Napoli were only able to muster a 1-1 draw against Genoa on Sunday evening, despite having a man advantage for the vast majority of the game.
Napoli were given a boost after 25 minutes when Stefano Sturaro was handed a straight red for a late challenge on Allan. Gli Azzurri immediately made the most of their one-man advantage and opened the scoring through Dries Mertens, who coolly slotted the ball home after being fed in by Piotr Zielinski.
The hosts looked to be heading in to the interval a goal to the good, but Genoa were able to snatch an equaliser right on the brink of half-time. Darko Lazovic found the back of the net in style, volleying the ball past Orestis Karnezis from close range.
The second-half saw Napoli struggle to break down a deep-lying Genoa defence and I Partenopei were forced to settle for a point after failing to find a winning strike during the closing exchanges.
Check out the full breakdown of the evening's events below.
Key Talking Point
They were far from convincing in this one and showed exactly why they have been struggling to keep pace with Juve all season. Even when Genoa were reduced to ten men, Carlo Ancelotti's side often ran out of ideas when they progressed into the final third and were often willing to play it safe when in possession, playing perfectly into Genoa's hands.
They upped the ante during the closing exchanges, and were somewhat unfortunate not to find a way past the impressive Andrei Radu, but it was too little, too late.
Starting XI: Karnezis (6); Hysaj (6), Koulibaly (6), Maksimovic (6), Ghoulam (6); Callejon (4), Allan (6), Ruiz (6), Zielinski (5); Mertens (7*), Milik (4).
Substitutes: Insigne (5), Rui (5), Ounas (N/A).
Star Man - Dries Mertens
It was a disappointing evening for a number of Napoli players, but Dries Mertens put in a decent shift up top and was able to notch a goal for his troubles.
The Belgian forward's first-half strike demonstrated just how lethal he can be when he is afforded an opportunity in front of goal. You have to think that, if any of Napoli's second-half chances fell his way, then they could have easily come away with all three points.
His goal was also his 104th in all competitions, equalling the record of Edison Cavani.
Mertens is on fire— pep (@pepromano) April 7, 2019
Sheer quality from Mertens— Dayo. (@Gideonxx_) April 7, 2019
Starting XI: Radu (8), Periera (6), Gunter (6), Criscito (7), Biraschi (6), Lazovic (7); Sturaro (3), Veloso (6), Bessa (6); Kouame (7), Pandev (6).
Substitutes: Rolon (5), Radovanovic (N/A), Pezzella (N/A).
Napoli will now be looking ahead to their potentially season-defining Europa League quarter-final first leg against Arsenal on Thursday, while Genoa are in action against Sampdoria on Sunday.