Hellas Verona vs Napoli 1-3: Kvaratskhelia Back to His Best

Napoli delivered a perfect response to their disastrous 3-1 home defeat to Fiorentina, beating Hellas Verona by the same scoreline upon Serie A’s return after the international break. Rudi Garcia headed to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi in dire need of points amid speculation surrounding his future in southern Italy.

Anything other than three points against an underperforming Verona side would’ve cast further doubt on the Frenchman’s credentials at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. However, Napoli pieced together a sublime performance in Venetia to maintain their unbeaten away record this season (W4, D2).

Garcia’s men took the initiative from the first whistle but couldn’t beat Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo in the early goings. Napoli had to wait until the 27th minute to find a much-needed breakthrough.

Giacomo Raspadori picked out Matteo Politano on the far post. Unmarked only a few yards out, the Italian winger finished with aplomb, sending his first-time effort into the bottom corner. But Napoli refused to rest their laurels, knowing they had Verona on the ropes.

Marco Baroni’s side hoped to enter the halftime interval with a narrow deficit, yet Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had other plans. Fresh off a prolific international break with Georgia, the star winger used his trademark move to get rid of his marker before slotting the ball past Montipo with an inch-perfect left-footed finish.

Despite showing more promise at the start of the second half, Verona suffered a knockout blow only ten minutes after the break. Kvaratskhelia stole the show again. He picked up the ball at the halfway line and breezed past one of Verona’s defenders before finding the far bottom corner with his potent right foot.

If it’s any consolation for deflated Verona fans, Darko Lazovic hammered home a thunderous half-volley midway through the second half to soften the blow. However, Baroni’s lads are now winless in their last seven Serie A games (D2, L5), as the pressure starts to mount on the ex-Lecce manager.

On the other hand, Napoli have at least temporarily gone level on points with fourth-placed Fiorentina. More importantly, they’ve built some confidence ahead of their upcoming Champions League clash against Union Berlin.

Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football