SSC Napoli – AS Roma: Speculative Roma survives the onslaught of a dominant Napoli (1-1)
Napoli keeps improving on the quality of their offensive game thanks to a free-roaming Lorenzo Insigne and an improved Fabián Ruiz. Roma survived the ensuing bombardment of crosses into their box thanks to a heroic Kostas Manolas, but continues their struggle to control the ball.
Napoli’s dream of challenging the Serie A supremacy of Juventus is a very, very difficult one, but at least we can say they are looking increasingly comfortable in Carlo Ancelotti’s new 4-4-2 formation. Faithful to their new manager’s style, Napoli now play more slowly and less aggressively than under Maurizio Sarri. That extra patience may just be what Napoli need to compete against Europe’s best, as they are handling themselves well in a tough Champions League group. Against Roma, Napoli hoped to continue their excellent form at home, where they hadn’t dropped a point in the league.
Roma did not look as strong as Napoli, as indicated by their seventh place in the table, but they seem to be recovering from a shaky start to the season. They cannot execute their direct, high-pressing game plan as well as last season, so Di Francesco has shifted into a lower defensive block. Against Napoli, Roma hoped to recover from the painful defeat at home against SPAL.
Ancelotti continued to field what has become his characteristic 4-4-2 formation. Allan and Marek Hamšík formed the double pivot 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 are two of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. in midfield, while the wide men took . . .