High-flying Napoli put on another convincing performance following a 4-1 demolition of Udinese on Wednesday. This time, Lecce felt the wrath of the reigning Serie A champions’ bid to silence their critics, finishing on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline at Stadio Via del Mare.
Second-string center-back Leo Ostigard opened his Napoli account with a thumping header to fire the visitors in front only 16 minutes into the game. Piotr Zielinski whipped in a delightful cross from set-piece, with the Norwegian outjumping his marker to give Rudi Garcia’s side a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Victor Osimhen started the match on the bench. However, he needed just five minutes since coming on to replace Giovanni Simeone to go level with Inter’s Lautaro Martinez as the Serie A joint-top goalscorer. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia provided an assist as Napoli went 2-0 up early in the second half.
Another second-half substitute got on the scoresheet later on. Gianluca Gaetano took Zielinski’s place in the 83rd minute and slotted home Napoli’s third five minutes later. Matteo Politano put the icing on the cake from the resulting penalty, sending Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone the wrong way to cap off an overwhelming triumph in Puglia.
Let’s look at our player ratings.
Alex Meret – 6.5
The Italian goalkeeper spent most of the afternoon as a spectator. Neither of Lecce’s four shots on target were dangerous enough to make him sweat.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo – 6.5
The captain was unexpectedly quiet in the front third. But his defensive contribution was on the money.
Natan – 7
Though Lecce’s uneventful attacking performance made his life easier today, the Brazilian can use his first clean sheet in Serie A as a platform to build confidence.
Leo Ostigard – 7
The opening goal came as a fitting reward for the Norwegian’s impressive showing at Via del Mare. He did his defensive job to a tee, holding in-form Nikola Krstovic within arm’s length from Meret’s goal.
Mathias Olivera – 6
The Uruguayan left-back wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty against Gabriel Strefezza. Since his main task was to keep the Brazilian quiet, his trademark forward runs came at a premium.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – 7
He was a level above his opponents today. In addition to winning countless 50-50 challenges, his passing was spot on. After several shaky displays, the Cameroonian is seemingly back at his best.
Stanislav Lobotka – 6.5
The diminutive midfielder was at the center of Napoli’s build-up play, connecting the lines with pinpoint precision and unparalleled calmness under pressure.
Piotr Zielinski – 7
His free-kick delivery for the opening goal was a piece of art. The Polish playmaker delivered another superb performance, dictating the pace with smart passes through the channels and constant movement off the ball.
Khivcha Kvaratskhelia – 7
After breaking a long-standing scoring drought against Udinese, the Georgian forward looked far more comfortable today compared to his earlier appearances this season. Despite failing to add to his tally, he assisted Osimhen for a game-defining second goal.
Jesper Lindstrom – 5.5
The Danish winger displaced Politano today, yet he did nothing noteworthy before being withdrawn on the stroke of the hour mark. He’ll need to do better to make the Italian star feel worried about his first-team prospects in the future.
Giovanni Simeone – 5.5
Garcia gave Cholito a rare chance to start ahead of Osimhen, but the Argentine forward failed to seize the opportunity. He had several fragile attempts on goal in the first half, which was insufficient to trouble Falcone. It’s no wonder he stayed in the dressing room at halftime.
Victor Osimhen – 7
The Nigerian had an instant impact on the game, heading home Kvaratskhelia’s lofted cross to put the encounter beyond Lecce’s reach. A textbook definition of a super-sub.
Matteo Politano – 7
Despite scoring from the spot, the left-footed winger rightfully got his goal after changing the pace of the match with his blistering speed and tricky feet.
Giacomo Raspadori – 6.5
Unlike the two abovementioned subs, he failed to put his name on the board. But he chipped in with an assist.
Jens Cajuste – 6
He’s still adapting to life in Serie A.
Gianluca Gateano – 7
There wasn’t much you’d expect from the wonderkid’s cameo appearance.
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