Coming off a big win versus Fiorentina, Napoli faced Catania at home in Serie A and won 2-1. The Napoli goals came from Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik and both goals were superb finishes coming from great passing plays. The game itself however, was too close for comfort with many wasted opportunities by Napoli to finish off Catania earlier than they eventually did. Napoli created many scoring opportunities, had a significant amount of possession (69%), and had 21 shots at target (8 on target).
- Jose Callejon Goal: The finish by Callejon for his goal was sublime. His left foot strike to the top left corner was a thing of beauty. The build up play which led to the goal was great as well, as we saw Gonzalo Higuain and Blerim Dzemaili make quick passes to one another before Dzemaili found a streaking Callejon.
- Marek Hamsik Goal: Napoli’s second goal was started off by Lorenzo Insigne charging the defense with his speed and quick feet (Insigne should be doing more of this type of direct attacking at the defence) before laying off a perfect ball for Hamsik to smash a curling left foot shot into the top left corner.
- Mariano Andujar: The Catania goalkeeper was the main reason (besides poor finishing) that this game remained close throughout the 90 minutes. He came up big on four to five occassions to keep Napoli off the scoreboard.
- Honorable Mentions: Gonzalo Higuain, Valon Behrami, Lorenzo Insigne
- Pablo Armero: Besides the opening cross delivered to Higuain who headed the ball just over, Armero was/is a defensive liability (as seen against Marseille on Wednesday). His play as of late has been atrocious with him displaying poor crossing ability and not defending well in general. Now that Mesto is out with an injury (which he picked up vs Catania) and Zuniga is still out, Napoli fans need to endure Armero playing more games prior to their return. This needs to change by either trying Bruno Uvini (who seemed a little lost – but it was his first action all year) or through signing a free-agent (there are talks about signing Anthony Réveillère). More importantly in the January transfer window this position needs to addressed.
- Giandomenico Mesto Injury: The injury looked extremely painful and in the end it is the worst possible scenario with Mesto out for the year. Mesto is not a flashy, standout type, however his play has been consitent and he has become surprisingly reliable.
- Napoli Finishing: As mentioned, Napoli created many scoring opportunities with most of them either saved by Andujar in the Catania goal or missed thanks to wasteful finishing. Going forward Napoli need to finish off these opportunities to put away weaker sides much earlier in games, so that they can coast through these games a little more without the worry of dropping points.
The next match for Napoli in Serie A has been circled (November 10th) on Napoli fans calender as soon as the schedule was released. Napoli will be visiting a Juventus team who seem to have found their groove recently and are tied with them on 28 points. Hopefully, Napoli can come away from this match with 3 points to give them space from Juventus and keep pace with Roma (if Roma do not drop more points this weekend). It is unfortunate that this big clash is coming off a midweek Champions League matchday where both squads played in important matches.
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