-time whistle. A crafty pass from Jose Callejon found Milik, and the towering striker placed it past Thomas Strakosha to make it 1-1 at the break.

Insigne seals the deal in the second half

Napoli did not step the foot out of the gas in the second half. Insigne and Callejon were terrorizing the opposing defence on the flanks, and Lazio could not find answers like they did at the beginning of the game. It seemed it was just a matter of time before the visitors completed the comeback, and that’s exactly what happened. Insigne crossed the ball from the right wing and while the ball deflected, it fell to Insigne and the winger capped the play with a beautiful finesse shot that went straight into the top corner and out of Strakosha’s reach.

Just like that, Napoli were up 2-1. Not everything would be pretty for Napoli, however, as Insigne left the pitch with an injury midway into the second half. Further tests will be needed to determine if he will require to be sidelined.

Lazio tried hard to turn things around, Napoli wouldn’t relinquish their advantage. The visitors closed things out tightening their defence, and Lazio didn’t have chances to equalise. Perhaps their clearer chance came on stoppage time when Francesco Acerbi nodded the ball home, but his effort hit the left post when Karnezis was beaten.

It’s clear both sides must improve for their upcoming challenges. But Napoli showed resiliency and a will to turn things around when things got tougher. That’s a trait that is going to come in handy knowing the long season that awaits them, and starting with a win is always positive. Just ask Ancelotti.

Match Report

Lazio: Strakosha; Luiz Felipe (Bastos, 46′), Acerbi, Radu; Badelj (Correa, 68′); Caceres, Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo (Cataldi, 88′), Marusic; Luis Alberto; Immobile

Subs not used: Basta, Caicedo, Durmisi, Wallace, Jordao, Murgia, Proto (GK), Guerrieri (GK), Rossi

Napoli: Karnezis; Hysaj, Raul Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Allan, Hamsik (Diawara, 70′), Zielinski (Rog, 85′); Callejon, Milik, Insigne (Mertens, 76′)

Subs not used: Chiriches, Luperto, Maksimovic, Malcuit, Marfella (GK), Ospina (GK), Ounas, Fabian Ruiz, Verdi

Goals: Immobile (25′, 1-0); Milik (45+2′, 1-1), Insigne (2-1, 56′)

Referee: Luca Banti (Italy)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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