That match was tough for Fiorentina fans, but we know at least one person who enjoyed it: Conor Dowley from The Siren's Song, who we've talked to a couple of times already to get a Napoli fan's perspective on this match. He's back again for a post-match chat, and he had a couple of interesting opinions to share.
Viola Nation: No gloating.
The Siren's Song: But...
VN: No. Gloating.
TSS: Don't make me pull rank.
VN: Fine. What did you see as the factor that made the difference in this match?
TSS: Aside from the complete unpredictability of Luca Banti's decisions going both ways -- seriously, that was some awful refereeing -- the adjustments that Napoli made to start the second half were huge. Fiorentina's midfield pressure had stifled Napoli's ability to build up play, but they started playing faster and more direct right off the whistle, and it paid immediate dividends with Lorenzo Insigne's goal, and continued on it the form of much-improved attacking quality that Fiorentina struggled to stifle for much of the half.
VN: Who did you see as the man of the match for each team?
TSS: I'm going to go in probably an unexpected direction here, but I think each team had a player who was better and more impactful than their goalscorers. For Napoli, that was Allan, who absolutely bossed the midfield in the first half when Napoli were struggling to hold possession, breaking up a number of potentially dangerous attacks and serving as a reliable outlet for his teammates when they were under pressure. That first half may not have ended scoreless if not for him, and he was just as impressive in the second half.
Fiorentina's best player, for me, was Josip Ilicic, for that sterling assist on Napoli's second goal...
VN: NO. GLOATING.
TSS: FINE! Seriously, though, it was Marcos Alonso. He was a regular threat to Napoli's defense and a nuisance to their attack, and when he came out of the match Napoli found working their way up the pitch much easier, not to mention the relief of attacking pressure down Napoli's right side. Fiorentina may have scored after he was subbed out, but they were much better with him on the pitch.
VN: What's the next step for Napoli from here?
TSS: Hopefully upwards. We're just three points back of y'all now and in fourth, which seems amazing considering that it wasn't that long ago that Napoli were in, like, 16th place and winless. Napoli are on a pretty great run right now, and they're about to hit a stretch of the schedule that, on paper at least, is a bit easier. Napoli fans are counting on that to pan out as guaranteed wins, though, because we are all to familiar with this team not keeping up their momentum against "lesser" opponents after carving through bigger clubs.