Genoa 1-2 Napoli: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Partenopei Stun Rossoblu After Rain Delay

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Napoli moved within three points of Serie A leaders Juventus, after coming from behind to defeat Genoa 2-1 at a rain-drenched Marassi.

Christian Kouamé headed home from a pinpoint Rômulo cross to open the scoring for Il Grifone in the 20th minute, after Lorenzo Insigne had struck the post for the visitors within the first ten minutes of the game.

The match was suspended close to the hour mark due to adverse weather conditions, but when it resumed, the visitors were on top and drew level through substitute Fabián Ruiz in the 62nd minute, before Davide Biraschi turned the ball into his own net to give Carlo Ancelotti’s side a late winner. 



GENOA

Key Talking Point

The home side looked a force defensively and turned defence into attack very well. They made good use of their wing-backs to produce dangerous deliveries and at times the width was just too much for their opponents, which was evident when Rômulo’s terrific cross was headed home by Kouamé.


The Rossoblu found it difficult to press the Partenopei, who had upped the tempo of their passing and worked the ball well since going behind. The hosts would’ve lost their lead earlier had it not been for the incredible save of Andrei Radu, who somehow instinctively denied Arkadiusz Milik, after a swift exchange between Insigne and José Callejón.

However, the disruption of the rain swung the game towards their opposition. The fact that the Rossoblu’s penalty area fared much worse than Napoli’s benefited the away side, who adapted well to the conditions and sent dangerous deliveries into the box, which eventually paid dividends as Biraschi put into his own net from a Mário Rui free kick.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Radu (6); Biraschi (5), Romero (5), Criscito (5); Rômulo (6); Hiljemark (6), Veloso (5), Bessa (6), Lazović (6); Piątek (5), Kouamé (7*).

Substitutes: Mazzitelli (5), Omeonga (4), Pandev (N/A)


STAR MAN – Kouamé was fantastic against the Neapolitans. He chased down lost causes, put defenders under-pressure, tussled with one of the most solid defenders in the league in Koulibaly (who had a torrid time dealing with the pace of the youngster) and kept possession in tight areas of the pitch.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-GENOA-NAPOLI

He linked up well with his strike partner Krzysztof Piątek and caused the Napoli defence several problems, especially in the first half. The Ivorian took his goal well too, getting in between Elseid Hysaj and Raúl Albiol before guiding his header past David Ospina, capping off a fine performance.

WORST PLAYER – Piątek was guilty of being too selfish in the first period. His team got into some nice positions around the area and found the striker on a few occasions but instead of trying to increase the pressure on the opponents and keeping possession, he opted to try his luck on a few occasions and they ultimately came to nothing. 

He was also quite sloppy on the counter-attack, on occasions either over or under hitting passes, which prevented his side from gaining momentum in the offensive areas.




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NAPOLI

Key Talking Point

The Neapolitans looked lackadaisical running back towards their own goal. They didn’t get close enough to Genoa’s wide men and weren’t assured with their positioning, which contributed to the opener.

The addition of Dries Mertens and Ruiz at half time made a considerable difference. Despite the condition of the pitch, they combined well, with the Belgian flicking the ball to the latter, who slotted home to level the scores.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-GENOA-NAPOLI

The visitors took advantage of the conditions, including the waterlogged state of the Genoa penalty area. They sent the ball into the area with pace to cause problems, which occurred when Rui’s delivery from a free kick was turned into his own net by Biraschi, which proved to be the winner.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ospina (5); Hysaj (5), Albiol (5), Kouliably (5), Rui (6); Callejón (5), Allan (6), Hamšík (5), Zieliński (5); Milik (4), Insigne (5).

Substitutes: Malcuit (N/A), Ruiz (7*); Mertens (6).


STAR MAN – Ruiz came off the bench and made an impact alongside fellow half-time substitute Mertens. He used the ball well, keeping possession despite the circumstances, and drifted into some nice areas of the pitch. He showed good awareness when taking his goal, linking up well with Mertens and reading the backheel before concentrating on his strike, which couldn’t have easily ended up off target, considering the pitch.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-GENOA-NAPOLI

WORST PLAYER – Milik didn’t affect the game much in all honesty, with his replacement Mertens making a bigger impact from the bench. The Polish striker didn’t create many opportunities, he was crowded out by the Grifone defence and the one time a chance opened up for him, he was denied by keeper Radu when he really should have scored.


Looking Ahead

Following the international break, Genoa face local rivals Sampdoria at the Marassi, hoping to get their first victory against the Blucerchiati since May 2016. Meanwhile, Napoli host Chievo, who sit at the bottom of the league table – still on -1 points. 


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