AS Roma – SSC Napoli: Ancelotti’s Adaptable Tactics Result in Roma Slaughter (1-4)

In a pinnacle Serie A fixture for the Champions League spots, Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli put a huge dent in Roma’s aspirations to participate in European football next year. After Roma seemed capable of defending against Napoli’s ball-orientation, the visitors moved their focus more to counterattacking and exploiting space created on the wing, resulting in a demolition.

Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.

Claudio Ranieri’s AS Roma made five changes following their 2-1 defeat to SPAL 2013, starting in the 4-3-3 formation, another rotation in system since Ranieri came in. Davide Santon replaced Rick Karsdorp at right back, whilst Kostas Manolas started ahead of Iván Marcano, despite being a doubt for this fixture. Aleksandar Kolarov returned to the left back position, replacing Juan Jesus, meaning Ranieri had almost completely rotated his backline. Up front, Diego Perotti took the place of the injured Stephan El Shaarawy on the left wing.

Napoli also made five changes after their 4-2 victory against Udinese, just before the international break. Due to a concussion, David Ospina was not able to fill in his nominal spot between the posts, meaning Alex Meret took his place in goal. Carlo Ancelotti rotated both fullback positions for Napoli, Elseid Hysaj and Mário Rui coming in ahead of Kévin Malcuit and Faouzi Ghoulam. In midfield, Piotr Zieliński was replaced by Fabián Ruiz, whilst Simone Verdi started on the left wing, ahead of Amin Younes and the still injured Lorenzo Insigne.

Both teams comfortable off the ball
After just two minutes on the clock, Arkadiusz Milik gave Napoli the lead with a sensational finish. Simone Verdi chipped . . .

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