Napoli extended their unbeaten run in Serie A to three matches after a 2-0 Campania Derby win over Salernitana. Goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Eljif Elmas proved decisive and helped Gil Azzurri to a fourth successive away win.
The visitors were on top for large spells and had several good chances to extend their lead following Raspadori’s early strike. Matteo Politano, Piotr Zieliński and Raspadori were all denied by some excellent saves from Guillermo Ochoa. Salernitana showed some response just before half time. However, the hosts struggled to really test Alex Meret and were undone on the counter late on by Elmas’ direct run and finish.
Rampant Raspadori Strikes Again
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia set about Napoli’s task of trying to extend their eight-match unbeaten run on the road. The midfielder let fly from the edge of the area after just four minutes but his attempt flew past the top corner.
Napoli kept the pressure on during a frantic opening 10 minutes. Giacomo Raspadori was the first to test Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with some clever footwork and a snapshot that the veteran stopper held.
Roared on by a fervent Stadio Arechi, Salernitana didn’t have to wait long for their first opportunity either. The hosts threatened with their first corner as Lorenzo Pirola reacted first to a loose ball in the area and headed straight at Alex Meret.
There was no let-up in the early exchanges and some quick Napoli interplay led to the match opener on 13 minutes. Stanislav Lobotka received the ball on the edge of the area, played a delicate through ball to Raspadori and the striker made no mistake firing his third goal in four matches into the top corner.
Eager to extend their advantage early on and take the game away from Salernitana, Napoli almost notched a second moments later. Ochoa was on hand again to prevent Matteo Politano’s rising shot from nestling into the net.
Salernitana Start to Threaten After Napoli’s Fast Start
After a whirlwind start to the match, a calmer rhythm took hold in the latter stages of the first half. Ultimately, Gli Azzurri took control of possession and continued to look for another opening against Salernitana. Yet I Granata showed more compactness after conceding early and made life difficult for Napoli in the final third.
Despite Napoli’s dominance, Salernitana showed some threatening signs before the break. But the hosts couldn’t find an opening. Lassana Coulibaly’s looped header was easily claimed by Alex Meret, while Loum Tchaouna’s long-range attempt flew harmlessly over the Napoli crossbar.
The half chances gave I Granata some momentum and Mateusz Łęgowski had the best chance to equalise with a first-time volley from just inside the box that Meret gathered.
Salernitana struggled to keep Raspadori quiet and the striker almost added a second before half time. Kvaratskhelia was the architect this time around with a clever flick to Raspadori inside the box and the 23-year-old’s first-time strike was tipped around the post by Ochoa.
Flying Ochoa Keeps the Scoreline Down Until Elmas Breaks Through
Raspadori continued to provide Gil Azzurri with a key attacking threat. With the confidence flowing, the Napoli striker controlled well inside the area and drilled a powerful shot at Ochoa just minutes after the restart.
Similar to the first period, Napoli took the initiative in an attempt to wrap up the points. Politano went close again to adding a second for the visitors when his 20-yard strike beat Ochoa but cannoned off the post.
Ocoa kept Napoli at bay at helped Salernitana remain in the game throughout. The Mexican goalkeeper continued to show his excellent reflexes, especially after a strong save from Piotr Zieliński’s thumping first-time volley from the edge of the area.
Ultimately, Rudi Garcia made several substitutions and the game lost momentum. The Napoli boss inevitably had an eye on a crucial Champions League clash against Union Berlin on the horizon. However, the wholesale changes did little to disrupt Napoli’s structure and the reigning Serie A champions were able to see out the victory with no late scares from Salernitana.
In the closing stages, there was one last chance for the Napoli substitutes to make an impact. Eljif Elmas’ used his fresh legs to full effect with a jinking run and curling low finish under Ochoa.