Within the opening match-day of this year’s Serie A campaign, last year’s champions showed no signs of rust from the summer break as Napoli sealed all three points in a 3-1 victory against newly promoted side Frosinone at the Stadio Benito Stripe.
It was Frosinone on the front foot within the first few minutes of the match, as they dictated the play with their quick-direct style of play in-possession, as well as their high press.
Within the sixth minute of play, promising Napoli midfielder Jens Cajuste completely misfired while trying to clear the ball outside the box following a corner, as he took Jaime Baez down in the box, resulting in a penalty.
Gialloblu debutante Abdou Harroui stepped up to the penalty spot and rose to the occasion as he tucked the ball into the right low-corner, handing Frosinone the lead within the opening seven minutes of play against the Serie A champions of last year.
Following the first goals, the tempo of the match rose abruptly, with both sides constantly going forward in order to potentially breach the defences.
Central midfielders Stanislav Lobotka and Piotr Zielinski did well to orchestrate from the midfield and stretch the play out-wide, but the Partenopei were far too predictable going forward, permitting Di Francesco’s back-line to continuously anticipate the play.
In the 24th minute of play, Matteo Politano latched onto to the Polish midfielder’s rebound as his shot after being found on the break was blocked on the Italian winger fired the ball from outside the box. The 30 year-old winger’s screamer was too much for keeper Stefano Turati to handle as the 21 year-old’s attempted save led to the ball being deflected into the back of the net, handing Garcia’s side the equalizer.
Frosinone posed a threat on several occasions as they broke through the lines utilizing the pace Giuseppe Gaso on the left-hand flank and the swift passing combinations through the middle. However, the Gialloblu failed to test Alex Meret sufficiently in order to merit a second goal.
RIiccardo Marchizza managed to deliver an exquisite cross to find Baez in the box, but the Uruguayan’s audacious volley went narrowly wide of goal.
Despite a Giacomo Raspadori goal being denied due to an offside call, Napoli skipper Giovanni Di Lorenzo brought Politano’s pass down in fine fashion, bursting with pace and holding his ground along the flank in order to provide Victor Osimhen with a low-driven cross across the box. The Nigerian striker demonstrated no sense of struggle as he it the ball one time, riffling it past Turati to gain the league before the end of the half.
Within the second half, Frosinone were fouled outside the box, enabling Di Francesco’s to potentially claw back into the fixture. Baez fired at goal with a brilliant curling free-kick, but his attempt rattled the post.
Shotly after, Zienliski slipped a through ball in between the lines to find Osimhen on the break. The 24 year-old wrapped his foot around the ball as he tried to curl it past Turati, but his shot went above the target.
As the second half progressed, Napoli attained control of the game, circulating the ball with ease through the middle and building from the back.
Raspadori managed to bring a great delivery down towards the edge of the box and released the trigger, but Turati managed to diffuse the flames with an impressive stop.
In the 78th minute of play, Di Lorenzo broke the lines of Frosinone’s defensive shape with a one-touch pass after receiving the ball from central defender Amir Rahmani to find Osimhen in space. The clinical goal-scorer burst with pace past the back-line and beat Turati yet againg, bagging a brace within his first game back from the summer break and doubling his side’s advantage while on the road.
In the end, Napoli closed the game off with ease despite the slight scare following Harroui’s opener from the penalty spot, resulting in a fine start for Garcia at the helm of the Partenopei.
Julian Faustini Ι GIFN