Napoli Slump at Empoli as Francesco Calzona’s Future Hangs by Thread

What was supposed to be an ideal opportunity to find a way out of a form crisis turned into a disaster as relegation-threatened Empoli squeezed past Napoli 1-0. Another disappointing result was the least of Francesco Calzona’s problems, given how his side performed at Stadio Carlo Castellani. 

As if a 2-2 home draw against 18th-placed Frosinone last weekend wasn’t disturbing enough, Napoli failed to pick up a point against 17th-placed Empoli. Alberto Cerri’s fourth-minute header settled a tepid affair in Tuscany, largely thanks to the visitors’ lackluster performance. 

Despite winning just once in five league games prior to today’s trip to the Castellani, Napoli headed into this fixture with realistic chances of securing European football. However, today’s disappointment will likely deny the reigning champions’ bid to salvage an embarrassing season, with seventh-placed Atalanta two points clear with two games in hand.

There’s no shame in defeat, but Napoli can’t be proud of what they did on Empoli’s home ground. Calzona’s men attempted just one shot on goal against a side that had only won three home league matches this season ahead of today’s contest. 

It’s critical for Calzona to do something quickly if Aurelio De Laurentiis shows him mercy after yet another catastrophe. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Napoli president sacks a third manager this season. Visiting fans in attendance were furious with Napoli’s dreadful showing. Calzona’s underachievers had to answer before the Curva after the final whistle.

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