Friday, March 1, 2024

Napoli rescued by penalty save on frustrating night against Monza

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Dec 2023

21 Views

Napoli keeper Alex Meret saved Matteo Pessina’s second-half penalty to ensure the Serie A title-holders walked away with a point as they played out a disappointing goalless draw with Monza.

Amir Rrahmani could have given the hosts the lead after the break but wasted a free header, and while Meret made the vital stop to preserve the draw he was worryingly forced off soon after.

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri was sent off while his side’s finishing woes were highlighted by substitute Gianluca Gaetano’s inability to find the back of the net when in acres of space just outside the six-yard box.

The visitors, who saw Mirko Maric dismissed late in stoppage time, mustered few further chances and would be happy with the point, while the hosts extended their poor run of form at the Maradona Stadium.

Mazzarri was without the suspended Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano, both of whom were sent off against Roma last time out.

Frank Anguissa had a deflected effort comfortably saved while at the other end of the pitch Meret looked on relieved when Pedro Pereira’s early attempt took a deflection before sailing narrowly past his left post.

The hosts had found a slightly stronger foothold by the halfway point in the first period but neither keeper found himself with much work to do.

Giacomo Raspadori nodded wide and Napoli were nearly ahead just before half-time, when an excellent Mario Rui cross found Anguissa in an ideal position but he was only able to direct his effort – easily the best chance of the first half – straight at keeper Michele Di Gregorio.

There was a second-half change for Raffaele Palladino with Samuele Birindelli coming on to replace Pereira, who had been booked, with Napoli wasting an early free-kick near the corner flag.

Rrahmani then somehow sent a free header over the crossbar from Piotr Zielinski’s delivery before Raspadori sent the ball skipping across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Valentin Carboni scuffed an effort for the visitors and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia came close for Napoli, nutmegging the Monza keeper who subsequently smothered the ball before Birindelli forced Meret into his first real save.

While Napoli had looked likelier to score since before half-time, it was Monza who won the best chance after Jesus was penalised for handball inside the penalty area, Pessina stepping up but squandering the spot-kick as Meret proved alert to his intentions.

Meret’s evening worryingly came to a close after 74 minutes and, with Pierluigi Gollini a last-minute absentee from the matchday squad due to an left ankle issue, on came Nikita Contini, while Giorgio Cittadini would soon replace the injured Danilo D’Ambrosio for the visitors.

Mazzarri, who had previously been booked, was sent off after he got involved in a touchline scuffle, while Rui, Kvaratskhelia and finally Gaetano seemed only able to direct efforts directly at the keeper as they ran out of time to find a winner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top