SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 26 - content); ?>
Napoli 2 - 1 Torino
Manolas 19 (N), Di Lorenzo 82 (N), Edera 91 (T)
Stadio San Paolo

Napoli inflicted a record sixth consecutive Serie A defeat on Torino with goals from defenders Kostas Manolas and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, despite the late Simone Edera consolation.

The Partenopei had to focus just days after a 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona here, with the Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter coming up on Thursday. Dries Mertens and Hirving Lozano were not fully fit, with Kalidou Koulibaly, Kevin Malcuit and Fernando Llorente injured, but Stanislav Lobotka allowed Diego Demme to rest. Toro were on a run of five consecutive defeats between coaches Walter Mazzarri and Moreno Longo, so brought back Simone Zaza to partner Andrea Belotti.

It was an aggressive start from the visitors, as in the opening minute Sasa Lukic’s effort was deflected by Kostas Manolas, then on the corner David Ospina flapped at a cross, forcing Nikola Maksimovic to make a goal-line clearance on Lorenzo De Silvestri.

Salvatore Sirigu’s gloves were stung by an Arkadiusz Milik curler and Napoli started to take control, earning a deserved opener when Manolas got his head to an in-swinging Lorenzo Insigne free kick from six yards.

It should’ve been 2-0 moments later, but Insigne failed to make the most of a poor Cristian Ansaldi back-pass. Insigne did better with an acrobatic volley on Milik’s knock-down, but this time Sirigu fingertipped it over the bar.

Following that initial flurry, Toro just disappeared, as Milik’s header on an Insigne cross clipped the top of the crossbar.

Insigne’s slide-rule pass released Milik, although Nicolas Nkoulou got a decisive deflection to turn the finish wide, then Andrea Belotti had to get back for a defensive block from six yards after Lobotka dribbled between two defenders.

Napoli had penalty appeals for an Armando Izzo handball, but it ricocheted off his foot and completely changed direction to bounce off his arm, so was not considered voluntary.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo sprung the offside trap on to be denied by a desperate Sirigu save, then the goalkeeper mistimed the rush off his line, but Politano’s lob hit the side-netting of an open goal from a tight angle.

Di Lorenzo did get his goal eventually, sneaking up behind Tomas Rincon to meet a wonderful floated Dries Mertens assist to the back post following a corner.

Torino got a late consolation goal in stoppages, as Ansaldi pulled back a cross from the by-line and substitute Simone Edera just had to steer the header into the far top corner. It was still a club record sixth consecutive Serie A defeat, a run they only previously suffered in 1999-00 and 2006-07.

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


Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Hysaj; Fabian Ruiz, Lobotka (Allan 79), Zielinski; Politano (Elmas 83), Milik (Mertens 74), Insigne
Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Bremer; De Silvestri, Baselli (Meite 66), Rincon (Verdi 83), Lukic, Ansaldi; Zaza (Edera 83), Belotti
Ref: Mariani