Key Talking Point
From the way the opening half hour of this match went, you could be forgiven for thinking that Lazio were the side that almost beat Juventus to the Serie A crown in 2017/18. Yet I Biancocelesti's hard work was completely undone by Napoli's equaliser and the home side completely lost their grip on the rest of the game.
There is no shortage of talent in this Lazio squad, with the likes of Immobile, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Martin Caceres among the accomplished players within the squad. Yet unless this side develops some much-needed focus and consistency, there is every chance they will miss out on Champions League qualification again as they did in such heartbreaking fashion on the final day of last season.
The ingredients are there for Lazio to do great things. It is up to them now to achieve this.
Starting XI: Strakosha (6); Radu (6) Acerbi (6) Felipe (6); Caceres (6) Milinkovic-Savic (5) Badelj (6) Parolo (5) Marusic (6); Alberto (7) Immobile (8)
Substitutes: Bastos (5) Correa (6) Cataldi (N/A)
Ciro Immobile - What started as a promising Lazio performance soon turned into a decidedly drab affair, with only one real exception - the club's star forward, Ciro Immobile.
The striker continued his impressive scoring record for the club by notching the opener today and was I Biancocelesti's only real attacking threat for much of the second half.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - Though he may have been coveted by some of the biggest clubs in world football over the summer, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic showed very little against Napoli to show that the praise is justified. The Serbian's talent is unquestionable but this performance suggested that perhaps staying at Lazio for another year to hone his skills was a smart move.
Key Talking Point
Seeing how Napoli would adapt to losing manager Maurizio Sarri and midfield linchpin Jorginho was always bound to be interesting, and though the Paretnopei improved as the game went on, it seems Ancelotti's side may have some teething issues to solve as they look to follow up on an excellent 2017/18 campaign.
The defending for Lazio's opener was absolutely dire, with Napoli caught flat-footed by a long pass before three defenders inexplicably tried to chase down Immobile at once, resulting in the forward beating them all in one turn and finding himself in a one-on-one to score.
Napoli have more than enough quality to put together another title challenge this season, but ultimately their chances of success could come down to how quickly they adapt to the changing circumstances at the club.
Ancelotti is a steady pair of hands but not a manager known for conducting radical overhauls - hopefully he can be the firm hand on the tiller Napoli need as they enter the post-Sarri era.
Starting XI: Karnezis (7); Rui (6) Koulibaly (6) Albiol (7) Hysaj (7); Zielinski (7) Hamsik (6) Allan (7); Insigne (8) Milik (7) Callejon (6)
Substitutes: Diawara (7) Mertens (6) Rog (N/A)
Lorenzo Insigne - What a finish by Lorenzo Insigne to put Napoli ahead in the second half. The finish, whipped perfectly into the top corner, exemplified the kind of attacking threat Insigne offered throughout for Napoli - as soon as his teammates bucked up their ideas, the forward began to play a far more influential role and he was a real thorn in Lazio's side today.
2-1!!! WHAT A GOAL INSIGNE— SSCNAmerica (@SSCNAMERICA) August 18, 2018
jesus... great goal insigne— Nico (Khedira-free month 😍) (@JuveNico87) August 18, 2018
Marek Hamsik - This was a surprisingly low-key performance by Napoli stalwart Hamsik, with the Slovakian forced to play in a deeper role than usual and unable to produce some of his usual attacking exploits. Time will tell if the midfielder can adapt to this new role, but the jury is out at this point.
Lazio will want to bounce back from this disappointing opening-day result but this could prove easier said than done, with their next game being a trip to reigning champions Juventus next weekend.
Napoli also face a tricky fixture in their next match as they take on Milan - however, Ancelotti's side will be confident they have the quality to see off a below-par Rossoneri side.