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Napoli 2, Roma 0: Player ratings and Man of the Match poll

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Napoli had a wonderful performance today. Which players stood out from the pack?

Paolo Bruno

Have Napoli turned the corner with today's match? Maybe. Maybe not. But what is a certainty is that there were a number of quality individual performances by Napoli players that pushed Napoli over the top of a Roma side that's been impressive far more often than not this season.

Starters

Rafael Cabral - 7 - Hey, Rafael doubters, were you watching today? Yeah? Maybe now he's starting to do enough to make you realize just how good he can be. He played Totti's free kick perfectly, he made a clearance on what would have been a headed goal for Nainggolan that few other keepers would even have tried, and generally looked better than he has since before he was injured. This is a legit and highly talented goalkeeper that Napoli have their hands on.

Christian Maggio - 6 - Maggio perhaps could have done more in attack, but he was sound defensively and that's all you can ask for. He took a pretty brutal shot in a collision with Rafael and Radja Nainggolan, but after just a few minutes to get his head back on straight, he got back to a solid display.

Raul Albiol - 7 - This was easily Albiol's best match of the season. His positioning stayed solid, he didn't go on any walkabouts, he was good in the air, and didn't have any marking screwups. Good day at the office for Albiol.

Kalidou Koulibaly - 10 - Defensive performances better than the one Koulibaly put in today are exceedingly rare. We've come to expect quality from Koulibaly, but that was the kind of display you see from a defender fifteen, maybe twenty times in your life. He was all over the place, blowing up attacks, clearing danger, and generally leaving a six-foot-six-inch impression on the match. This wasn't just a damn fine day at the office, this was a special day for the young French defender.

Faouzi Ghoulam - 7 - This was probably Ghoulam's best performance of the season so far. He was rampant up and down the left flank, keeping Gervinho and Alessandro Florenzi firmly in his pocket while making sure that Miralem Pjanic and Vasilis Torosidis did not enjoy their defensive duties. We've seen better from Ghoulam for sure, but he's getting back to that form and that's only a good thing for Napoli.

David Lopez - 8 - Another match, another good midfield performance for David Lopez. It's almost getting boring at this point. Almost. Watching him make Pjanic look bad was awfully fun.

Jorginho - 6 - Jorginho wasn't bad by any means, but he was a little... off-kilter. I suppose that's to be expected while he works his way back from injury, but it would have been nice to have him in better sync with the rest of the side, especially after Hamsik was taken off and the playmaking responsibilities fell to him.

Jose Callejon - 7 - Like too often lately, Callejon scored a goal but really wasn't very good at all otherwise. But hey, the goal was good, and it broke Roma's back just as they were threatening to grab the momentum again. His mis-hit finish on an earlier breakaway counter attack was bad, though.

Marek Hamsik - 8 - Hamsik had a shot tipped in to the crossbar and could have had another goal, but he shouldn't be too disappointed. Even without getting on the scoresheet, Marek was vital for Napoli, pulling the strings and doing a lot of equally impressive work defensively against Roma's midfield.

Lorenzo Insigne - 8 - Insigne put on another show, using his fire and work rate to give Roma problems. While he didn't get on the scoresheet, his runs as passing around the box were vital for pulling apart Roma's defense and creating space for Napoli's other attackers, including and especially for Napoli's first goal.

Gonzalo Higuain - 9 - Higuain scored an absolute stunner right off the bat, and continued to ravage Roma's back line throughout the match. His hard work was rewarded again when he was able to feed Callejon on a late break for Napoli's second. With a three match scoring run and generally looking head and shoulders better than he did a few weeks ago, it looks like Pipita is well and truly back.

Substitutes

Walter Gargano - 5 - Despite looking rather super hero-y, Gargano was just kind of... there. He had one attacking run that almost earned Napoli a penalty, but otherwise he looked limited defensively and poor in support of the attack. Good times.

Dries Mertens - 6 - Mertens wasn't great, but he was more active and involved than he has been of late. Baby steps.

Gokhan Inler - n/a - Not a lot of time on the pitch, and the match was decided and put to bed not long after he came on.