Napoli vs Bologna 3-0 – Napoli Overwhelm Bologna, Retake First Place

Napoli continued its unbeaten streak on Thursday, outclassing Bologna 3-0 to retake first place in Serie A.

The hosts were in fine form, allowing their opponents little time on the ball and dominating the midfield. Bologna, despite flashing in the first half, had no answer for Napoli’s strong defensive presence and failed to put more than one shot on target.

Napoli deployed a 4-3-3, with Hirving Lozano returning to the starting eleven at right wing. Forwards Victor Osimhen and Lorenzo Insigne complimented the Mexican on the front line, though Luciano Spalletti’s attacking formation was without Piotr Zielinski in the midfield.

Bologna’s squad was missing two starters, Roberto Soriano and Adama Soumaoro, who picked up red cards in Saturday’s match against Milan. The duo was replaced by Ibrahima Mbaye and Emanuel Vignato at centre-back and attacking midfielder, while Musa Barrow led the 3-4-3 from striker.

Lorenzo Insigne created the first chance of the match for the Azzurri after ten minutes. The winger curled in a cross toward the back post, but the ball flew just over Lozano’s head.


Though Napoli out-possessed their opponents, Bologna put together crisp passes when in control of the ball. The Rossoblu looked to play through Barrow and completed several impressive combinations in the final third.

Despite Bologna’s early quality, Napoli struck first on a beautiful shot from Fabian Ruiz. Aaron Hickey’s challenge on Lozano knocked the ball to Elif Elmas, who played the ball to Ruiz outside the box. The Spaniard cooly struck the ball into the upper corner of the net, putting Napoli up 1-0.

Minutes before halftime, Napoli extended its lead after Gary Medel controlled the ball with his hand in the box. VAR reversed the referee’s initial decision of no penalty, and Insigne converted the kick from the spot.

Spalletti’s side continued to dominate after the break. A one-touch flick from Osimhen released Elmas behind the Bologna defense, but a well-timed slide from goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski prevented a third goal.

The Rossoblu struggled greatly to defend the space above their backline. Napoli often bypassed the Bologna midfield and retained possession comfortably in the space outside the box, leading to several high danger chances.

Quality play from Musa Barrow nearly halved the deficit. The Gabian international made a nice cut inside the box to create space, but his subsequent shot flew just right of the net.

Osimhen responded by almost creating a goal of his own. The striker took a wicked touch around Medel and fired a hard shot at goal, but he was unable to put the ball on target.

His hard work eventually paid off, with the Nigerian earning a penalty after being fouled in the box by Mbaye. Insigne again scored the penalty kick, putting the Neapolitans in front 3-0.

Riccardo Orsolini, who had been noticeably quiet throughout the match, nearly scored a late consolation goal. Kalidou Koulibaly was slow to close down the midfielder, but his curling shot went well wide of the goal.

The fixture ended with Napoli pushing for a fourth goal. The club earned its way back into first place and has now taken an impressive 28 points from 10 matches.