There weren’t any big surprises from either manager in their lineups. The only slight eyebrow-raiser was that Napoli came out wearing red instead of blue, which isn’t any more distinguishable from purple.
It was more scruffy than anything for the first half hour as Napoli sat deep and hammered the ball long for Victor Osimhen to chase, while Fiorentina struggled to break down the deep block. Eventually, though, Cristiano Biraghi looped a corner to the back post and Dušan Vlahović headed it back into the middle. Lucas Martínez Quarta did the rest, hitting a gorgeous, swiveling half volley that left David Ospina with no chance.
5 minutes later, though, one of those Partenopei punts upfield paid dividends. Biraghi was slow to step up and Osimhen got through before LMQ chopped him down in the box. He was lucky to avoid a red, but Bartłomiej Drągowski was furious after he saved Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty and saved the follow-up (while getting fouled) only for Chucky Lozano to lash it home unopposed. It was terrible defending.
The visitors grew into the game after the half but the whistle blew with a 1-1 tie on the board and tempers beginning to flare.
The defense went to sleep again on an admittedly clever free kick routine, allowing Amir Rrahmani to head home. While he was veeeeeery close to being offside, you can’t let him have that.
The game really opened up for a little while after as Fiorentina created some really good chances but failed to turn them home; Cristiano Biraghi, Vlahović, and Riccardo Sottil were the main culprits, although Dušan and Nicolás González at least carved those opportunities out. Vincenzo Italiano eventually threw the kitchen sink (aka Aleksandr Kokorin and Marco Benassi) at the problem, but Napoli managed the end game well and walked away deserved winners.
Goals: Martínez Quarta 28’ (ass. Vlahović); Lozano 38’, Rrahmani 50’ (ass. Zieliński)
Cards: Bonaventura 31’, Martínez Quarta 36’, Pulgar 52’; Zambo Anguissa 54’, Mário Rui 67’, Demme 90’+1
Fiorentina stay in 5th place (despite negative goal difference) with 12 points, although Atalanta could pass them up with a win against AC Milan later. The real issue, though, is that Fiorentina keep leaking goals in situations that where they should do better. Against this version of Napoli that’s sweeping all before it, losing isn’t an unacceptable outcome. When you concede such cheap goals, though, that’s a problem. Italiano’s got some work to do.