SSC Napoli – Lazio Roma: Impressive All-round Performance Secures Win For Napoli (2-1)
Napoli delivered an impressive performance against Lazio Roma and kept Juventus in sight at the top of the league table. The final score suggests a close game, but with a bit more efficient finishing, Napoli would have dealt with Lazio a lot earlier than they eventually did. It was quite remarkable that the home team only scored twice, as they struck the woodwork a grand total of four (!) times throughout the match.
Tactical analysis by Rowdy Nossent.
Before the start of the game, it was clear that this could be an interesting match. Both teams had won three of their last four games, including convincing displays in the Coppa Italia round of last week. Napoli are chasing Juventus, and thus practically need a victory every week to keep their title aspirations alive. Lazio Roma are still challenging for European qualification and with a win against Napoli a Champions League qualification spot was still feasible.
Napoli’s veteran manager Carlo Ancelotti missed some of his most important players. With the absence of Kalidou Koulibaly, Allan and Lorenzo Insigne - suspensions - and Marek Hamsik - injury - the Italian head coach had some decisions to make.
Goalkeeper Alex Meret was protected by the center-back duo Raúl Albiol and Maksimović, partnered by fullbacks Kevin Malcuit on the right and Mario Rui on the left. Fabián Ruiz and Amadou Diawara formed the double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. as they were flanked by José Callejón and Piotr Zieliński. Ancelotti decided not to change anything . . .