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Napoli 2-1 Torino, Serie A Match Recap: Insigne is back

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Lorenzo Insigne finally scored and had easily his best match in six months as Napoli came from behind to beat Torino 2-1.

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Two local players were involved in all three goals as Napoli came away with a come-from-behind win against Torino, and one of those players could not have needed his performance today any more than he did.

While Napoli did well in the opening ten minutes, including a scorching shot from Gonzalo Higuain that just barely skimmed over the bar, it was Torino that struck first. Fabio Quagliarella, former partenopei striker and native son of Naples, slipped free of Raul Albiol, chested down a long ball over the top, and fired in a ball from a tight angle that Rafael Cabral couldn't get a hand to. It was a quality foal from a player who's scored more than a few of them, and you just had to top your hat to Quags for it.

More concerning, though, was Albiol's involvement in the play. Quagliarella was right off his shoulder, but was able to slip away for the longball so easily Albiol may not have even known he was there. It's a continuation of a troubling trend for Albiol this season, where his awareness of things happening around him on the pitch has been bizarrely poor. Albiol coming back in to form would go a long ways towards Napoli fixing their defensive woes, but there's no sign of it happening any time soon.

It took Napoli almost ten minutes to come up with any kind of response, but unfortunately that response only left Napoli fans all the more frustrated. Gonzalo Higuain latched on to a lose ball and went on a streaking run through Torino's defense, then put in a low pass across the box to Lorenzo Insigne, who was sprinting in unmarked to the far post. Insigne had the goal at his mercy... but his shot hit the post, and both of Higuain's follow-up tries were blocked.

Sadly, such failures had become typical for Insigne this season, and his confidence spun further and further in to the ground. You certainly couldn't fault his effort, but when it came down to the moment when something good has to happen, Insigne had come up short every single time this season, just like he did later in the half when all he had to do was chip a diving goalkeeper to score, but instead he fired straight in to him.

Redemption was close at hand, however. Just over ten minutes in to the second half, Insigne got just a little bit of space in the box to put his head on to a low cross from Camilo Zuniga, and he whipped it off the post and in past a diving Gillet. Insigne's emphatic, tear-filled celebration just screamed with the joy and relief he was feeling, and it was so, so wonderful to see.

The match went back-and-forth for awhile after that, but Napoli slowly started to assert more and more control as Torino grew more desperate to get something out of the match. That lead to Insigne laying a ball off for Callejon on a counter-attack when Torino were still spread out. Callejon launched the ball curling towards the far post in what looked like a cross, but a slight deflection off a Torino player sent it in, and Napoli were up 2-1.

From there, it was almost all Napoli. Torino had one chance in extra time, but Rafael was up for the occasion this time, making a fingertip save that kept Napoli up. The resulting corner came to nothing, and Napoli were able to launch a vicious counter attack that saw Dries Mertens carrying the ball up the pitch with Insigne and Callejon on either side of him and just one Torino defender in their way. He laid it off for Insigne, who was through on goal.... but hte offsides flag was up as Insigne took his step up to receive the ball just a moment too soon.

That was fine in the end, though, as Napoli were able to see out the last moments of extra time without incident, and take the three points gladly. The big takeaway from today has to be Insigne's performance; he bounced back from a first half that saw him get in to good positions but struggle in the final moment, and put together a stellar second half. If he can continue today's form after the international break... look out, Italy.

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Rafael; Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Zuniga; Inler, Gargano (Lopez 66'); Callejon, Michu (Mertens 70'), Insigne; Higuain (Mesto 86')

Goals: Insigne 56'; Callejon 71'

Torino (3-4-1-2): Gillet; Maksimovic, Glik, Moretti; Darmian, Benassi (Gazzi 57'), Vives (Milno 78'), Peres (Molinaro 64'); El Kaddouri; Larrondo, Quagliarella

Goal: Quagliarella 14'