Rudi Garica’s dream start to his touchline career at Napoli came to a stuttering end on Saturday night as Lazio stunned the Serie A champions in their backyard. Piotr Zielinski’s goal just after the half-hour mark proved a consolation strike for Partenopei as Maurizio Sarri’s side triumphed 2-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Luis Alberto’s mesmerizing backheel goal to open the scoring will be one of the hottest topics in Italy after tonight. But Lazio’s newcomer Daichi Kamada will grab the headlines at least during the weekend after breaking his Serie A duck to topple Napoli against the odds.
After securing a brace of two-goal margin wins over Frosinone and Sassuolo, Napoli looked in pole position to take advantage of Lazio’s dismal form at the beginning of the 2023/24 season. But despite losing to Lecce and Genoa, Sarri’s men found the courage and inspiration to defy expectations in Naples.
Faced with his first failure as the Napoli manager, Garcia refused to give Lazio much credit for upsetting the Maradona Stadium. However, he also urged his Napoli players not to give up even when things don’t go their way.
“We deserved to be ahead at halftime because we played really well at the start and did not get the goal we deserved,” Garcia told DAZN, as relayed by Gianluca Di Marzio.
Truth be told, the Napoli boss has a point, considering his men controlled proceedings for most of the opening 45 minutes.
“On almost Lazio’s only real foray into our half, they scored, so had a 100 percent efficiency rate. We equalised, but in the second half were far less effective in our passing and creating chances,” he continued.
Napoli lost confidence after falling behind, letting Lazio score two more goals, both of which were ruled out by VAR. Garcia admitted his lads ran out of steam after the break, insisting they shouldn’t back off when they cannot win.
“Considering the second half, Lazio deserved the win, but looking at the match as a whole, I think a draw would’ve been better. The lads must learn that when we cannot win, we must at least not lose.”
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