It's the third day of the championship. After two consecutive victories against Lazio and Milan, Napoli suffered a defeat in Genoa. With Sampdoria it would be Carlo Ancelotti’s first defeat on the Partenopei bench: losing 3-0 against the Blucerchiati. It was here were the first gap between Juventus and Napoli was created, a margin that will deepen over time and up to the current share of 13 points. However, it was immediately understood that the Neapolitans would be the Old Lady’s most competitive opponent… Two weeks after the defeat in the Marassi, Napoli travelled to Turin where they defeated Mazzarri’s team 3-1 and moved up to second position in the standings. It’s worth noting, that compared to the end of the first round, Napoli had fallen four points behind Juventus.
The victory in Bergamo on Match Day 14 isn’t one of the most important victories but important because of the quality of the opponent and the difficulty of going to get 3 points at Atleti Azzurri d’Italia. Milik’s goal five minutes from the end, who took over from Mertens, is indicative of Napoli’s two strengths: Ancelotti's ability to use all the resources from his players and the character of the team; which was well highlighted when coming back after falling behind during games.
A 1-0 defeat at San Siro, determined by Lautaro Martinez’s goal, is probably the biggest regret of this championship. On that day, in fact, Juventus had drawn in Bergamo and Napoli lost the opportunity to shorten the gap and close the gap to -6 in the standings. It was a heavy defeat they had to endure, also because, just before the knockout blow Napoli could have gone in front through Insigne and Zielinski, with Handanovic and then Asamoah also managing to deny their opponents.
At 24 years old Piotr Zielinski is experiencing a growth phase, which is leading him to become one of the essential elements of Ancelotti’s midfield. His season started off with a double win against Milan in the Partenopei’s first home game of the season. His stye of play? Elegant and with personality. In his most recent game in Parma he had a chance to unlock the result by signing off on his fifth goal of the season.
With the same players Sarri had at Napoli, Ancelotti changed the formation from 4-4-3 to 4-4-2. Callejon, who was employed by Sarri in the high right of the trident, has moved to the midline this season. While is the tradition of Ancelotti's game, great ball possession and in many cases pressing high can be expected.
Napoli played through from behind, with Koulibaly widening for Hysaj. Take note the position of Insigne, who often comes down field to help the development of the action. The two wingers in Callejon and Zielinski are centralized by positioning themselves between the lines. In this case Insigne serves the Pole, who manages to turn around and take aim: his conclusion from outside the area hits the post.
Mertens’ goal gives Napoli the advantage. It was born from high pressing from the guests, who created density around the area, which forced Bonucci to hurry the game. Allan immediately pressed Dybala, who could not reach the ball. The Brazilian came in possession of the Juventus area and immediately Callejon and Mertens are thrown into the area, and with Chiellini outnumbered he could not prevent the phrasing between the two.