Napoli vs Roma 0-0: Olimpico Stalemate Ends Perfect Partenopei Run

While football fans all round the world had their eyes fixed either on El Clasico in Spain or the major battle between Liverpool and Manchester United in England, the Calcio fanatics were mostly concerned with the first of the two thrilling clashes of Sunday evening. However, Roma and Napoli didn’t exactly deliver the excitement at the Olimpico, as the Derby del Sole ended in a stalemate.

José Mourinho undoubtedly reverted to his trusted lineup following the midweek debacle in Norway, opting for a 4-2-3-1 lineup spearheaded by Tammy Abraham who was supported by Nicolò Zaniolo, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini. Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout operated in the double pivot.

On the other hand, Luciano Spalletti also opted for his strongest lineup against his former employers, with Victor Osimhen leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 lineup, with Lorenzo Insigne and Matteo Politano on the wings, while Piotr Zielinski operated in the hole, in front of André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Fabian Ruiz.

The first half-chance of the chance of the match ensued in the 7th minute when Rick Karsdorp’s squared balled reached Pellegrini inside the Napoli penalty box, but the Roma captain’s shot was blocked by Kalidou Koulibaly’s sliding effort.

Following a quiet period, Tammy Abraham almost broke the deadlock. Cristante won the ball in the middle of the park and provided the Englishman with a brilliant through ball but his shot whistled past the far post.

Osimhen threatened the Giallorossi defenses with few runs during the first half. On one occasion, he managed to beat Gianluca Mancini off the ball but Rui Patricio pulled off a marvelous save, and the linesman raised his flag to signal the offside.

Following a small debacle between Mancini and Osimhen, the referee blew the half time whistle to signal the end of a largely underwhelming 45 minutes.

The second half’s start saw much of the same, until Osimhen’s major chance at the 58th minute. A through ball reached Politano in the box and he squared it towards the Nigerian but Mancini’s heroics was just enough to direct the shot towards the post. The Roma center back hurt himself in the process as he and his teammate Roger Ibanez crashed into the post.

Roma replied with a chance of their own as Karsdorp fed Pellegrini with a sublime long ball to the Napoli box, but the captain’s couldn’t direct his volley towards goal.

On the 72nd minute, the home side should have grabbed the first goal of the match as Pellegrini delivered a marvelous cross from a dead ball but Mancini’s header somehow went just wide of David Ospina’s goal.

Mourinho was visibly tensed throughout the whole encounter, and he eventually received his marching orders with a second yellow card for repeatedly objecting the official’s decisions.

Before the end of the original time, Osimhen finally struck home with a header thanks to Fabian’s cross, but his goal was disallowed due to an obvious offside call.

At the end of the day, both sides settled for a point in a mostly fair draw. Roma put an end to their miserable run while Napoli could be content with a hard-fought point away from home.

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