Match Report I Napoli 1-2 Lazio

After suffering two consecutive defeats, Lazio have managed to hand the defending champions Napoli their first loss of the season in a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Diego Maradona.

A slick back-heel from Spanish maestro Luis Alberto and a superb low-driven shot across to the second post by former Frankfurt midfielder enabled the Biancocelesti two break their win-less streak and climb up to 12th within the standings.

On the other hand, the Partenopei have dropped to fourth, putting an end to their perfect start to this year’s term.

Coach Rudi Garcia’s side started on the front-foot as Napoli’s high-press was a handful for Lazio to cope with, causing Sarri’s men to struggle exiting their half.

The Azzurri constructed through the midfield and dispatched passes out-wide in a fine matter as pair of wingers Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Matteo Politano caused havoc.

The Georgian phenom was relentless as he constantly charged at the back-line with great pace using his trickery dribbling skills. The 22 year-old brought the game to life early on as he weaved through the defensive line after a fine pass from full-back Mathias Olivera match and released the trigger, but his attempt went narrowly wide from the low-corner.

A chance emerged for Victor Osimhen shortly after as the Nigerian latched onto a poorly handled intercepted pass by the Lazio back-line as he struck a venomous volley towards goal, which ended up hitting his compatriot Kvaratskhelia whom was in an offside position.

Another goal-scoring opportunity materialized for last year’s top-goal-scorer as he headed a fine delivered centre from corner wide of the mark.

The Georgian phenom also had a chance of his own from distance following a counter as he fired a vigorous screamer that was diverted by shot-stopper Ivan Provedel with a world-class save.

Despite having numerous occasions, the Partenopei were punished for not being efficient within the final third as Spanish midfielder sealed the opening the goal at the half hour mark with a scrumptious, delightful back-heel flick into the low-corner in courtesy of a fine delivery from Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson out-wide.

However, Napoli remained unfazed as Piotr Zielinski responded two minutes later with a strike from distance as a result of a miss-cleared cross by Sarri’s back-line. The 29 year-old’s one-time strike took a deflection throughout it’s course, trickling into the back of the net as Provedel was caught off guard.

Following the break, both sides were ruthless as they each had chances to gain the lead within the opening minutes of the second forty-five, spurring the game to life swiftly.

Lazio were evidently sharper in the second half compared to the first, as they made crisp passes that were swift, allowing them to play with immense fluidity in order to break through Garcia’s defensive shape.

Felipe Anderson played the role of provider once as he held his ground against full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo and burst with pace out-wide in order to deliver a low-driven cross across the box.

Luis Alberto performed a fantastic dummy run over the ball, creating space for Daichi Kamada as the Japanese midfielder buried a low-driven shot past David Meret towards the second post to notch his first for the season and permit Lazio to regain the lead.

Following the goal, Sarri brought on former Marseille midfielder in-exchange for Kamada within the midfield. The Frenchman made his mark for the Biancocelesti within the midfield as he injected energy, setting up Mattia Zaccagni on the break as he neatly tucked the ball in the low-corner and scoring a fine strike into the top-corner.

However, both goals were disallowed by VAR and were ruled offside, maintaining a one-goal margin within the score-line that separated both sides.

Despite Osimhen nearly attaining the equalizer whilst on the break and Jesper Lindstrom firing the ball well over the target within the dying minutes of the game, Lazio remained compact defensively as they secured their first three points of the 2023/24 term on the road, handing Garcia his first defeat since taking over the helm of the Partenopei.

Julian Faustini Ι GIFN


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