Napoli wasted a golden opportunity to recapture the top of Serie A, as they were again toothless in attack against Fiorentina.
The Partenopei had struggled with two consecutive defeats to Juventus and Feyenoord, which saw them eliminated from the Champions League, but a win here would put them back on top of the table, as Juventus held leaders Inter to a draw last night. Lorenzo Insigne, Arkadiusz Milik and Faouzi Ghoulam were injured, so Piotr Zielinski stepped in to the trident attack. The Viola started Federico Chiesa, who Napoli have made no secret of their interest in.
Fiorentina hadn’t beaten Napoli since a 1-0 result here in March 2014, followed by two draws and six defeats, home and away between Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
The hosts dominated from the start, Jorginho firing over after a Dries Mertens pull-back, while Giovanni Simeone had the ball in the net only when he was flagged offside.
The Viola started to grow into the game after an initial 15-minute siege, Pepe Reina getting down to smother a Marco Benassi effort.
In fact, Simeone had a great chance when going clear on goal from a Cyril Thereau assist and fired straight at the Spanish ‘keeper from a tight angle.
At the dawn of the second half a magnificent Allan pass released Zielinski down the left, but his left-foot finish was over the bar from an excellent scoring position.
The Poland international went close again, this time set up by Mertens only to see Marco Sportiello palm the shot on to the near post from close range.
Marek Hamsik’s snapshot skimmed the upright from the edge of the box, but Mertens missed a sitter when he was sent clear on goal only to fire straight at Sportiello at the near post.
Adam Ounas came off the bench and drilled wide, but Napoli again failed to find the net from open play and looked toothless in attack.