Grading player performances can be a tricky thing to do, as so many factors play in to the ratings. This player scored a goal, but how much should missed chances hurt? That player was almost solely at fault for giving up a goal, but made a few key challenges; how does that balance out his score?
As such, any match ratings have to be taken with a heaping of salt, but they still have some value to give a general feel for how each player did in relation to others. Some places try to build ratings based on statistical measures rather than looking at their whole performance, including things that don't show up on the stat sheet, but too often they wind up painting a very different picture to what actually happened on the pitch.
We're starting to venture in to our own player ratings setup here, in large part to help fans who didn't get to see the match get a better feel for how things were. The exact nature of this feature will likely shift and change over the coming months while we experiment with formats and ideas, but for the most part we'll be using the standard 0-10 match rating system.
Rafael Cabral - 7 - Rafael perhaps could have done better against Quagliarella's shot that gave Torino the opening goal, but he had a save late in the match that was difficult massively important, and he continued to show his recent improvement on balls in the air and general command of his box.
Christian Maggio - 6 - Maggio is still well off his best form, but he still did decently today against Matteo Darmian, and did a better job supporting the attack than he's done for most of this season. This spot still desperately needs an upgrade, but as long as Maggio can play at least this well, it won't hurt quite as much until a better player is eventually plugged in to his spot.
Kalidou Koulibaly - 8 - Koulibaly continues to be excellent, showing his top form today as he fended off attack after attack, with several key tackles and challenges along the way. Koulibaly has far and away outstripped all expectations and hopes placed on him after his signing, and he has truly become the heart of Napoli's defense.
Raul Albiol - 5 - Directly at fault for Torino's goal. Albiol let Quagliarella walk away from him without even a glance, and like too many other mistakes Albiol has made this season, Napoli paid the price for it. For the rest of the match, he was the same frustratingly mediocre player he's been all season, and a far cry from the best form he showed last season.
Camilo Zuniga - 7 - Active all up and down the left flank, Zuniga gave Torino problems all match long. His passing and crossing from his fullback position set up a lot of Napoli's chances on the day, and his cross for Insigne's goal was note-perfect. There were a few moments when he struggled with El Kaddouri when the Moroccan was working from wide areas instead of behind the striker, but on a whole, this was a very encouraging performance from Zuniga.
Gokhan Inler - 6 - Inler was his normal industrious self, working up and down the pitch and popping off a few shots from range for good measure. When Gargano struggled for stretches on either side of the half, Inler did well to cover for his partner. He struggled some with passing in the final third, but on a whole it was a solid, if unspectacular, match from Inler.
Walter Gargano - 5 - Gargano wasn't as disastrous as we've seen him be this season, but that doesn't mean he was very good either. He was poor in possession, and gave away a rash and needless foul in a dangerous area that could have cost Napoli dearly.
Jose Callejon - 8 - Callejon continues to impress. Key in attack, industrious in defense, and displaying all-around quality, Callejon put in another excellent shift today and grabbed the game-winning goal for his efforts. While scoring on that particular attempt may have been accidental (it looked it was designed to be more like a cross to the far post), that doesn't take away from the fact that Ziggy's performance today deserved a goal. After scoring 15 in the league a year ago, Callejon appears on pace to better that number, with four already on the season.
Michu - 4 - Michu was horrible today. He was uncreative, wasted possession too often, killed off scoring chances, was useless in defense, almost scored an own goal, and drew a yellow for a truly stupid foul late in the first half. Rafa waited far too long to take him off, and Michu will have to a lot of work before he should be trusted to start again.
Lorenzo Insigne - 8 - This would be a nine, but I had to dock a point for the two misses in the first half. On a whole, though, this was the best performance we've seen from Insigne in a long, long time. His work rate and positioning were fantastic, the goal was wonderful, and the relief and joy on his face were amazing to see. This is the Lorenzo Insigne we know and love. Today should go a long ways towards restoring the shattered confidence that has plagued Insigne this season.
Gonzalo Higuain - 6 - Even the best strikers sometimes have an off day, and this was one of those for Pipita. He had an early scorching shot that buzzed the crossbar, but afterwards Higuain just seemed a little off. He had two bites at the shot from Insigne that went off the post, but both were blocked thanks to mediocre finishing. On a whole, he was a little anonymous and off-key, but he still occupied space and attention well, and that helped Insigne and Callejon immensely.
David Lopez - 7 - While Lopez didn't have any "loud" plays after coming on for Gargano, he did a lot of good for Napoli. He was a big stabilizing element in midfield, using tidy possession and heads-up defending to smooth things out for Napoli in the center of the pitch. With how impressive Lopez has been in most of his early appearances for Napoli, he could really be something impressive once he's more fully integrated in to the side and adjusted to Italian football.
Dries Mertens - 5 - This maybe feels a little harsh, but beyond his involvement in that last counter that Insigne was offside for, Mertens just wasn't involved all that much during his appearance. He had a few linking passes, made a run that helped make space on Callejon's goal, and that was about it. Fortunately, Napoli didn't need much more than that.
Giandomenico Mesto - N/A - Didn't really have enough time on the pitch to do much of anything.
So who was your Man of the Match for Napoli today? Vote below, and share your thoughts in the comments!