Napoli vs Udinese 3-2: Partenopei Risk but End Year on Top

Napoli made history on Saturday afternoon as they became the second team ever to win 13 out the first 15 Serie A season games as they topped Udinese in a 3-2 thriller at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

The Partenopei gained a triple lead with goals from a devastating Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinksi and Elif Elmas before the Friulani had a sudden burst of life as they almost canceled the gap in the space of four minutes.

Ilja Nestorovski and Lazar Samardzic’s strikes kept the game alive until the end but Luciano Spalletti and his boys could ultimately celebrate their 11th win in a row and the 18th out of 21 games played this season so far. They can now just sit back and relax as they enjoy their top-of-the-table view over all the pursuers clashing tomorrow in the last Serie A games before the World Cup break. 

Napoli took the field without key starters Amir Rrhamani and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia but no one saw the difference as the Azzurri continued to shine regardless of their lineup. Udinese brought to the table a courageous attitude and their start was encouraging.

Gerard Deulofeu freed Beto with a brilliant back-heel pass on four minutes but the Portuguese’s shot didn’t scare Alex Meret too much. A few minutes later, the Udine-born Partenopei goalkeeper denied Deulofeu as he showed his reflexes to neutralize another brilliant back-heel effort from the Spaniard.

Deulofeu seemed on fire and that made even more painful to see him cry as he picked a right knee injury and had lo leave the pitch before half time. 

Before that, Napoli had already reversed the match momentum as Elmas picked Osimhen in the box and the big Nigerian brutally headed the ball home overpowering his marker Jaka Bijol in the process. It was the 9th league goal this season for the current capocannoniere

The Partenopei even made it two before the break as a beautiful team-effort was finalized by Zielinksi: the Polish midfielder’s right-foot shot left no chance to Marco Silvestri as Napoli went to the break ahead 2-0. 

Udinese attempted a reaction after the restart but Napoli stroke again right in the Bianconeri‘s best moment. This time, it was Elmas to finalize a combination between Zielinksi and the Cameroon World Cup call Frank Zambo Anguissa, who served the North-Macedonian the last pass. 

Elmas had not had enough and went close to bag a brace, which was only prevented by Silvestri’s superb save from the North Macedonian shot. 

The Partenopei seemed totally in control but Udinese’s coach Andrea Sottil managed to re-open the game making two substitutions to bring in Nestorovski and Samardzic.

Perhaps Napoli grew a bit overconfident as their defense was caught by surprise as Nestorovski scored the Friulani‘s first, while the goal that set the score at 2-3 was the consequence of a Kim Min-jae blunder. 

Still, Spalletti and his boys didn’t suffer any more real threats as they wrapped their 11th win in a row. They will next play Inter on January 4 at the San Siro but, before that, they can enjoy a long, peaceful period, contemplating their records and performances.   



November 12, 2022 – Serie A 2022-2023 Round 15

SCORERS: 15′ Osimhen (N), 31′ Zielinski (N), 58′ Elmas (N), 79′ Nestorovski (U), 82′ Samardzic (U)

NAPOLI (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim Min-jae, Juan Jesus (60′ Ostigard), Olivera (46′ Mario Rui); Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski (67′ Ndombele); Lozano (60′ Politano), Osimhen, Elmas (Marfella, Idasiak, Demme, Simeone, Zerbin, Zedadka, Zanoli, Gaetano, Raspadori) Coach: Spalletti
UDINESE (3-5-2): Silvestri; Perez, Bijol, Ebosse; Ehizibue, Arslan (56′ Samardzic), Walace (71′ Jajalo), Lovric, Pereyra; Beto (71′ Nestorovski), Deulofeu (26′ Success) (Padelli, Piana, Ebosele, Success, Jajalo, Abankwah, Samardzic, Nestorovski, Guessand, Pafundi) Coach: Sottil
REFEREE: Mr. Ayroldi from Molfetta
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Juan Jesus, Mario Rui (N), Walace, Pereyra, Ebosse (U); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 4′
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