Napoli’s period of unrest continues following the unexpected defeat to Genoa, 2-1, in Serie A.
It’s no secret that Gli Azzurri’s form has fluctuated wildly in recent months. Genoa are the most recent team to take advantage of this securing an unlikely, but important victory in Serie A.
Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso began the game opting for a 4-3-3 formation. The starting line-up, once again, omitted players like Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly, suffering from injuries.
Meanwhile, Genoa’s Davide Ballardini chose to field an experienced 3-5-2 formation. Stand out performances from holding midfielder Kevin Strootman and veteran striker Goran Pandev helped the Genovese to victory.
Pandev’s early goals made all the difference
Goran Pandev is no stranger to scoring important goals. He has done it throughout his career and at 37 years of age, the North Macedonian forward shows no signs of slowing down.
Genoa opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Milan Badelj seized open an error in maintaining possession and passes to Pandev who coolly slotted the ball past keeper David Ospina.
Napoli went charging for an equalizer and came close when Andrea Petagna’s header met the crossbar. However, it was Genoa who was destined to score again. Poor marking from Napoli’s defenders allowed for Miha Zajc to provide the assist for Pandev to score a double after a beautiful turn and shot.
Victor Osimhen made a return to the Partenpei side’s fold, but his attempts at goal came to no result. In spite of numerous attempts on goal, Napoli was only able to draw one back in the 79th minute through Matteo Politano.
Napoli trailing off leaders Inter
After 20 Serie A matches, Napoli finds itself in 5th place. Gattuso’s side are 10 points off leaders Inter Milan. The recent run of form has further deepened the division between management and the club’s owners.
Meanwhile, Genoa is sitting in a comfortable 11th place, far from a place that would give them the opportunity to play in European competition next season, but also far from the relegation battle.