Review: Napoli – FC Torino

Lorenzo Insigne managed to score an injury-time goal that saved Napoli the indignity of losing to one of Serie A’s lower-ranked sides.

Napoli’s optimism ahead of the game against the 19th place Serie A team, FC Torino, was palpable. A victory for Gennaro Gattuso could have sent Gli Azzuri as high as third place in the league.

The rhythm of the match proved sluggish, however. Napoli attacked throughout, but rarely seemed to truly endanger Savatore Sirigu’s goal.

The first half is most noteworthy for the unfortunate injury of Diego Demmo. The midfielder had just returned to the lineup, having missed out on the previous match against Lazio. Eljif Elmas was his replacement.

Napoli returned much more animated in the second half-half. Still, the absences of the likes of Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens weighed heavily on the team’s abilities to create goalscoring chances.

Ironically, it was FC Torino who struck the first blow. Defender Armando Izzo volleyed home a corner cross in the 56th minute. From this point onward, Marco Giampaolo’s 3-5-2 transitioned to an even more defensive setup.

Lazio went desperately looking for a goal, but had to wait until the dying minutes to find their saving grace. Lorenzo Insigne, the team’s most technically proficient player, beautifully played a one-two with Piotr Zielinski before finding the top-corner.

It ended all-square. It’s a result that will please neither club. FC Torino remain on the brink of relegation, despite not turning in the kind of performances that would warrant their current 20th spot in Serie A.

Meanwhile, Napoli rarely looked like a team set out to win the Scudetto. Still, the busy schedule and the tension caused by a season filled with numerous challenges is, understandably, taking its toll.

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