For the second week in a row, Napoli dominate the opposition and create the bulk of the chances, yet fail to capitalize as they were forced to settle with another 0-0 draw at home versus Torino Sunday evening.
With the Partenopei dropping four points over these previous two matchdays, they are now -13 from league leaders Juventus who basically have the Scudetto in the bag.
Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s scoreless stalemate.
Kévin Malcuit impressive once again: There is certainly a trend here with the Frenchman’s recent run of form. Malcuit splits time with Elseid Hysaj at the right-back position, and occasionally Nikola Maksimovic. But regardless, once he is given the starting nod, the former Lille man seems to pick up right where he had left off. Tonight, a bang-up job as one of Napoli’s top performers, slaloming up and down the flanks, beating his man with quick feet and an unrelenting work-rate. Proving to be a bargain at €11m and perhaps the replacement for Hysaj should De Laurentiis cash on while the value is there.
Allan the heart and soul of Napoli: To no surprise, the recent Brazilian National Team call-up continues to be the engine that keeps Napoli going, and drives them forward when needing a tune-up. Passing at a clip of 92% and executing a brutish 8 successful tackles, one of which came as the last man late in a 2v1 counter-attacking opportunity between Ola Aina and Belotti, it was another menacing performance from the 28-year old.
Milik, Insigne largely to blame for dropping points: Unfortunately for Carlo Ancelotti, Napoli have been far too wasteful over these past few matches, and this pattern of behavior has become almost habitual. Much like last week against Fiorentina, the southern Italians pulled all the right strings and did everything necessary to get into optimal positions, yet lacked a cutting edge and the clinical touch in front of goal. Held the upperhand on xG 2.08 to Toro’s 0.36, had 82% of the chances, fired 26 total shots (9 on target), but failed to score. Between Milik and Insigne, 15 shots, 6 of which were on frame. Yes, Salvatore Sirigu’s 9 saves played their part, but Napoli simply cannot be this toothless if they hope to fulfill the Ultras demand for a Europa League title.
Luck not on Ancelotti’s side: Goal woes aside, Napoli dominated in pretty much every facet of the game. Yet, the eyebrow-raising Italian did not hold back in his post-match presser over the offensive struggles. “We were just missing a goal, just like the match in Florence. You cannot have 18 chances and not score a single goal,” he expressed to the media. While it is fair to say the San Paolo side let another win slip through the cracks, they have been a tad unlucky. As they continued knocking on the doorstep for the decisive goal, Insigne’s curling effort struck the post; the 18th time this season the club hit the woodwork, a record in Europe’s top five leagues, per Opta. Ancelotti remains hopeful his men will improve in this area, and that goalscoring will become contagious once again for one of Italy’s most potent attacking units.
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