Napoli racked up a tennis score by humiliating Genoa 6-0, with Chucky Lozano bagging a brace, but Lorenzo Insigne went off injured.
The kick-off was postponed by three hours because Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin tested positive for COVID yesterday, so a new round of swabs was necessary for the entire squad, finding Lasse Schone also infected. Stefano Sturaro, Vittorio Parigini and Francesco Cassata were injured, so Federico Marchetti made his first Serie A appearance since September 2018. The Partenopei gave Victor Osimhen his first start after an impressive substitute appearance against Parma in the 4-2-3-1 formation, while Alex Meret stepped in for David Ospina.
Chucky Lozano broke the deadlock within 10 minutes, making a run to the far post to meet the floated Dries Mertens cross, beating Marchetti at the second attempt.
Lukas Lerager should’ve done better on the Marko Pjaca solo run, slipping at the crucial moment, while Lozano fired wide from a promising position.
There was bad news, though, as Insigne pulled up with yet another thigh injury and is now a major doubt to feature against Juventus next week too. It also scuppered the 4-2-3-1 experiment after just 22 minutes.
Osimhen should’ve done better with a free header over the bar, while Davide Zappacosta and Marko Pjaca turned off target. Kostas Manolas also went off with a muscular issue at half-time.
However, within 30 seconds of the restart, Napoli had doubled their lead with a wonderful team move. Piotr Zielinski started it in midfield, Eljif Elmas pulled back from the left, Osimhen’s back-heel flick then set up Zielinski to finish it.
Lukas Lerager gave the ball away cheaply and Zielinski was involved again for the third goal, assisting Mertens to drill home from the edge of the area.
Genoa were made to pay for avoidable errors, as Goran Pandev passed it straight to Mertens, who did not hesitate to send Lozano clear for his brace and Napoli’s fourth goal.
Elmas scored the fifth for a manita at the San Paolo, using just his right foot to cut inside, go past Edoardo Goldaniga and steer the finish into the far bottom corner.
Genoa quite simply vanished from the pitch in the second half and Napoli had no intention of going easy on them, as Matteo Politano came off the bench to add a sixth when breaking into the box down the right and curling into the far corner.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk