In the early goings against Sassuolo, there was a little bit of a feeling of "here we go again" for Napoli fans. Like in almost every league match this season, Napoli were in control and creating chances, but couldn't finish them off. As the half hour mark approached, fans started getting nervous that we were going to see more of the same failure, and that Napoli would fall flat again.
Then Marek Hamsik laid a ball off to Gonzalo Higuain at the top of the box, continued his run towards goal, and Higuain chipped a left-footed cross to Jose Callejon, who had floated in to space off the far post created by Hamsik's run. Callejon hammered the ball home before Sassuolo's goalkeeper could reorient himself after the change in direction, and that goal proved decisive in Napoli's vital 1-0 win to snap a streak of lost points.
It was a goal notable not just for the fact that it was Callejon's team-leading third of the season, nor for the delightful interplay between attackers, something that Napoli excelled at last season but haven't utilized much in this campaign. No, it was notable for the palpable sense of relief that the goal created in the squad. You could see shoulders lift and tension drop as the goal relieved some of the pressure the players had put on themselves thanks to the squad's struggles. While there were struggles later in the match, the relief and confidence of Callejon's goal helped the players better deal with them.
A goal that vital is well worth revisiting and watching some more of, don't you think?