How Spalletti and Mertens Rallied Napoli Comeback Against Udinese

Napoli came from a goal down to grab all-important three points against Udinese at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on the weekend.

The Partenopei were trailing at half time from Gerard Deulofeu’s impressive first half strike, but found themselves cornering the Friulani in the second half, as they dominated every prime statistic and bagged two, thanks to Victor Osimhen’s colossal performance.

Corriere dello Sport (via TuttoNapoli) has now reflected on coach Luciano Spalletti’s stance at the break, when a significant team talk was required by the experienced veteran.

“We must continue to do what we know how to do, but without being afraid of making mistakes . We play following our nature, we dribble, we widen the field, we go inside, we are not afraid of making mistakes,” said to 63-year-old manager, rallying his troops at half time.

However, it was not only Spalletti who rallied matchwinner Osimhen. La Gazzetta dello Sport (via TuttoNapoli) reveals how Dries Mertens on the sidelines, just before he came on for Fabian Ruiz in the 46th minute, spoke a few inspiring words in the ears of the Nigerian.

The Belgian forward said:Dude, we press them high and you score goals. Quiet!”

The match turned on its head twenty minutes after the restart, by virtue of a quickfire brace by the 23-year-old. He first headed in an accurate cross, before sweeping home aplomb from inside the box for his second.

Despite Napoli surviving a late scare at the death after a potential handball that VAR denied, they emerged victorious due a superior second half showing, credit to his side’s grit and motivation.