Napoli, a team that has been in a great run of form lately, made easy work of Lazio in of Serie A’s derbies.
Gli Azzuri took away the three points after a convincing 5-2 victory. It was a match that showed just what Napoli is capable of when the majority of their most important players are available for selection.
Manager Gennaro Gattuso has had his fair share of critics this season. Recent performances must have done a lot to endear him, once more, to fans and management alike.
The former Italy national team midfielder opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. This has been used throughout the season. However, the involvement of Victor Osimhen, Kalidou Koulibaly, or Dries Mertens, players often out through injury this campaign, made all the difference.
Simone Inzaghi, one of the men rumored to be considered for the Napoli hotseat, chose his familiar 3-5-2 formation. It’s a versatile tactical plan that failed tonight at a larger scale than it did all throughout the campaign.
Napoli opened the scoring early. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s attempted clearance was deemed to have been done at the expense of a foul on Kostas Manolas. Captain Lorenzo Insigne slotted it home from the penalty spot.
Merely minutes later, Dries Mertens, Napoli’s trequartista, set up Matteo Politano for the second goal of the night. Shortly after the break, Napoli scored twice more, first, once again, through Lonrezo Insigne, next to Dries Mertens.
Manager Simone Inzaghi found himself having to risk more and made a number of offensive-minded substitutions. The tactical tweaks brought some results as Ciro Immobile, the Biancocelesti’s main goal threat, clawed one goal back.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic added a second for Lazio, giving Inzaghi hopes of a late comeback. It would prove an illusion merely as Victor Osimhen ended the scoring at 5-2.
It’s a massive victory for Napoli that brings them closer to a Champions League qualification spot at the end of the season. It is also a massive statement from Gattuso and his players as they earn a clear victory over one of their biggest rivals.