Following a victorious yet gruelling night against Liverpool, Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti made some notable changes in the starting XI. Giacomo Raspadori replaced injured Victor Osimhen, and Juan Jesus, making his first appearance for the Partenopei, got the nod over Kim Min-jae.
The start to the match was rather conservative from both sides, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia emerging as the home side’s only bright spark in the attack. In defence, Juan Jesus inspired a lot, with Emmanuel Gyasi’s strike at the 40-minute mark finding the first shot on target for the visitors. Nevertheless, the first half ended in a 0-0 scoreline.
The second half began with much anticipation. Midway into the second half, Napoli lost the plot in their offence, forcing Spalletti to make some substitutions. It somewhat instigated the pace of the play on Napoli’s part.
In the 70th minute of the game, a complete collapse of communication between Meret and Mario Rui saw Spezia coming closest to drawing the first blood. But much to Napoli’s comfort, Rrahmani made the goalline clearance.
Just before the 90th minute, Giacomo Raspadori arrived at the right place, notching up the opener for the home side, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Here are the player ratings from Napoli’s 1-0 victory against Spezia.
Napoli (4-3-3): Meret (6.5); Di Lorenzo (6.5), Rrahmani (7), Juan Jesus (7), Mario Rui (6); Anguissa (7), Ndombele (6), Elmas (6); Politano (5.5), Raspadori (7.5), Kvaratskhelia (6.5).
Substitutes: Lobotka (6), Lozano (6.5), Zielinski (6), Simeone (6), Gaetano (N/A).
Spezia (3-5-2): Dragowski (7.5); Ampadu (7), Kiwior (8), Nikolaou (7); Holm (7), Agudelo (6.5), Bourabia (7), Bastoni (7), Reca (7); Gyasi (6), Nzola (6).
Substitutes: Kovalenko (6), Ellertsson (6), Hristov (6), Sala (N/A)
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder