Napoli vs. Bologna, final score 3-0: First three points secured

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Paolo Bruno

José Callejón scored on his debut before captain Marek Hamšík added two more, one on either side of the break, as Napoli comfortably eased to victory over Bologna.

It would be difficult to ask for a better start to the season than Napoli's 3-0 victory over Bologna, although the partenopei could've put two or three more past the inept visitors. Napoli looked a bit shaky for the first twenty minutes or so, misplacing their passes and mistiming their runs. But they shook off the nerves and put in a solid performance, lead by the domination of Marek Hamšík, standing in as captain and looking every inch the leader.

The first half was almost entirely one way traffic. Save for a long range shot from Panagiotis Kone, which awoke Pepe Reina from a lovely little nap, Bologna didn't threaten. They had but one free kick, which caused literal LOLs, and no corners, so Napoli weren't exactly threatened.

The rossoblu, however, may as well not have turned up in Naples. Napoli had their first solid chance in the sixth minute, when Gonzalo Higuaín sent in a great ball to Hamšík. The captain sent it on to José Callejón, whose volley hit the post -- with the Spaniard already celebrating!

Napoli continued piling on the pressure. Hamšík had a half decent chance to start off the campaign, but aimed his header directly at Gianluca Curci. A couple minutes later, Goren Pandev flicked a little backheel down to Hamšík, who sent it on for Callejón. Higuaín was lurking in the middle but just couldn't get his foot on Callejón's ball -- a little sign of early season jitters, soon to be erased.

For in the 32nd minute, the partenopei had their first goal of the season, courtesy of new boy Callejón. The cross came in for Hamšík, but the Slovak's shot was pushed away by Curci. The Bologna keeper should've done better, however, as the ball fell perfectly for Callejón to put it in the back of the net.

New forward  Higuaín managed a goal as well, less than ten minutes later, but the Argentine saw his called back when the flag went up.

Napoli did get a second before the halftime whistle, this time courtesy of Captain Marek himself. The normally flawless Hamšík put a few passes out of place today, but there's nothing to complain about when it comes to his scoring. Juan Zúñiga left the Bologna defense for dead, tearing up the left hand side before pulling back to send his pass to Hamsik. The rossoblu were focused on other threats, leaving Marek wide open as he took the ball around Curci and put it into the back of the net.

The partenopei continued their dominance in the second half, with Callejón forcing Curci into a tip-of-the-boot save just moments after the restart. Higuaín's free kick in the 51st minute went just inches wide. Meanwhile, Bologna looked utterly helpless, barely able to touch the ball as Napoli passed around them with ease.

Hamšík's second put to rest any doubts of victory, for even those cunning Bolognese, so good at the comebacks against Napoli, would not be able to score three inside thirty minutes. Pandev laid off the ball to allow the onrushing Hamšík to score from the edge of the box. 3-0. Bologna were through.

Little happened in the last half hour, save for a couple more debuts handed out by Rafa Benítez. Dries Mertens saw his first official action when he came on for Hamšík, with the captain leaving to a standing ovation from the San Paolo crowd (The Belgian also saw his first Napoli goal ruled out as offside, correctly). Then in the 84th minute, young Josip Radošević was given a few minutes of time, although why Rafa felt a defensive midfielder was necessary against this rossoblu side will forever remain a question

Napoli Starting XI: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Britos, Zuniga; Inler, Behrami; Callejón, Hamšík (Mertens 72), Pandev (Insigne 67); Higuaín (Radošević 84)

Bologna Starting XI: Curci; Garics; Antonsson; Natali; Cech; Krhin; Della Rocca; Kone; Diamanti; Christodoulopoulos; Bianchi

Goals: Callejón 32 (N); Hamsik 45, 63 (N)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Siren's Song

You must be a member of The Siren's Song to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Siren's Song. You should read them.

Join The Siren's Song

You must be a member of The Siren's Song to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Siren's Song. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker