What a day, what a day, what a day. From giving up the fastest goal in Serie A this season, to a dramatic equalizer, to a crazy three minute spell, to scoring four unanswered goals to transform a tight match to a dramatic blowout. This was an emphatic win for Napoli, and just what the doctor ordered after some rough moments for the club this season. Some of the individual performances were special, so let's take a closer look at what everyone did.
Rafael Cabral - 7 - Defensive miscues kept Rafael from being able to do much about either goal, but he made a number of important saves throughout the match, including a double save when Napoli were still trailing 1-0 to keep a path open for them to get back in to the match.
Christian Maggio - 6 - Maggio wasn't terribly noticeable today, but given the form he's been in this season, that's actually an improvement.
Raul Albiol - 6 - Albiol had an assist, but his poor coverage of the rebound that lead to the opening goal set Napoli back in a bad way right off the bat.
Kalidou Koulibaly - 5 - Another shaky performance from Koulibaly, and the second goal is completely on him. He had Nico Lopez dead to rights and just gave up on the play for no apparent reason. He did have an assist on Napoli's first goal from a nice run, but... man, that was one horrid mistake.
Faouzi Ghoulam - 6 - Like Maggio, Ghoulam wasn't particularly spectacular today, but he did decently enough, particularly in defense.
Jorginho - 8 - Time and again, Jorginho sprang attacks for Napoli, dropping precision passes to Hamsik, Jorginho, and Higuain to exploit and wreak havoc with. More importantly, though, Jorginho almost completely shut down Emil Hallfredsson after the midfielder's first-minute goal.
David Lopez - 7 - Lopez wasn't an especially "loud" presence today, but Lopez did Napoli a lot of good today. He regularly cut out runs from midfield, especially in the second half after Verona started throwing on more midfielders to try and chase goals, and his tidiness in possession and against Verona's counter attack helped Napoli keep things together in some of the more desperate moments in the match.
Lorenzo Insigne - 9 - Insigne didn't get on the scoresheet, but he was still one of Napoli's most vital players on the day. His work rate and intensity was at the heart of everything Napoli did in the first hour, and when the side was struggling in the first half, he put the team on his shoulders and dragged them up and down the pitch to keep things ticking over. If Lorenzo didn't do what he did today, Napoli very well might not have won.
Marek Hamsik - 10 - He scored a brace, he ran a perfect counter attack drill to assist Callejon's goal, and generally had a wonderful day. Breaking his league scoring slump should hopefully let people start to realize that even if he hasn't had the best numbers, Hamsik has been putting together a pretty solid season with his performances.
Jose Callejon - 7 - Callejon scored a valuable goal in the second half to give Napoli a two-goal edge and cement the momentum advantage in Napoli favor, but he was little more than a passenger in the first half. Callejon's been scoring a ton of goals this season (and in fact is the leader in Serie A at the moment), but too often when he's not scoring he's not doing much else either. Last year, he was much more involved on a whole, so this current trend is a little concerning.
Gonzalo Higuain - 10 - Higuain has spent much of this season languishing up top, struggling with form, confidence, and frustration. Today, that wasn't a problem. Today he looked like the Higuain of old, making incisive runs and punishing mistakes. He scored a hat trick, and would have had a forth if not for a questionable offside call. Pipita is back.
Gokhan Inler - 6 - Didn't do a whole lot in his time on the pitch, but Inler was mostly asked to float between the lines and support, not be a workhorse as usual.
Dries Mertens - 7 - Won the penalty that got Higuain his hat trick, and generally made a nuisance of himself in attack, which is always a sign of a good day for Mertens.
Henrique Buss - n/a - Not much time on the pitch. Henrique was just brought in to add another defensive body in the waning minutes and didn't make an ass of himself, so job well done I suppose.
Who was your Man of the Match in today's performance? Vote below and discuss the players in the comments!