Match Report I Napoli 0-3 Inter – Get Italian Football News

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Written By Maya Cantina

The Nerazzurri have demonstrated yet again an increase in strength and unity compared to their troublesome season last year, as Inter stunned Napoli in a flawless 3-0 victory at the Diego Maradonna Stadium.

Hakan Calhangolu’s screamer shortly before the end of the first half rattled Napoli mentally, enabling the Beneamata to have the edge heading into the second 45.

Nicolo Barella’s display of individual brilliance to bag the second goal  and Marcus Thuram’s gentle touch from point-blank range in courtesy of a cross from Juan Cuadrado was enough to seize all three points on Neopolitan soil, allowing Inter to keep up with the pace of Juventus as they now move two points clear at the top of the league of the Bianconeri, attaining their ninth clean-sheet of the season and extending their unbeaten away-record to seven league matches.

Napoli commenced on the front-foot as they dictated the game with their fast build-up play and fine movement in the final third of the pitch. An early chance for the Partenopei developed as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia dropped in the middle to receive the ball and connected with Elif Elmas. The North Macedonian’s superb long-range effort was brilliantly stopped by Yann Sommer, as he palmed the ball following an enormous acrobatic stretch.

Despite the early scare, Inter remained unfazed as they adapted into the game, causing havoc for coach Walter Mazzarri’s side with their precise passes through the middle and impeccable ability to play out of the back.

Inter attained the opening goal as Thuram buried the ball past David Meret following a slick one-two his partner up-top Lautaro Martinez, but the goal was disallowed as the Frenchman was narrowly offside.

Inter remained disciplined defensively as Francesco Acerbi kept Nigerian hit-man Victor Osimhen silent for the most part with his aerial dominance and superb anticipation, as well as Carlos Augusto fitting seamlessly into the back-three after having been subbed on to replace Stefan De Vrij due to injury. 

However, some sloppy passes and slight lack of concentration found Napoli on the break on several occasions. Kvaratskhelia intercepted Calhanoglu’s poor pass and burst with pace in order to dispatch a pass to Elmas. The 24-year-old’s attempt was stopped by Sommer and Henrikh Mkhitaryan cleared the spill mess.

The Georgian also found Matteo Politano on the run whilst on the counter. The former Nerazzurri cut inwards and rattled the frame of the goal, leaving Sommer with no chance to stopping his attempt had the ball dipped slightly lower.

Although Inter experienced a difficult period of having to cope and absorb Napoli’s attacks, Inter maintained composure and attempted to fire back and breach the Napoli defence. However, the Partenopei were solid as they covered the flanks brilliantly, leaving Inter’s wing-backs with very little space to cross the ball, and were tight when Inter came forward towards their box.

Right before the end of the first half, a counter paved the way for Calhanoglu to receive the ball outside of the box after a gentle flick from Nicolo Barella. The Turkish central play-maker slotted home a fabulous screamer into the bottom left-corner, breaking the dead-lock for Inter heading into the changing rooms.

Throughout the second half, Inter remained disciplined defensively, making it very difficult for Napoli to attain the equalizer. Kvaratskhelia found himself in a significant goal-scoring position as they ball deflected off of Osimhen as he tripped following slight contact with Acerbi in the box. The 22-year-old’s impressive attempt was stopped by the Swiss veteran.

With less than 30 minutes to go, Inter broke on the counter, allowing the Nerazzurri skipper to pin-point Barella running into the box with well-weighted center from out-wide. The 26-year-old took an impressive first touch following the low-driven cross, weaving around the Napoli defenders and placing the ball into the back of the net to double his side’s advantage.

Despite Mazzarri shuffling his deck and bringing on in an attempt to decrease the margin of goal as soon as possible, Inter prevailed with a complete performance in the second half, proving to be a force not to be reckon with as they totally dominated the last twenty minutes of play. 

With five minutes left of play, Barella sprayed a diagonal ball out-wide to Juan Cuadrado whilst on the run. The former Juventus player brought the ball down brilliantly and found Marcus Thuram in the box. The French international latched onto the ball stroked the ball past the Napoli custodian to silence the Diego Armando Maradonna, as the Partenopei currently find themselves eleven points behind Inter and are currently outside the Serie A top-four.

Julian Faustini Ι GIFN

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