Spalletti, who had never won against Mourinho until tonight, tries to dispel the taboo by focusing on Osimhen, returned to his role as leader of the attack. Kvara on the left and Lozano on the right are the chievistelli to unhinge, via Karsdorp and via Ibanez, the latch of Rome. For which Mourinho, recovered the Dutch full-back and placed him almost on the defense line, reserves the surprise in midfield: Camara and her dynamism are preferred to Matic’s staid experience. It begins with the Olimpico’s homage to Francesco Valdiserri, the 18-year-old overwhelmed and killed by a car that went off the road. Then the Curva Sud performs in the usual anti-Neapolitan choirs, which given the warning could cost it the closure for the derby. Twenty-three seconds from kick-off are enough and Lozano creates danger in the area, forcing Karsdorp to close Kvaraskhelia diagonally.
The lightning Napoli is however an illusion of spectacle, for 45 ‘it will be in a blocked game. The leaders are waiting for the right opening to overcome the Giallorossi defensive wall, Roma struggled to get out with the ball and rely on throws; on one at 6 ‘Zaniolo defends the ball, enters the area and tries a too pretentious left-footed turn from the top. Abraham struggles with Kim, and when he has a decent ball from the edge he wastes it by kicking a right-footed shot towards Meret halfway between an assist for Pellegrini and a shot at billiards, obviously without being either. . A combination – among the first successful – in the half hour brings Zielinski to the other side, hitherto mainly engaged in shielding Cristante, but Rui Patricio blocks on the ground.
The chess game could be unlocked in the 38th minute, when Irrati whistles the penalty for an exit from the Giallorossi goalkeeper on Ndombele ‘, between the protests of Roma and Mourinho who waved his no risking a yellow card: the Var takes care of it, calling the referee to the video check which shows the light touch on the ball before the opponent. Penalty reneged. The impression is that personal play is needed, the Lozano test at the end of time but Rui Patricio blocks his shot again. Upon returning to the field, Raspadori and Politano warm up for any changes that direct the game where Spalletti wants, but the departure of Napoli even without them is more active. Rui Patricio in the 5 ‘must unleash the first real save of the evening, lifting Lozano’s blow over the crossbar, then it is Smalling who blocks Kvara in the area who had jumped him dry in dribbling. The first change in Napoli is not in attack but in midfield, Elmas replacing Ndombele ‘has the ball of advantage on his head in the 15’, deflected by the omnipresent Smalling.
A minute later it is Juan Jesus who has the good ball with the door open, but he escapes. But it is the sign that Rome is in apnea, Naples is growing. Mourinho then sends Belotti for Abraham. Coincidentally, the evening touches the incredible at minute 69, with one chance on each side within thirty seconds: first Zaniolo thrown into the area and Zielinski blocking Camara to serve, then in the overturning Osimhen who frees himself to shoot but opens too much. trajectory on the opposite pole. Fifteen minutes from the end Zielinski comes out for Gaetano, Lozano for Politano. It is destiny that the starting goal comes from Smalling’s only mistake and Osimhen’s only pearl: the Nigerian is thrown into the box, his physical power scares the defender who tries the advance but kicks him, Osimhen’s right-footed shot has a shooting angle only possible for him and Rui Patricio is beaten. Once the fort collapsed, Mourinho plays the (few) cards he has on the bench, El Shaarawy and Shomurodov. But there is no time, no way to invent what Rome has never been able to do tonight.
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SERIE A: Naples beats Rome 1-0. Decides a pearl of Osimhen – Football
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