Salernitana vs Napoli 0-1: Zielinski Strike Seals Tenth Win

Napoli’s impressive run in the Serie A continued as they beat Salernitana 1-0 at the Stadio Arechi. Despite their opponent being a newly-promoted side who were in relegation zone, Luciano Spalletti’s side had anything but a cakewalk as the Granata put in a valiant effort.

The Azzurri found their way shortly after Elif Elmas and Andrea Petagna were subbed on. The duo helped in the move that led to Piotr Zielinski finding the net.

Both sides were reduced to ten men as Grigoris Kastanos and Kalidou Koulibaly received straight reds for their fouls.

At the end of the day, Spalletti and Napoli will be pretty much relieved to leave Salerno with three points in the bag.

Stefano Colantuono made only two changes to the Salernitana XI with Andrea Schiavone and Cedric Gondo replacing Joel Obi and Milan Duric respectively.

Napoli were without their in-form striker Victor Osimhen as the Nigerian suffered an injury during training on Saturday. Hirving Lozano started at centre-forward in his place. Lorenzo Insigne was benched for the fixture with Dries Mertens replacing him to make his first league start of the season. Matteo Politano started ahead of Elif Elmas while Zielinski was deployed as a right winger.

Napoli started to show attacking intent from the start and while they took several shots at goal, they were unable to find the net. Salernitana, surprisingly, had the only shot on target during the first half with Federico Bonazzoli’s shot from distance going straight towards David Ospina.

The second half started with Franck Ribery initiating an attack for Salernitana but nothing came of it. The Granata were often looking to trouble the Napoli defense but the best they managed was a corner which led to nothing.

Spalletti made a few changes at the hour-mark with Petagna and Elmas coming on. The substitution paid off instantly as the duo were involved in the move that led to Napoli’s opening goal, which was scored by Zielinski.

Salernitana were looking to find a way to attack and get an equalizer but the Partenopei’s defense was clever enough to foil them. The Granata were down to ten men after Kastanos was sent off following a foul on Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. The Cypriot was initially given a yellow card but the referee Fabbri changed his decision after a VAR check.

Napoli had a chance to make it 2-0 but Zielinski’s shot was wide after taking a deflection. The Partenopei were also reduced to ten men after Koulibaly brought down Simy just outside the penalty area. Franck Ribery took the subsequent free-kick and his shot was headed away from Giovanni di Lorenzo.

Salernitana continued to fight for their equalizer with Strandberg forcing Ospina to make a routine, yet crucial save. Napoli were also looking for a two-goal and came close to getting it when Elmas took a shot at goal. However, it was saved by Vid Belec. The Slovenian made another save as he just got fingertips to keep out Mario Rui’s shot.

Salernitana had a glorious chance to equalize right at the death but Riccardo Gagliolo’s left-footed shot was way over the crossbar. 

In the end, Napoli managed to hold on to their lead and win the match. They will finish the weekend at the top of the Serie A table with 31 points. Next up for Spalletti’s men, is a trip to Poland for their Europa League fixture against Legia Warsaw.



October 31, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 11

SCORERS: 61′ Zielinski (N)

SALERNITANA (4-3-3): Belec; Zortea, Gyomber, Strandberg, Ranieri (88′ Gagliolo); Schiavone (88′ Duric), Di Tacchio, Kastanos; Bonazzoli (72′ Obi), Gondo (64′ Simy), Ribery (Fiorillo, Jaroszynski, Veseli, Russo, Aya, Kechrida, Carri, Vergani) Coach: Colantuono
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Zielinski (95′ Zanoli), Politano (80′ Juan Jesus), Mertens (60′ Petagna); Lozano (60′ Elmas) Coach: Spalletti

NOTES: Yellow Cards: Anguissa (N), Rui (N); Red Card: Kastanos (S), Koulibaly (N); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 6′