Goran Pandev snatched a last-gasp point for Napoli in Siena after Edinson Cavani’s penalty was saved.
The Partenopei have stuttered on their travels this season and came to a stadium where Lazio were hammered 4-0 earlier this month. Ezequiel Lavezzi was still not 100 per cent fit, but the rest of the squad was available for Walter Mazzarri. Siena had Luca Rossettini and Alessandro Gazzi suspended, while Gianluca Pegolo again stepped in for injured goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic.
There were at least 5,000 Napoli fans in Tuscany, so it felt almost like a home game for Mazzarri’s men. Goran Pandev and Gaetano D’Agostino had early opportunities from free kicks, but it took until the 23rd minute for a really dangerous chance when Pegolo dived to beat away an Edinson Cavani right-foot strike.
Siena really should’ve taken the lead on 43 minutes, but incredibly failed to take the gift. Paolo Cannavaro completely missed the ball for his clearance, allowing Emanuele Calaiò to go clear, but the ex-Napoli striker’s lob beat Morgan De Sanctis only to thump the crossbar of a completely open goal! From that corner, Vitiello’s acrobatic volley was over the bar from close range.
In the second half Pegolo flew to push Cavani’s volley out for a corner. Lavezzi replaced Walter Gargano for his comeback after a month out with a thigh strain, moving Marek Hamsik back into midfield. Within minutes Pocho had burst through the middle to finish off a well-worked move, the ball smothered at his feet by an alert Pegolo.
Instead, it was Siena who took the lead with ex-Napoli striker Calaio. He had first missed the ball across the face of goal, but Simone Vergassola chipped it back into the box for Calaio to nod in at the back post.
Salvatore Aronica slipped to let Calaio through again, but this time there was nobody ready to tap in the pull-back.
Napoli thought they had equalised with a Cavani glancing header from a corner at the near post, but Pegolo beat it off the line and managed to smother Pandev’s follow-up.
There was huge controversy moments later, as D’Agostino challenge Lavezzi in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. D’Agostino was so furious at this decision that he demanded a substitution. Cavani took the spot-kick duties, but the central effort was saved by second choice Siena goalkeeper Pegolo.
The tension exploded in a shoving match between Pandev and Cristian Del Grosso, then the Macedonian went on a solo run with finish deflected past the post by Claudio Terzi.
Pandev did get the goal four minutes from time with a wonderful cushioned header on Andrea Dossena’s cross from the left, as Napoli ran back into the centre to resume play and look for a winner.
Instead, Siena risked going 2-1 up in stoppages with Mattia Destro springing the offside trap and at full stretch, but De Sanctis rushed off his line to charge it down.
Just 30 seconds later Pandev had a brilliant first touch to commit his marker and saw Pegolo palm the finish off the line at the base of the near post.
Missed penalty:Cavani 79 (N)