Napoli stumble again in dismal draw at Lazio

Napoli stumble again in dismal draw at Lazio

© AFP 2022
January 28, 2024 at 7:58 PM
Napoli had barely a shot in Sunday's goalless draw at Lazio
Napoli had barely a shot in Sunday's goalless draw at Lazio. Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP
Source: AFP

Napoli's deflating Serie A title defence took another depressing turn on Sunday after the depleted champions played out an uneventful goalless draw at Lazio.

Walter Mazzarri's Napoli stay ninth, 21 points behind league leaders Juventus after not having a single shot on target in a dismal encounter at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Napoli were missing star striker Victor Osimhen to the Africa Cup of Nations while both Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Giovanni Simeone were suspended, leaving them short in attack.

It was the first time since 2012 that Napoli didn't work the goalkeeper in a league match, according to Opta, but despite their troubles the southern outfit are still only four points off the Champions League positions.

"I'm very satisfied with the performance because we were facing a very strong team... we had a lot of absences and there were players who hadn't played for ages who responded on the pitch," insisted Mazzarri to DAZN.

"Today was the confirmation that I have real men with me, who play together as a team."

Lazio were playing with the entire northern end of the stadium closed after the racist abuse of Roma striker Romelu Lukaku earlier this month.

Maurizio Sarri's team stay sixth after barely creating anything themselves in the absence of suspended Italy attackers Ciro Immobile and Mattia Zaccagni.

Their only true moment of excitement came almost straight after half-time when Valentin Castellanos' beautiful overhead kick finish was ruled out for offside.

"We're happy because we think it was a good performance," said Sarri's assistant Giovanni Martusciello to DAZN.

Martusciello was speaking in place of Sarri after his boss had to abandon the match following the death of an unspecified person close to him.

"It's not a good result because we wanted to win but the spirit out there on the pitch, especially in the second half, changes things," added Martusciello.

Earlier Verona moved out of the relegation zone after their 1-1 home draw with Frosinone, a point enough to move Marco Baroni's side up to 16th.

They are outside the bottom three thanks to their superior goal difference over Udinese and Cagliari, who sit just inside the drop zone after Friday's 2-1 home defeat to Torino.

Later Inter Milan will try to reclaim top spot from Juventus when they take on Fiorentina, who can take fourth from Atalanta with a win, in Florence.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022