Napoli humiliated Lazio 5-0 with a brace from Gonzalo Higuain and inspirational Lorenzo Insigne performance.
On the final round of last season, a 4-2 Lazio win here secured third place and the Champions League play-off spot. Maurizio Sarri had since taken over and, after a 5-0 demolition of Club Brugge, was looking for his first Serie A victory on the Partenopei bench. The Aquile missed Antonio Candreva, Lucas Biglia, Miroslav Klose, Stefan de Vrij and Ravel Morrison.
In the opening minutes there was an unorthodox Federico Marchetti save as Gonzalo Higuain stretched out a leg to redirect Lorenzo Insigne’s cross. Keita Balde Diao then missed an open goal from nine yards, totally undisturbed on a Dusan Basta drag-back.
Allan’s volley was deflected just wide and Raul Albiol tried to lob Marchetti from midfield, but Higuain broke through when he turned Wesley Hoedt and drilled right into the bottom corner from outside the box. Remarkably, it was Pipita’s ninth goal in just five Serie A meetings with Lazio.
Napoli continued to pour forward and pinned Lazio back into their own half. Insigne was inspirational and created the second goal, cutting in from the left before setting Allan up with a wonderful disguised through ball, the former Udinese midfielder powering home the finish.
Insigne almost got one himself, dribbling past Basta only for the chip to be deflected over the bar, then another was smothered by Marchetti at the near post.
Lazio were completely absent from that first half, so Stefano Pioli made a double substitution. However, Napoli added a third goal when Higuain cut in from the left, dribbling past two defenders and his shot was beaten into the path of Insigne. It seemed as if the two forwards exchanged roles during that move.
Higuain had a similar spectacular solo run and this time was able to finish it off himself, riding two tackles at high speed before smashing it across Marchetti.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hit the side-netting, but Lazio were absolutely steam-rollered at the San Paolo. It would’ve been worse, but Marchetti had his gloves stung by Insigne after a splendid first touch to control Jorginho’s long ball.
Manolo Gabbiadini came off the bench and made it 5-0, running on to a wonderful Allan through pass to deposit into the empty net.
Pepe Reina denied Lazio a consolation goal late on, using his knee to parry Keita at the near post, and from the resulting corner Sergej Milinkovic-Savic nodded on to the crossbar.
As excellent as Napoli were, Lazio also lost 4-0 to Chievo this season and have the worst defensive record after four rounds, on a par with newcomers Carpi.
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