Napoli and Roma treated viewers with a spectacular second half of football in the Derby del Sole but thanks to Giovanni Simeone, all three points remain in Naples.
Napoli were quite sloppy in the early stages of the tie. Some confusion between Min-jae Kim and Alex Meret over a long ball by Leonardo Spinazzola almost lead to a Roma goal after twelve minutes.
Then it was time for some Victor Osimhen class, as he put the home side ahead before the twenty minute mark. Mario Rui and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia combined in the build-up and the latter delivered a perfect cross towards Osimhen. The striker controlled it beautifully and smashed it into the net, leaving Rui Patricio no chance.
The match fell a little flat afterwards, with neither teams creating big opportunities. That changed just before half-time. First, Hirving Lozano sped past Roger Ibanez and found Osimhen in the box, who headed past, but his effort didn’t miss the goal by a lot. Then, it was Roma’s turn. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s cross was met by Spinazzola just outside the box, and he fired towards goal, but Meret made an excellent save to deny him.
After the break, the match was flowing from side to side. The first really big chance came for Roma. Bryan Cristante appeared at the front past for a corner and headed it towards goal, but Meret managed to keep it out. Not much later, Napoli countered quickly, with Lozano deciding to go for his own success. This time, the other goalkeeper, Patricio, produced a great save.
It is not like Roma weren’t putting any pressure on Napoli, but you also didn’t really feel like they were going to hurt the Partenopei. That changed after 75 minutes of football. Zalewski’s cross found substitute El Shaarawy at the second post, and the Italian scored from close by.
Approximately ten minutes later, another substitute decided the game. Giovanni Simeone turned away quickly from Smalling and put the ball in the top right corner, as the Maradona exploded. A fabulous finish by the best super sub in the league. With the win on Sunday, Napoli have extended their lead on Inter to a staggering thirteen points.
Napoli: Meret (7); Di Lorenzo (6.5), Rrahmani (6), Kim (6), Mario Rui (6.5); Zambo Anguissa (5.5), Lobotka (6.5), Zielinski (7); Kvaratskhelia (6.5), Osimhen (7.5), Lozano (6.5).
Substitutes: Elmas (6), Olivera (6), Raspadori (6.5), Simeone (7), Ndombélé (-).
Roma: Patricio (6.5); Ibanez (5.5), Mancini (6), Smalling (5.5); Zalewski (6.5), Matic (6), Cristante (6), Spinazzola (6); Dybala (5.5), Pellegrini (6); Abraham (5.5).
Substitutes: El Shaarawy (7), Belotti (6), Tahirovic (-), Bove (-), Volpato (-).
Jurre van Wanrooij | GIFN