Napoli followed up their worst week of the season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Lazio. It was exactly the reaction Luciano Spalletti must have hoped for. Napoli remains the Serie A leader. The difficult end of the year can now be approached with increased confidence.
Napoli’s start to the 2021/22 season was an exception. It defied expectations. It helped remind football fans of manager Luciano Spalletti’s ability. And, it turned Napoli into a favorite to win Serie A and the Europa League.
Last week, however, everything looked set t grind to a halt. First, the Partenopei lost against rivals Inter Milan. The 3-2 victory meant that Inter was back in the running for the Scudetto.
Further alarm bells were rung by the 2-1 victory away to Spartak Moscow in the UEL. The defeat puts Napoli in a precarious situation. Victory is needed against Leicester, in the final match of the group, to ensure qualification.
With all this in mind, Napoli needed to send a signal of unity against Lazio. The result and manner of play defied the expectations of even the most optimistic. At the heart of it were Napoli’s long-standing and most influential players.
Dries Mertens brilliantly replaced Victor Osimhen as the team’s striker. The Belgium maestro scored a brace. Fabian Ruiz, Lorenzo Insigne, and Piotr Zielinski were also in superb form.
Napoli won 4-0. This was Luciano Spalletti proving his worth once more. Maurizio Sarri, one of Serie A’s most celebrated managers, had to respond against the Napoli floodgate.
This was the response that Gli Azzurri’s fans expected. The three points may end up making all the difference in the team’s battle for the Scudetto. Just as importantly, the victory helped prove the mental fortitude of Napoli’s players.