Monday, February 21, 2011

Napoli Show Championship Credentials With Win

Napoli 1-0 Catania  In a result, perhaps, even more significant then their win away in Rome last weekend Napoli defeated Catania 1-0 thanks to Zuniga's first half effort.

From the start, what appeared to be a routine home match against a relegation candidate, famed for struggling away from home, looked as though it might be tougher than expected. Schelloto hit the post from a Catania corner and the normally ice cool Cavani missed from the penalty spot after Jose Sosa had gone down inside the area.

At this point one would be entitled to wondering whether Napoli had the strength of character to continue their Scudetto pursuit. Coming off a mid week European match, into an unfashionable, run of the mill 90 minutes at home to Catania, the Partenopei looked short of inspiration. However, the home team were finally given the lead through the most unlikely sources, Juan Zuniga, as a deflected shot from Edinson Cavani fell invitingly into the defender's path. If Napoli are to win the league this season, then they will have to stop relying on goals from the "Fab Three" of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Markek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani, and with players like Zuniga contributing as well, Napoli's title chances look a lot more promising.

A slightly fortuitous, 1-0 win over the Serie A's relegation fodder might not be remembered at the end of the season, but for Walter Matzarri and the rest of the Napoli coaching staff, this match may well be used as a blue print for winning matches while not playing well, a skill this Napoli side will have to pick up fast if they are to turn themselves into a title winning team.

The Azzuri have done well to come through this past week unscathed, but they can expect new and ever more difficult challenges in the ones ahead, with Thursday's Europa League encounter with Villareal next on the agenda. Following that enticing Round of 32 match up, Napoli will face perhaps their biggest game of the season, namely, a trip to the San Siro to face off with current league leaders, AC Milan. A win in that game would send Napoli to the top of the Serie A table as well as give the Naples based team the confidence they will need to go all the way.

Can Napoli win the Scudetto?

Will Napoli balance their Europa League ambitions with their Serie A exploits?

No comments:

Post a Comment