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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

The perfect match

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Game 3, Serie A

Saturday, September 3, 2023

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Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples

Napoli Lazio 1-2

Lazio win in Naples for the second year running playing the perfect game

Official SS Lazio photo

The team

Maurizio Sarri made just one change compared to the previous match against Genoa: Elseid Hysaj instead of Manuel Lazzari. A logical decision since Napoli are particularly strong on both wings and there was a need for a better defensive organisation.

First half

Napoli started the game very strongly taking advantage of the Biancocelesti's timid approach. In the 3rd minute Khvicha Kvaratskhelia ran into the box from the left, tried a few movements to disorient the Lazio defenders and shot. Ball deflected into corner. Ten minutes later Piotr Zielinski tried a shot from an impossible position, Ivan Provedel parried into corner. The Pole took the corner kick and Victor Osimhen jumped higher than anyone but his header went wide. In the 21st minute Kvaratskhelia from outside the box, massive whack, Provedel was miraculous.

After half an hour of only Napoli, Lazio woke up. Daichi Kamada on the right to Danilo Cataldi, lob over the Napoli midfield and ball to Felipe Anderson. The Brazilian sprinted down the wing and once inside the box tried to pass to the middle but it was countered by Mathias Olivera. Ball back to Felipetto, quick look, fabulous pass to Luis Alberto, back to the goal on the front post, magic back heel and the Biancocelesti took the lead. A fantastic goal!!!

One minute later Napoli equalised fortuitously. Matteo Politano from the right crossed into the box, Nicolò Casale cleared, ball to Zielinski who shot, deflection from Alessio Romagnoli, Napoli 1 Lazio 1.

In the 36th minute Felipe Anderson, much more lively now, ran down the wing and once inside the box tried a shot that Juan Jesus deflected into corner. This time the Brazilian did not look up, if he had done so he would have seen Luis Alberto all alone in the centre of the penalty area.

In the 40th minute cross from the right by Giovanni DI Lorenzo, Olivera got ready for the big whack but the ball hit the Indian spacecraft on the moon.

The first half ended in even but there was the feeling that it was a much more open affair now. Lazio had gained the awareness that Napoli were beatable on the counter attack and that there was just the need for the right ball at the right time. The Biancocelesti were also much more organised defensively, and Napoli were having trouble creating chances.

Second half

The script was the same in the opening minutes of the second half. After less than 60 seconds Kvaratskhelia crossed from the left for Osimhen, Romagnoli got to the ball first and headed away but to the feet of Zielinsky who promptly shot at goal, no worries for Provedel.

In the 52nd minute Zielinsky from the halfway line tried to pass the ball on but Felipe Anderson intercepted. As the Pole was trying to come to terms with the high ball, Felipetto anticipated him and ran down the wing. Looking up he saw Luis Alberto in the middle, outside the box but central, low pass that the Spaniard deliberately left to Kamada who ran inside the box and from an angled position shot a clinical low ball that ended in the back of the net. Lazio back in front and first goal in Serie A for the Japanese International.

Napoli were on their knees. Matteo Guendouzi substituted Kamada in the 64th minute, Mario Rui took Olivera’s place and Giacomo Raspadori came on for a very tired Kvaratskhelia. The Biancocelesti in four minutes scored two goals, but both were not given due to offside.

Further substitutions: Pedro for Felipe Anderson, Luca Pellegrini for Hysaj, Giovanni Simeone for Zielinksi and Jesper Lindstrom for Politano.

In the 85th minute Mattia Zaccagni tried a curling shot but it went just wide. In the seven minutes of overtime Sarri took off Ciro Immobile and Zaccagni and threw in Taty Castellanos and Gustav Isaksen. Napoli had one last attempt in the 96th minute but Lindstrom shot over the crossbar.

A magnificent win by Lazio. We’re back!!!!!

Who played for Napoli

Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Olivera (66' Mario Rui) Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski (84' Simeone), Politano (75' Lindstrom), Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia (66' Raspadori).

Substitutes: Gollini, Contini, Zanoli, Ositgard, Natan, Cajuste, Elmas, Zerbin, Russo.

Manager: Garcia.

Who played for Lazio

Provedel, Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj (81' Pellegrini), Kamada (65' Guendouzi), Cataldi, Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson (81' Pedro), Immobile (90'+3' Castellanos), Zaccagni (90'+3' Isaksen).

Substitutes: Sepe, Mandas, Patric, Vecino, Basic, Lazzari, Gila, Rovella.

Manager: Sarri

Referee: Colombo

Goals: 30’ Luis Alberto, 32’ Zielinski, 52’ Kamada

Bookings: Zaccagni, Luis Alberto


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