By 90Min
September 20, 2017

There was a huge clash in the Serie A tonight, as two of its biggest teams faced off in Rome as Lazio hosted Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico.

Sarri's Napoli side were looking to continue their good start to the season and stay ahead of the pack, while Lazio were looking to pick up all three points to stay in touch at the top of the table.

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Napoli had had the better of the opening exchanges as they displayed some brilliant short passes and great ball movement. However it was the home side that started to get into the game past the 20 minute mark creating a few chances at goal, only for Pepe Reina to comfortably snuff out any chances.

However there was nothing the former Liverpool man could do in the 30th minute as Lazio took the lead. A deep swinging corner from Ciro Immobile found Stefan de Vrij in space deep inside the box and the centre-back clinically fired home the resulting volley, past the helpless Pepe Reina.

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The game then began to heat up, with Reina picking up a yellow card for a poor challenge, perhaps in frustration at conceding the earlier goal. His frustration with his team's performance would've only been exaggerated minutes later, when Marik Hamsik was put through on goal in the 38th minute, only for the Slovakian to somehow strike the left hand post with his subsequent effort. 

However it was in the second half where the game really sparked into action. Lazio's influential defender and goalscorer Stefan de Vrij had to be taken off at half time with a suspected injury, an unfortunate event that seemed to completely dismantle Lazio's back-line.

The away side took full advantage of Lazio's misfortune in the 54th minute when a corner met Kalidou Koulibaly. His initial shot was well saved by the Lazio keeper, however Strakosha wasn't able to react quick enough as his parry fell back to the centre-half who graciously slotted home from close range.

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Napoli now smelled blood and almost straight from the restart got their second, to flip the tie on it's head. A brilliant square pass into the box from Marek Hamsik found Jose Callejon, the strikers brilliant touch then allowed him to quickly turn and riffle the ball home away to the keeper's far post, just two minutes after Napoli had equalised.

The Ciucciarelli's night then went from good to superb as they scored their third goal in just five minutes. However, this one was the pick of the bunch. 

Dries Mertens found himself through on goal, only for Strakosha to react quickly and stop the Belgian. Unfortunately for Lazio however, he could only parry away from the edge of his area, with the ball falling straight back to the Napoli striker. Mertens still had a lot to do from 25 yards out, but pulled of an audacious lob to beat the Strakosha, with the keeper helplessly scrambling back to his goal.

After their goals Napoli had decided to control the game and keep possession to see out the victory. Sarri also decided to take off Mertens, Callejon and Hamsik once the result was secured, perhaps to give them some extra rest with weekend game at SPAL coming up before they host Feyenoord in the Champions League in six days time.

Napoli then added a fourth to really added salt to the wound, in the 90th minute of the game. Just when Lazio though their nightmare was over, Marco Parolo was too aggressive as he battled for the ball in the box and conceded a penalty, which Jorginho had delayed run up as he waited for the keeper to commit before slotting home from the spot.

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