Ezequiel Lavezzi had the best chances, but was denied by Federico Marchetti as Lazio earned a point in Naples.
The Partenopei returned to the field after a three-week break, as their game with Juventus before internationals was postponed due to flooding. Although there’s a decisive Champions League clash with Manchester City coming up, Coach Walter Mazzarri took no chances with his line-up.
Lazio were joint top of the table going into this match, but missed Miroslav Klose, Stefano Mauri, Andre Dias, Libor Kozak, Simone Del Nero and Albano Bizzarri. Djibril Cissè moved into the centre-forward role with support from Giuseppe Sculli and Hernanes, while Marius Stankevicius was a make-shift centre-back. It was a special game for Edy Reja, who helped Napoli up from Serie C to the top flight.
The Partenopei had the first chance when an Ezequiel Lavezzi free kick to the near post found Hugo Campagnaro’s header inches over the bar.
Andrea Dossena’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal with Edinson Cavani just failing to get the final touch. At the other end Cissè had a long-range snapshot well smothered by Morgan De Sanctis.
A smart Cissè move sent Hernanes through the middle, but the Brazilian couldn’t keep his cool and scuffed the finish one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Straight after the restart, Lavezzi had a magnificent opportunity with his curler forcing a desperate flying save out of Federico Marchetti. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Pocho again, but this time he tried to volley at the back post when he should’ve taken the time to control and pick his spot.
Napoli came out all guns blazing for the second half, as Dzemaili’s free kick skimmed the upright with great force. Christian Maggio was incorrectly flagged offside before putting the ball back into the centre for Lavezzi.
Campagnaro accidentally clattered into his own goalkeeper in a breakdown of communication, earning a tongue-lashing from the furious De Sanctis.
Cavani turned just wide from a corner and then had a sensational scoring opportunity, as he volleyed Lavezzi’s cross with his left foot to sting Marchetti’s palms from eight yards.
Goran Pandev came on against the club he left in extremely bitter circumstances. Cavani rose above the crowd for a glancing header that Marchetti did very well to palm off the line. From that corner, Maggio fired over.
Walter Gargano flashed a long-range strike off target and Alvaro Gonzalez wasted a stoppage-time opportunity by misplacing his pass for Cissè.
Lavezzi snuck up behind a defender to toe-poke the ball from five yards and Marchetti was fortunate it was straight at his gloves.
Lavezzi had another fantastic chance deep into injury time, as his marvellous volley was arrowing its way into the far bottom corner, but Marchetti somehow got his fingertips to it at full stretch. Pocho was so frustrated that he pulled his shirt over his head.
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