Napoli win ugly at home for their 8th win in a row, with another goal from Osihmen!

Napoli win ugly at home for their 8th win in a row, with another goal from Osihmen! post thumbnail image

Napoli starting 11: Ospina, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Fabian Ruiz, Anguissa, Zielinski, Politano, Oshimen, Insigne.

Torino starting 11: Milinkovic-Savic, Djidji, Bremer, Rodriguez, Lukic, Mandragora, Singo, Aina, Linetti, Brekalo, Sanabria

Scorers: Oshimen (81’)

Napoli 1       Torino 0

After 2 weeks of waiting, Napoli and Torino return to action at the Stadio Maradona in Naples. The home side were under the magnifying glass to maintain their excellent 100% record. They had won 21 points out of an available 21 so far. Torino were looking for an upset today hoping to forget their form after losing to their city rivals Juventus. 

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti decided to make little change to his team who have seemingly found their winning formula; the only change was Politano coming in for Lozano in their intriguing battle for Napoli’s right-wing. Lobotka also returned to the bench. 

Torino’s Ivan Juric would have some optimism on his bench today, he saw the return of talisman and star Andrea Belotti who would hope to make an impact later in the game. An interesting matchup would be Victor Oshimen against Gleison Bremer. The young Brazilian defender had impressed so far, leading the league in interceptions per game. He would hope to put a damper on Oshimen’s bright campaign so far.

The Partonepei were wearing limited edition kits inspired by the holiday, but it was Torino who would have the early scare with their captain Rolando Mandragora having to sub off in the opening eight minutes. 

The first major chance fell to Napoli when Insigne simply kicked the ball into space for Oshimen to chase, he would take the ball down, turn and shoot from 20 yards out, which just flew beyond the post. Moments later he would run down the right channel and cross the ball which Insigne nearly managed to convert.

The aforementioned Bremer would claim the first shot on target. After leaping and getting major contact on a corner, he fired his bullet header straight at Ospina. This if anything showed that the Toro were up for a fight. Oshimen would respond with a header of his own in the 20th minute, heading it just over the bar from a cross from Di Lorenzo. 

The Neapolitan side would get their chance to score after another clever set-piece on the left wing just outside the box. Insigne fired a simple pass down the left-hand side of the box, instead of going over the wall, towards Di Lorenzo who was brought down for a penalty. However, it was Insigne’s turn for a horror show as he very calmly placed the ball into the arms of the Torino keeper. 

Coming towards the end of the 1st half, Napoli seemed nervous and Torino seemed impressive. Although the home side had more chances, the away outfit were holding their own with Bremer containing Oshimen as much as he could. Another Torino standout was Wilfred Singo, whose power and pace were giving Rui nightmares.

Napoli would have another chance with Anguissa crossing the ball to a waiting Koulibaly who forced a big save out of Milinkovic-Savic. The game quickly flew wide open with the sides sending too many players forward which left plenty of counter attacking opportunities. But despite the ample chances, the half ended goalless.

After a slow start to the second half, Napoli believed they had broken the deadlock 54 minutes in with a header from Di Lorenzo connecting with a Rui freekick, but after a wait, it was ruled offside. 

Napoli continued the pressure after Oshimen cleverly found some space and managed to play the newly subbed on Lozano into a scoring position, the Mexican excruciatingly fired onto the left-hand post. Torino would make some attempts of their own with Brekolo managing to find space in the Napoli box, forcing Ospina into a smart save by his right post. 

As the half went on Torino definitely found a second wind, taking the game to the hosts, who seemed to struggle with the frustration of all their missed chances. The second half continued to be a frustrating match for the home side.

In the 80th minute, Napoli finally scored the goal they were desperately looking for with a towering header from their star man, Victor Oshimen. After some smart touches from Mertens to find himself in the box, the substitute failed to make it past the Torino defense, but the clearance smacked off a Napoli player and seemed to hang in the air for Oshimen to score his fifth Serie A goal.

After a hard-fought goal, Napoli decided this was enough and decided to dig in for the final ten minutes with Spalletti substituting Lozano back off the pitch despite only playing for around 30 minutes for defender Juan Jesus. 

But that would be all in the end. Napoli managed to win another ugly match against a side no one expected to put up a fight, but all that mattered was the 3 points that took them back above Milan to the top of the table.