Match Report | Benevento 1-2 Napoli

Napoli returned to winning ways this afternoon as Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Petagna scored to defeat Benevento Calcio 2-1. After a disappointing result in the Europa League where they lost 1-0 against AZ Alkmaar, they were able to put that performance behind them and follow up with a tremendous effort. 

It was a great day for the Insigne family as Roberto, the younger brother of Lorenzo, scored for Benevento. This was his first goal in Serie A and the first time the two brothers have played each other. 

“I’m happy with the result and because my brother put down a good performance, praise to him,” Lorenzo Insigne said of his brother’s performance. 

“I told him that I scored with his foot, the left one. Winning games helps us to improve, now we need to recover, we have an important game in Spain on Thursday.”

It was a lackluster start for Gennaro Gattuso’s side, although they held a greater advantage in possession. They created very few opportunities and weren’t clinical or tenacious when they were in Benevento’s goal. 

“We were stretched out in the first half, sterile, left too many spaces between the lines and were too predictable” said Gattuso.

“After the break, the ball started moving quicker with some quick one-twos and we caused Benevento big problems.”

At the half hour mark, Benevento struck first with a rare chance, and capitalized on a Napoli turnover. 

Gianluca Lapadula did a good job of keeping the ball in play near the byline, and showed great composure. He then cut his pass across the goal towards Roberto Insigne and released a powerful shot with his left foot, striking the back of the goal. Benevento gained the lead, yet this appeared to wake up the visitors as from there onwards, they started to become more clinical.

Right before half time, Napoli nearly tied the match off a corner kick. Kostas Manolas freed himself and his header struck the woodwork. The start of the second half had Napoli continuing where they left off right before half time with their relentless attack. Lorenzo Insigne scored within the first five minutes yet his goal was called after VAR reviewed the play to be offside. 

Although Napoli were denied of tying the match, they continued to march on and finally found the equalizer. Lorenzo Insigne from a far distance, struck a beautiful shot on goal. Goalkeeper, Lorenzo Montipò, was out of reach and couldn’t make the save. 

Minutes later, Napoli scored once more to gain their first lead in the match. Matteo Politano made a nice run down the right flank into the Benevento goal. Andrea Petagna, left all alone, converted the pass from Politano and scored his first goal with the Partenopei. The newly signed forward, who joined Napoli from SPAL in the winter transfer market last season, has adjusted well with his new club. 

Napoli came close to extending their lead in the match, yet Politano struck the crossbar. Benevento gave the visitors some frantic moments in the end of the match, however, Napoli did enough to prevail with the win. 

“We lost an incredible match on Thursday, but did well to make up for it,” Gattuso said of the win.

Tiemoue Bakayoko was forced to leave late into the match yet the Napoli manager hopes it’s not something to be too concerned about.

“Tiemoue Bakayoko got a knock, we hope it’s nothing serious and now have to prepare for the next trip to Spain,” Gattuso added.

It was a good response from Gattuso’s men and they are having a good start to the Serie A campaign. They have won four of their first five matches and are proving to be a difficult opponent.

“Criticism helps us to grow. After the Atalanta game fans had a lot of expectations but in football there are opponents as well,” said Insigne.

“It was an important win today, we had the right mentality in the second half.”

As for Benevento, since they were promoted back to Serie A last season Filippo Inzaghi has done a good job, as his men have competed well against the upper echelon clubs. They have defeated the likes of Bologna and Sampdoria and are proving to be no easy opponent. 

Napoli will now look to use this win and motivation towards their upcoming fixture against Real Sociedad and avoid falling further behind in the Europa League standings. Meanwhile, Benevento also have an early turnaround as they had a midweek match against FC Empoli in the Coppa Italia.

Jerry Mancini

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