SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 14 - 1 Dec 2019 (17.00 UK)
Napoli 1 - 2 Bologna
Llorente 41 (N), Skov-Olsen 58 (B), Sansone 80 (B)
Stadio San Paolo

Napoli fumbled Fernando Llorente’s opener for a shock 2-1 home defeat to Bologna, with an equaliser disallowed in stoppages.

The Partenopei were fresh from a morale-boosting 1-1 Champions League draw in Liverpool, but still without a victory since the end of October. Allan joined Arkadiusz Milik, Kevin Malcuit, Faouzi Ghoulam and Lorenzo Tonelli on the injury list, but Lorenzo Insigne returned after hurting his elbow in a 4-3-3 formation. Bologna were also in dire need of results, but missed Federico Santander, Roberto Soriano and Mitchell Dijks.

Chucky Lozano ran on to a Fabian Ruiz pass and rolled across for Insigne, who fired over under pressure. Lozano had the ball in the net on 16 minutes with a ferocious hit into the roof of the net, but he had wandered offside when Fabian Ruiz’s dummy let the ball through.

Rodrigo Palacio and Fabian Ruiz had hopeful efforts, while Blerim Dzemaili’s acrobatic volley on the turn whistled just past the post.

A deflected Eljif Elmas effort turned into an accidental assist for Lozano to nod wide at the back stick, but the deadlock was broken just before half-time.

Insigne went on a strong run from midfield, his shot from the edge of the box only parried by Lukasz Skorupski and Llorente was ready to fire in the rebound.

Suddenly, the hosts were feeling confident again and had a flurry of chances, as Kalidou Koulibaly pulled back from the by-line for Llorente, but Skorupski did just enough from six yards, then Lozano drilled wide when he should’ve passed.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo had to intercept a dangerous Nicola Sansone cross, with substitute Andreas Skov-Olsen ready to tap in at the back post.

Insigne went on a great run from midfield, riding two tackles before his daisy-cutter was pushed round the base of the upright by Skorupski, earning applause from the San Paolo crowd.

Llorente’s finish from the edge of the box was deflected just wide off Insigne, as Napoli seemed to be in control, but Bologna equalised against the run of play.

Kalidou Koulibaly needed a risky header to prevent Palacio nodding in Sansone’s cross from point-blank range, but it only went as far as Andreas Skov-Olsen to volley in at the back post undisturbed. It was the Dane’s first Serie A goal.

David Ospina did well to keep hold of a deflected Sansone strike, while substitute Dries Mertens grazed the upright from the edge of the box.

Sansone was again in acres of space down the Bologna left, this time turning wide, as the Napoli defence was completely unbalanced.

Mertens should’ve done far better on 78 minutes when found unmarked from 12 yards, but ballooned his volley over the bar.

That proved costly, because moments later Bologna turned the game around completely. Nikola Maksimovic was caught in possession and Blerim Dzemaili knocked a delicate ball through the middle so Sansone could spring the offside trap and beat Ospina one-on-one.

Napoli tried to fight back, but focused on individual shots from distance, most of which weren’t on target, with Llorente’s stoppage-time header straight at Skorupski.

Llorente had the ball in the back of the net at the 95th minute when Danilo went down far too easily and he fired past Skorupski one-on-one. However, it was disallowed using VAR, as the Spaniard was marginally offside.

The Partenopei were jeered off the field after another Serie A setback.

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Napoli: Ospina; Maksimovic, Manolas, Koulibaly, Di Lorenzo; Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski, Elmas (Mertens 65); Lozano (Younes 81), Llorente, Insigne
Bologna: Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Bani, Danilo, Denswil; Dzemaili, Medel (Svanberg 62), Poli; Orsolini (Skov-Olsen 46), Palacio (Destro 84), Sansone
Ref: Pasqua