Serie A: Napoli-Spezia 1-0, Raspadori in the 89th minute sends Spalletti to the top

Serie A: Napoli-Spezia 1-0, Raspadori in the 89th minute sends Spalletti to the top

A goal from the former Sassuolo takes the chestnuts out of the fire for the coach. Atalanta temporarily overtaken

On the sixth matchday of Serie A, Napoli beats Spezia 1-0 in extremis and temporarily overtakes Atalanta at the top, engaged on Sunday with the Cremonese. Spalletti’s robust turnover does not reward the Azzurri in the first half, dangerous with only Kvaratskhelia. In the second half the pressure increases and when the 0-0 seems in the safe at 89 ‘comes the paw of Raspadori with a shot in the corner. In the final expelled Spalletti.

THE MATCH
After Lecce, once again the large turnover risks costing Napoli dearly, saved in the final by Raspadori’s first goal in the blue shirt. Three sweaty points, deserved in the end, and which complete a week to be framed, which began with the victory at the Olimpico against Lazio, continued with the football lesson at Liverpool and ended with the least spectacular performance but which was still enough to bring at least momentarily at the top of the standings. Today’s race confirmed once again how this Napoli cannot do without key players such as Lobotka and Zielinski who have given the team another step. La Spezia rocked the dream of snatching a punch from Maradona for almost 90 minutes, but in the second half suffered too much pressure from the Azzurri with Dragowski’s goal becoming a target practice.

Spalletti has a large turnover after the feat against Liverpool: in Juan Jesus, Mario Rui, Ndombele, Elmas, Politano and Raspadori, who wins the ballot with Simeone. In the pits Osimhen and Demme. Two changes for Gotti compared to the team that drew with Bologna: in defense debut for the newcomer Ampadu, in midfield Agudelo preferred to Kovalenko. The plot of the match is clear right from the start, with Napoli making the match and Spezia defending themselves and trying to worry their rivals with restarts. Kvaratskhelia, awarded by Lega Serie A as best player of August, is the most active and in the first quarter of an hour he scares Dragowski twice: at 6 ‘the Georgian frees himself with a double tunnel of Ampadu and Holm but his conclusion is retorted by Nikolaou; at 15 ‘his low shot is rejected by the Polish goalkeeper. The Ligurians defend themselves with order, but they almost never manage to leave. At 29 ‘Juan Jesus blocks the conclusion of Nzola, much more dangerous at 41’ Gyasi, which forces Meret to take refuge in the corner.

Spalletti leaves the evanescent Ndombele in the locker room and inserts Lobotka. The Slovakian immediately gave order and vivacity to the midfield and with the entry of Zielinski shortly before the hour of play in place of Anguissa, Napoli definitively changed gear and attacked the La Spezia goal. Dragowski is always careful, Kiwior seems to be an impassable wall and in front he lacks a bit of precision. The Ligurians hardly ever leave their own half, but almost never pass in the 72nd minute: Mario Rui’s back pass from Meret’s head is short, Kiwior fits between the two, but Rrahmani unravels near the line. The visitors’ wall resists until the 89th minute: the newly entered Gaetano puts a ball in the area that Simeone shoots, but behind him Raspadori makes no mistake and finds the winning corner. Maradona celebrates and has every reason: at this rate, the championship is destined not to remain a simple dream.

REPORT CARDS
Raspadori 7
– In difficulty throughout the match, also because he is not a first striker, he has the merit of finding the winning leg in the final and giving Napoli three gold points.
Kvaratskhelia 6.5 – In the first half he gives a test of his qualities and is the player who tries it with the most conviction. It falls in the second half and Spalletti takes it off to insert Simeone.
Lobotka 6.5 – His entry into the field brings order to the team. Bravo both in the recovery phase and in the setting. In this moment it is irreplaceable.

Kiwior 7 – After a season in midfield with Thiago Motta, Gotti brings him back to defense and the Pole confirms that he is a defender. You never pass by him, he even touches the goal on an indecision between Mario Rui and Meret
Dragowski 6.5 – The Polish goalkeeper takes the loaf home, thwarting every attempt until 89 ‘when Raspadori just can’t do anything.
Ampadu 5.5 – First season for the former Venezia who is immediately faced with a complicated opponent like Kvaratskhelia. In the first half the Georgian’s dynamism suffers, his performance improves in the second half.

THE TABLE
NAPLES-SPEZIA 1-0
Naples (4-3-3)
: Meret 6; Di Lorenzo 6, Rrahmani 6.5, Juan Jesus 6, Mario Rui 5.5; Anguissa 5.5 (12 ‘st Zielinski 6.5), Ndombele 5 (1’ st Lobotka 6.5), Elmas 5.5 (30 ‘st Gaetano 6); Politano 6 (17 ‘st Lozano 5.5), Raspadori 7, Kvaratskhelia 6.5 (22’ st Simeone 5.5). Available: Marfella, Sirigu, Kim, Olivera, Ostigard, Zanoli, Zerbin. Annex: Spalletti 6
Spice (3-5-2): Dragowski 6.5; Ampadu 5.5 (25 ‘st Hristov 6), Kiwior 7, Nikolaou 6; Holm 6, Agudelo 6,5 (36 ‘st Sala sv), Bourabia 6 (25’ st Ellertsson 6), Bastoni 5,5 (17 ‘st Kovalenko 5,5), Reca 5,5; Gyasi 5.5, Nzola 5. Available: Zoet, Zovko, Caldara, Sher, Strelec, Beck, Sanca. Annex: Gotti 6
Referee: Santoro
Markers: 44 ‘st Raspadori (N)
Ammonites: Gyasi (S), Elmas (N), Dragowski (S)
Expelled: –
Note: Spalletti (N) was booked in the 38th minute for protests, then sent off in the 91st minute

THE STATISTICS
Napoli have remained unbeaten in the first six Serie A matches of the season for the sixth time in the last 11 leagues, having always lost at least one match in all 12 previous seasons in the tournament.
Giacomo Raspadori made six shots against Spezia: only against Lazio in December 2021 (eight) had he attempted more in a single Serie A match.
Giacomo Raspadori has become Napoli’s eighth different scorer in the current Serie A: no opponent counts more (Inter are also eight).
Six of the 19 goals (32%) scored by Giacomo Raspadori in Serie A have come against Ligurian teams: three against Spezia and as many against Genoa: against no other opponent she has scored more in the maximum tournament.
Napoli have won six clean sheets in their last nine league games: a record in the period in Serie A (since last May) – to five Milan and Rome.
Napoli won a home game against Spezia for the first time in Serie A, having been defeated in both previous matches in the competition.
14 of the last 15 times in which Napoli have made at least 28 shots in a Serie A match have been in home games (two of the last three against Spezia).
Spezia have not found the goal for three away matches in a row for the first time in Serie A.

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