Bakayoko Earns Napoli Last Gasp Win Away at Udinese

Sunday afternoon saw Napoli travel to the Dacia Arena to face Udinese looking to get their quest for a top four finish back on track after their shock defeat to Spezia on Wednesday. It ended with the Partenopei snatching a last gasp win thanks to late goal from Tiémoué Bakayoko.

In response to the Spezia defeat, Gattuso made four changes for Napoli. Hirving Lozano came in for Matteo Politano on the right hand side of the attack, while Alex Meret replaced Colombian David Ospina in goal. The final two changes were made at the back with Amir Rrahmani for Nikola Maksimović at center-back and Elsaid Hysaj for Mario Rui at left back.

Udinese, on the other hand, were looking for their first win in five after drawing away to Bologna mid week. Manager Luca Gotti made three changes going with one striker in Kevin Lasagna who was to be supported by captain Rodrigo De Paul. To strengthen the center of midfield, in came Rolando Mandragora and Tolgay Arslan for Walace and Fernando Forestieri. The final change was left wing where Argentinian Nahuel Molina replaced Marvin Zeegelaar.

Napoli were given a penalty in the 13th minute after a VAR review. Hirving Lozano won it, racing onto a pass and clipping the ball in front of Kevin Bonifazi who brought the winger down. Captain Lorenzo Insigne made no mistake from the spot burying his penalty high to the goalkeeper’s right to give his side the lead.

Lozano came close to a second with a flying diving header that was well saved by Juan Musso. Giovanni Di Lorenzo was found in acres of space on the right and his curling cross was well met by the Mexican but the Argentine saved well to his left hand side.

Udinese though were level before the half hour mark. Kevin Lasagna was alert to pick off a short back pass from Rrahmani – the Kosovar massively under hitting the ball back to goalkeeper Meret, who could not beat the Italian striker to the ball. Lasagna rounded the keeper and tapped home.

Udinese came out in the second half and took the game to their Southern Italian counterparts. Meret was forced into 3 good saves in the first 15 minutes denying Lasagna, Larsen, and Molina.

The middle part of the game failed to ignite after the initial brightness shown by Udinese. The Bianconeri were solid in defence, well marshalled by Samir and Bonifazi who recovered well after his early mistake.

Napoli, on the other hand, looked tired and short of ideas, badly missing talismanic Belgian Dries Mertens and record signing Victor Osimhen.

However, as time was running out, Tiémoué Bakayoko came to his sides rescue with a towering header, planting it back across Musso in goal. Napoli were awarded a free kick about 35 yards out, just slightly to the left of Udinese’s box. Elif Elmas swung in a left footed cross to the back post, where the Frenchman jumped highest to score his first goal of the season and gain his side all three points.

The games though come thick and fast for the Partenopei who next meet Empoli at home in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 before hosting Fiorentina in the league on Sunday lunchtime.

Udinese can count themselves unlucky to lose having executed their game plan to perfection. They next travel to fellow mid table side Sampdoria on Saturday night still searching for that elusive win.



January 10, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 17

SCORERS: 15′ Insigne (N, pen.), 27′ Lasagna (U), 90′ Bakayoko (N)

UDINESE (3-5-1-1): Musso; Becao, Bonifazi, Samir; Molina, De Paul, Arslan (72′ Walace), Mandragora, Stryger Larsen (72′ Zeegelaar); R. Pereyra; Lasagna (81′ Nestorovski) (Scuffet, Gasparini, Ouwejan, Makengo, Ter Avest, Palumbo, Rigo, De Maio) Coach: Gotti
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas (16′ Maksimovic), Rrahmani (46′ Mario Rui), Hysaj; Fabian Ruiz (68′ Elmas), Bakayoko; Lozano, Zielinski (92′ Demme), Insigne; Petagna (68′ Llorente) (Contini, Ospina, Politano, Koulibaly, Ghoulam, Cioffi, Lobotka) Coach: Gattuso

REFEREE: Mr. Pasqua from Tivoli
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Arslan, Samir, Zeegelaar (U), Di Lorenzo (N); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 4′