Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens grabbed one each, as Napoli were inspired by new signing Victor Osimhen’s entrace in the second half of the 2-0 win against Parma.
Napoli, who started with Hirving Lozano at right and Victor Osimhen on the bench, came out cautious against a Parma side pressing high up the field.
No big chances within the first 20 minutes and none of the sides were allowed too much space in the opponents’ halves.
Napoli midfielder Diego Demme picked up the first yellow of the match when Parma were threatening on the counter and was quickly followed by Matteo Darmian, who one minute later equalised matters in the Mariani’s book.
Dries Mertens the closest to test Luigi Sepe in the Parma goal and Fabian Ruiz with an attempt above the bar. No real highlights in the first half.
Parma started second half brightly, as Kucka forced a free kick outside the area before he clattered David Ospina from the following delivery. The goalkeeper held his chest, but was back on his feet moments after.
The intensity increased early on in the second half, Napoli pushed up but Parma are equally organised at the back after the break. Both teams cope well with the pressure.
Kucka was given time to get the shot off after 55 minutes, with an effort from 30 metres. The attempt was not accurate enough and went just over Ospina’s goal.
New signing Osimhen was brought on after 60 minutes and got involved immediately, as he forced Iacoponi to make a poor clearance and the ball falls to Mertens, who finishes from 14 yards and makes it 1-0 to the Partenopei.
Napoli were a different side after the Nigerian’s entrance, with Lorenzo Insigne hitting the post before he made it 2-0, when Sepe couldn’t hold Lozano’s shot and the ball fell perfectly for the Italy international. The easiest of finishes to make it two.
Yann Karamoh had come on to give Parma an injection of energy and pace, and he caused some concern for the visitors. But Napoli managed well and controlled the match.
Held on for possession, Andrea Petagna was introduced in the 88th minute for his debut. A great start for Gattuso’s men, but the match changed completely when Osimhen came on. A different side after 60 minutes and a well-deserved win in the end.
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