By 90Min
November 25, 2018

Napoli now find themselves eight points behind Juventus at the top of Serie A after stuttering to a goalless draw against Chievo Verona on Sunday afternoon.

A rotated Napoli side were unable to break down Chievo, despite having a plethora of chances towards the end of the match.

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In a first half that was bereft of goalmouth action, Napoli found it difficult to breakdown a resolute Chievo defence. Gli Azzurri did fashion themselves one or two half chances, the most notable of which came right at the end of the half when Jose Callejon forced Stefano Sorrentino into a smart save at his near post.

Napoli started the second half brighter and should have been a goal to the good when Lorenzo Insigne found himself in behind the Chievo defence with just Sorrentino to beat. However, the diminutive forward managed to spurn his opportunity, dragging the ball well wide from ten yards out.

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The game began to open up and Sorrentino suddenly became very busy in the Chievo goal, producing a string of fine saves to maintain his clean sheet. Orestis Karnezis also had to be on his toes at the other end to keep out Joel Obi, who struck a fine volley towards the far corner of the Napoli goal.


With time slowly running out for the hosts, Insigne was inches away from opening the scoring with a wonderful curling effort from distance. The shot beat Sorrentino but crashed against the post instead of nestling into the net.

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The post was rattled again two minutes before the end of time. Kalidou Koulibaly attempted an ambitious overhead kick from close range, but his effort clipped the post before heading behind for a goal kick. 

That proved to be the last action in what was a hugely disappointing result for Napoli, as this was a game they were expected to win comfortably.


NAPOLI


Key Talking Point

Carlo Ancelotti opted to rotate his side ahead of their visit to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Wednesday and, for the first half at least, that decision looked to have backfired.

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Napoli were one dimensional in the final third and the transition between defence and attack simply wasn't sharp enough. To Napoli's credit things seemed to improve in the second half, but their performance was still nowhere near good enough when you consider the fact that they were up against the team who are currently sitting at the bottom of the table.

They are now eight points behind Juventus, which is an almighty deficit to overcome when you consider how formidable the Old Lady have been this season.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Karnezis (6); Malcuit (6), Albiol (6), Koulibaly (6), Hysaj (6); Callejon (6), Diawara (5), Zielinski (6), Ounas (4); Insigne (6), Mertens (5).


Substitutes: Milik (5), Allan (6), Rui (6).


STAR MAN - No one was outstanding on the day, but Lorenzo Insigne was Napoli's brightest spark, particularly in the second half.

He'll be the first to admit that he should have come away with at least one goal, but he seemed to be the only forward who was willing to think outside the box and take a risk in the final third, which deserves some credit.

WORST PLAYER - Adam Ounas hasn't been able to nail down a starting XI spot so far this season, so he has to make sure he impresses whenever he is given the opportunity to take the field.

Unfortunately for the Algerian, he was below par for much of the match and was hauled off midway through the second half after failing to have any sort of impact in the final third during his time on the pitch.


Looking Ahead


Napoli have the chance to secure their spot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League when they face Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.

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Following on from that, Carlo Ancelotti's men travel to face Atalanta in Serie A next Monday.

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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
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