Napoli’s surprise 3-2 defeat to Empoli spells the end of Gli Azzurri’s hopes of challenging the Scudetto. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Luciano Spalletti has looked more than up to the task this season.
Napoli approached their Sunday Serie A match against Empoli in a familiar way. Spalletti opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. It’s the tactic he has used the entire season, bar a few exceptions. The starting line-up was also familiar. This was nearly Napoli’s best line-up.
Gli Azzuri even went ahead by two goals. The first was scored by their midfield maestro, Dries Mertens. Their second was scored by captain Lorenzo Insigne. Both players are unlikely to be part of the squad next season.
But, things crumbled in the second half. They often have during this season. Goals from Liam Henderson and a double from Andrea Pinamonti provided Empoli with three points. Few would have expected it, least of all considering the way that the game had progressed.
It’s the end of the Scudetto challenge. It’s also, nearly, the end of the line for players like Lorenzo Insigne wearing a Napoli jersey. Is it all bad though?
No, Luciano Spalletti managed a good campaign. He has done so without a lot of resources. He has done so, often, with injuries and suspensions hampering the team’s chances.
Still, Napoli has squandered points foolishly at times. Winning the Scudetto in 2023 is not out of the question. But, it will take a lot more concentration, especially against teams like Empoli, to achieve this.