Chievo 1-3 Napoli: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Partenopei Win at a Canter Against I Gialloblu
Chievo 1-3 Napoli: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Partenopei Win
at a Canter Against I Gialloblu
Napoli never really left second gear as they won comfortably against now relegated Chievo on Sunday evening, as they put more distance between themselves and Inter in the race for second in Serie A.
Two goals from centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and a stunning long range effort from Arkadiusz Milik were enough to see off a Chievo side who offered little throughout this match. Napoli had a number of chances to extend their lead but were wasteful in front of goal at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
Chievo captain Cesar scored with the last kick of the game, but this was simply a consolation goal as the Gialloblu were relegated from Serie A following this result.
Starting XI: Sorrentino (5); Depaoli (5), Cesar (6), Andreolli (5), Barba (5); Hetemaj (6), Diousse (5), Giaccherini (6) ; Vignato (5); Stepinski (5), Meggiorini (5)
Substitutions: Leris (5), Grubac (6), Kiyine (5)
Key Talking Point
Napoli won this game comfortably, appearing to be at a canter for much of the match with Chievo never really troubling the Partenopei. But, Napoli could have boosted their goal difference here, as they wasted several good chances to really put Chievo to the sword.
With a midweek match ahead where Napoli need goals, Carlo Ancelotti would have wanted his side to wet their appetite here against the side from the bottom of Serie A. Napoli won the game by a three goal margin, but it seemed that Ancelotti’s players were worried about getting injured ahead of their crunch clash against Arsenal on Thursday and never got into top gear.
Ancelotti will be hoping that his team bring their shooting boots with them to the Europa League, as despite creating a number of good opportunities here, they failed to find the back of the net with regularity.
Starting XI: Ospina (6); Hysaj (6), Chiriches (6), Koulibaly (9)*, Ghoulam (7); Callejon (7), Ruiz (6), Zielinski (8) Insigne (7); Mertens (8), Milik (7)
Substitutions: Allan (6), Younes (6), Verdi (6)
Koulibaly is well-known for his defensive prowess and against Chievo he gave spectators a real showing.
But fans also witnessed his attacking ability at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi as Koulibaly imposed himself on the Chievo defence at set plays. The Senegal international opened the scoring after 15 minutes as he deftly guided a near post header past the stranded Stefano Sorrentino in the home side’s goal following a dangerous cross by Dries Mertens.
He then added to his tally in the 81st minute with a strong finish following a corner, ending the game with two goals but having lost his clean sheet.
If Napoli are to progress further in the Europa League, they are going to need Koulibaly on top form as he not only stops goals being scored, he knocks them in too.
Napoli’s next match in Serie A is against high scoring Atalanta, which could be a tricky fixture, even if the Partenopei are at home. Before that though, Ancelotti and his men have the task of overturning a two goal deficit when Arsenal visit on Thursday in the Europa League quarter-final second leg, as Napoli look to win the competition and end the season with some silverware.