Naples, how scary! Azzurri down by two goals in Genoa saved by Raspadori and Politano


By John

GENOA (3-5-2): Martinez 6; De Winter 7, Bani 7, Dragusin 6; Martin 6 (45’st Vasquez sv), Sabelli 6 (29’st Malinovskyi 6), Strootman 6.5 (32’st Thorsby sv), Badelj 6.5, Frendrup 6; Gudmundsson 7, Retegui 7.5. On the bench: Leali, Sommariva, Romero, Hefti, Haps, Jagiello, Kutlu, Ekuban, Puscas. Coach: Gilardino 7.

NAPLES (4-3-3): Meret 6; Di Lorenzo 6, Ostigard 5.5, Juan Jesus 5, Mario Rui 5.5 (13’st Olivera 6); Anguissa 5.5 (13’st Raspadori 7), Lobotka 6 (29’st Cajuste 6), Zielinski 6.5; Elmas 5 (1’st Politano 7), Osimhen 5.5, Kvaratskhelia 5.5 (44’st Zerbin sv). On the bench: Contini, Idasiak, Natan, Rrahmani, Zanoli, Lindstrom, Gaetano, Simeone. Coach: Garcia 6.

REFEREE: Blacksmiths of Ravenna 6.5. GOAL: 40’st Bani, 11’st Retegui, 31’st Raspadori, 39’st Politano. NOTE: peaceful evening, pitch in excellent condition, around 32,000 spectators present. Booked: De Winter, Retegui, Badelj, Elmas, Cajuste. Corners: 3-1. Recovery time: 3′ time, 5′ time.

Heart-pounding draw between Genoa and Naples. It ends 2-2 against ‘Ferraris’, at the end of a very open challenge which ended with the comeback of the Neapolitan team, who nevertheless appeared in difficulty for large stretches of the match. Napoli who, at the start of the match, were surprised by the intense pressure from Genoa, who defended compactly and did not allow the Azzurri to circulate the ball fluidly. The first half appears blocked, with Gilardino’s team giving very little to Garcia’s and managing to restart effectively thanks to the legs of players like Gudmundsson and Martin, with Retegui providing points of reference at the center of the attack. It was the Italian-Argentine who came close to scoring Genoa’s lead, with his long-range shot bouncing dangerously in front of Meret, who was nevertheless capable of deflecting it into a corner. However, it was precisely from the resulting corner that Genoa’s goal was born, with De Winter’s shot collected in front of goal Bani who only had to push the 1-0 ball into the net, allowing his team to end the first half of the game with the lead. In the second half, Napoli tried to reconstruct their game and hint at a reaction which, however, did not arrive, with Genoa taking advantage of the excessive Italian frenzy to start again in the open field.

And it is precisely due to an incorrect defensive deployment by the Azzurri that the hosts manage to double their lead: in the 56th minute it is Retegui to beat Meret from a few steps after receiving only the ball served by Strootman. Garcia tries to change men and structure to his eleven and in the final part of the match he obtains the desired results: he is Raspadori to put Napoli’s match back on the right track, with the former Sassuolo player picking up Cajuste’s ball and unloading a powerful right-footed shot that Martinez can do nothing about. Genoa trying to defend itself, Napoli trying in every way for the equalizer which finally arrived, thanks to the winning insertion of Politano who excellently closes the one-two with Zielinski and, with a volley, finds the goal that is worth the draw, six minutes from the ninetieth minute. It is the definitive mortgage on the final result, with Napoli unable to go beyond the draw and catch Milan in third place, only partially recovering after the home defeat in the last round against Lazio.