Fiorentina vs Napoli 1-2: Azzurri Come from Behind to Make It Seven in a Row

Fiorentina gave them a run for their money, but Napoli came from behind on Sunday night to catch their seventh Serie A win in a row to extend their perfect start. Goals from Hirving Lozano and Amir Rrhamani helped the Partenopei turn the tables after Lucas Martinez Quarta’s volley had put the Viola ahead at the Artemio Franchi Stadium. 

Napoli thus made seven out of seven, just like they did in the 2017/18 season. Back then, it ended with the Partenopei landing in a disappointing second place behind Max Allegri’s Juventus. And while the Tuscanian coach is back on the Bianconeri‘s bench, Juventus are now 10 points behind Luciano Spalletti’s band and Napoli’s top contenders seem to be Inter and Milan.

It seems to be back to the 1980s – one more reason for Napoli and their supporters to dream as they head into the second international break from a solid lead in the league table.

Both Fiorentina and Napoli came from a good season start – especially, of course, Luciano Spalletti’s Partenopei – and offered no surprises in their lineups. Nico Gonzales retook his spot in Vincenzo Italiano’s 4-3-3 after serving a one-match ban, supporting Dusan Vlahovic and former Napoli man José Callejon on the front line.

Spalletti answered with a specular setup. Amir Rrhamani was deployed as center back for the fourth time in a row, next to Kalidou Koulibaly. The rock solid midfield featured André Zambo Anguissa alongside Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski, with Hirving Lozano and Lorenzo Insigne joining Victor Osimhen in attack.

Vincenzo Italiano seemed to have found the key to win the tactical battle. Fiorentina’s start was aggressive and their high pressing put the Azzurri in difficulty. Spalletti’s only option appeared to be resorting to long balls for Osimhen. The big Nigerian, however, was well restrained by Nikola Milenkovic and Lucas Martinez Quarta – at least in the beginning.

It was a tactical yet entertaining match until an Erick Pulgar daisy-cutter on 18 minutes called David Ospina to a difficult save. It was an omen that heralded Fiorentina’s goal, which came on 28 minutes. A corner kick from the left found Dusan Vlahovic on the opposite side. The Serbian picked Martinez Quarta in the middle of the box and the Argentine whipped the ball into the back of the net with a spectacular volley.

The Fiorentina goal was a wake up call for Napoli, whose first assault came five minutes later. It was the consequence of a Hirving Lozano progression along the right flank that ended with a Bartlomjei Dragowski save from the Mexican’s shot.

The Partenopei continued with their attempts to pick Osimhen and the scheme finally worked. Fabian Ruiz’s suggestion for the number 9 was perfect and put the Nigerian in condition to dash past Martinez Quarta. Fiorentina’s goal scorer had no option but knocking him down in the box, prompting a penalty for the Partenopei.

Lorenzo Insigne’s kick from the spot crashed into Dragowski’s big hand, who also palmed away the Napoli captain’s tap-in attempt. But Chuky Lozano was lurking in the box and made no mistake to give the visitors their equalizer.

Before the half time break, Osimhen still had time to attempt a sensational overhead kick that went wide of the net by just a few inches, closing the curtains on a brilliant first half. 

Five minutes after the restart, Napoli completed their comeback as the Fiorentina defense was caught totally unprepared when Zielinski drove a free kick into the middle of the box. Amir Rrahmani was ready to head the ball home to score his second seasonal goal.  

The Kosovan defender continued to steal the spotlight even defensively as, on 55 minutes, he cleared a Milenkovic attempt right on the goal line to keep the score unchanged. Fiorentina had no intention to give up  and, save for Rrahmani’s goal, spent the initial 15 minutes of the second half into the opposition box.

Napoli were lethal on the counter, however. On 61 minutes, a mouthwatering assist from Osimhen was not converted by Elif Elmas. Twelve minutes later, it was substitute Matteo Politano to come close to make it three with a sharp shot that missed the target, sparing the blushes of Cristiano Biraghi and Martinez Quarta who were both outclassed by Politano in the occasion.  

Both coaches reshuffled their cards with multiple substitutions but there were no more significant chances until full time. Fiorentina confirmed to be a solid side but Napoli’s outstanding state of form ultimately helped the Partenopei to come on top once again. 



October 3, 2021 – Serie A 2021-22 Round 7

SCORERS: 28′ Martinez Quarta (F), 38′ Lozano (N), 50′ Rrhamani (N)

FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Dragowski; Odriozola (77′ Benassi), Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Biraghi; Bonaventura (77′ Kokorin), Pulgar (65′ Torreira), Duncan (77′ Maleh); Callejon (58′ Sottil), Vlahovic, Nico Gonzalez (Terracciano, Amrabat, Igor, Munteanu, Nastasic, Terzi, Venuti) Coach: Italiano
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz (84′ Mertens), Anguissa; Lozano (58′ Politano), Zielinski (58′ Elmas), Insigne (70′ Demme); Osimhen (84′ Petagna) (Meret, Marfella, Ghoulam, Jesus, Malcuit, Manolas, Zanoli) Coach: Spalletti

REFEREE: Mr. Pairetto from Nichelino
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Martinez Quarta, Bonaventura, Pulgar (F), Anguissa, Mario Rui, Demme (N); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 4′