SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 9 Feb 2019 (17.00 UK)
Fiorentina 0 - 0 Napoli
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Goalkeepers Alban Lafont and Alex Meret were the heroes of the hour, as neither Fiorentina nor Napoli could find a way past them.

The Viola had to put together a makeshift defence, as Nikola Milenkovic and Marco Benassi were suspended, with Vincent Laurini injured and Vitor Hugo only fit for the bench, while Bryan Dabo got a rare start, moving Gerson into the trident attack. The Partenopei missed Raul Albiol, Arkadiusz Milik was carrying a knock and Lorenzo Insigne took over as captain after Marek Hamsik agreed a move to Dalian Yifang.

Last season, Giovanni Simeone scored a hat-trick and Kalidou Koulibaly saw red in a 3-0 Napoli defeat that effectively handed the Scudetto to Juventus.

Within five minutes, Faouzi Ghoulam had to come on for Mario Rui, who pulled up clutching the back of his thigh.

Moments later, the visitors had a double chance, as Alban Lafont only palmed a Piotr Zielinski chest and volley into the path of Insigne to balloon over the bar.

Lafont did better beating away a Dries Mertens volley on Ghoulam’s cross from the left, while Federico Chiesa’s attempt was deflected after his difficult turn in a crowd.

Jose Callejon couldn’t keep his finish down at the back post on a taut Mertens cross, while Alex Meret needed a great save to deny the ferocious Jordan Veretout half-volley and Mertens ballooned over from a promising position.

Mertens again should’ve done much better, volleying off the inside of the right boot straight at Lafont from close range after Zielinski knocked down an Insigne chipped pass.

Allan made a decisive interception to prevent Muriel tapping in Chiesa’s pull-back from six yards, while Insigne’s deflected effort skimmed the far post.

Lafont outdid himself with a stunning reaction save to deny Zielinski from close range after a Callejon pull-back, palming it out of the near bottom corner.

Fabian Ruiz skimmed the near top corner with a wickedly bending strike from distance, but Fiorentina lost Kevin Mirallas to a suspected calf strain.

Callejon wasted a good opportunity when trying to go for goal himself rather than set up Zielinski on the Allan through ball, but German Pezzella also had a knee problem and the hosts were essentially down to 10 men for the last six minutes.

Napoli failed to score in three consecutive Serie A away fixtures for the first time since April 2015. Milik had the last chance in stoppages, but came sliding on to a Callejon cross at the back post only to turn it on to the side-netting, then stung Lafont's gloves from distance.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk


Fiorentina: Lafont; Ceccherini, Pezzella, Hancko (Vitor Hugo 57); Dabo, Edimilson Fernandes, Veretout, Biraghi; Gerson (Mirallas 68) (Simeone 80); Chiesa, Muriel
Napoli: Meret; Hysaj, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Mario Rui (Ghoulam 5); Callejon, Allan, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski; Insigne (Verdi 77), Mertens (Milik 62)
Ref: Calvarese