September’s international break did nothing to harm the momentum of Napoli as Luciano Spalletti’s high-flyers thumped mid-table Torino 3-1 on Saturday. The Naples outfit headed into the two-week hiatus from club football on the back of a 2-1 win at Milan and picked up where they left off against Ivan Juric’s side.
Going into this round, Napoli were one of only two Serie A sides yet to lose a league fixture this term and will stay that way until further notice. Andre Zambo Anguissa inspired the Parenopei to their sixth triumph in eight top-flight matches this season (D2) with a quick-fire early double.
Torino failed to cope with their hosts’ ferocious start to the game as the Cameroonian midfielder headed home a pinpoint cross from Mario Rui only six minutes into the game. Encouraged by an early lead, Spalletti’s side continued to dominate possession and keep their visitors deep inside the own half.
But when Torino thought they overcame the pressure, Napoli pulled off a lightning-fast counter-attack. Zambo Anguissa and Matteo Politano exchanged a quick one-two in the middle of the park as the 26-year-old broke one-on-one with Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. Torino’s defenders expected a back pass from Anguissa, who outsmarted them before smashing the ball into the net with a composed finish.
Only 12 minutes were enough for Napoli to secure a comfortable two-goal cushion and send Torino into complete disarray. Desperate to whittle down the gap, the Granata pushed forward in numbers, but it backfired on Juric’s team late in the first half. A loose ball deep inside Napoli’s half opened up another devastating counter-attack for the Partenopei.
Piotr Zielinski picked out headline forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who breezed past his marker, carrying the ball from his own half before finishing it off in style. With his weaker left foot, the Georgia international found a way to slot the ball past Milinkovic-Savic to the far post and seal the deal for Napoli.
Antonio Sanabria offered Torino a glimmer of hope that they could turn things around when he hammered a half-volley into the bottom far corner on the stroke of halftime. But it proved a futile effort as the visitors failed to change the scoreline in the second half. Napoli dropped back and denied every Torino’s attempt to fire themselves back into the game.
While Torino suffered their third Serie A defeat on the trot, Napoli continued their bid to lift their first Scudetto in 30 years. The victory hands the southern giants a three-point buffer at the summit ahead of Atalanta’s upcoming clash against Fiorentina.