Massimo Nuzzo (@sscncentral) talks us through tonights 2-0 win over Benevento in the Campania Derby.
Heading into today’s Derby Della Campania at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito, Napoli were looking to regain top spot in the league after Juventus’ 7-0 win over a lifeless Sassuolo.
Sarri, shockingly, opted for his strongest starting eleven in a match that was surprisingly competitive.
The beginning of the first half had many Napoli fans on edge as Benevento launched many counter attacks that, if not for abysmal finishing, could’ve given the hosts a surprise lead.
Their closest to finding the back of the net came when Marco D’Alessandro found space on the left side of the box and had a shot on goal, however, Reina came up big with the save.
Following a shaky start Napoli began to control the ball and hold possession. This led to us almost taking the lead when Insigne received the ball at the edge of the box and chipped Puggioni, only to be denied by the crossbar.
After a couple of close chances, the breakthrough finally came. Mertens opened up scoring with a delectable chip over Puggioni, giving the Belgian his 14th Serie A goal this season.
The last chance of the half belonged to Benevento when Brignola’s shot hit outside side netting.
After an average first half performance, Napoli came into the second half looking to grow their lead. It only took two minutes for that to happen.
After some great build up play starting from Reina, Callejon played a ball across the box that was put into the back of the net by Marek Hamsik.
Following the goal, Benevento were awarded a penalty but it was called off as VAR called Costa offside before being founded by Koulibaly.
For the rest of the second half Napoli controlled possession and continued to attack La Strega’s goal, but they were unable to get goal number three. Callejon almost found the back of the net in stoppage time however the Spaniard put it wide.
The most notable moment of the second half came when Mertens had to come off because a foul by Djimsiti left him injured.
The biggest problem from today’s match was the struggle to deliver a good final ball. If we had done so the score could’ve been four or five nil.
Although it wasn’t an amazing performance, the ragazzi got the job done and put us back on top of the table. Credit to Benevento for a great match and let’s hope Merten’s injury won’t put him out for any significant amount of time.