There were definitely some concerns for Napoli at times during this match against Chievo Verona, but with a badly depleted back line, that's perhaps not much of a surprise. Despite that, there were some very solid and impressive performances for the partenopei in their trip to Verona. Who was the top player on the day for our boys in blue (well, white) on the day?
Rafael Cabral - 7 - Rafael is getting a lot of stick in some corners of the internet for Napoli's goal allowed, but chew on this: the cross/shot was going to a Chievo player off the far post. He had the play covered perfectly, in a position to grab the cross if it came too far in, or cut off the shot if it got through. Instead, Britos wandered too deep and turned it in. How's Rafael to blame for that? Besides, he made a couple very good reaction saves that kept Napoli on top in the second half that neither Pepe Reina or Mariano Andujar would have made, so, you know, wins are good.
Christian Maggio - 7 - After a few rough weeks, this was a nice comeback for Maggio. He was a little quiet in the first half, but when Rafa Benitez started leaning on his fullbacks more, Maggio came alive. He was much more active and effective in attack than we've seen in a long time, and it was great to see.
Raul Albiol - 6 - Had a really up-and-down performance. Came up big at some important times, but was nowhere to be seen on some other dangerous occasions. Really needs to do better and be more consistent than today.
Miguel Britos - 5 - Struggled once more with his positioning, which directly lead to the own goal he surrendered. Had a couple decent clearances later on in the match, but on a whole continued to be ... not great.
Ivan Strinic - 8 - If this is what he looks like when he's still a little tired and not at full match fitness yet ... wow, could Stinic be good for Napoli. After he was tasked with marking Schelotto around the half hour mark when Mertens was struggling with that duty, the Chievo fullback basically disappeared from the match. In the second half, Strinic excelled in helping drive the attack and got the assist on Napoli's second goal. Just a great day again for Strinic.
David Lopez - 7 - Perhaps not quite as good in possession and supporting the attack as he has been lately, but a stud in defense again. Lopez really has been a fantastic signing for Napoli this season.
Jorginho - 7 - Steady and solid in possession. Didn't get a chance to be too flashy because of how tight Chievo's defense was, but that's fine, because he did his job and was always there in case the ball needed to be knocked back to reset things.
Manolo Gabbiadini - 8 - Scored a lovely goal in his first league start and was arguably Napoli's most dangerous attacking player in his 65 minutes on the pitch. It's been a good bedding-in process for Gabbiadini with Napoli so far, and hopefully this is just the tip of a very successful iceberg.
Jonathan De Guzman - 5 - Started the match well, then started to struggle with possession and then largely faded out of then match. Missed an absolute sitter just before being subbed off.
Dries Mertens - 5 - See De Guzman's entry above, and add a complete inability to mark Schelotto for the first half hour of the match, which helped contribute to the circumstances that created Chievo's goal.
Gonzalo Higuain - 5 - Not Pipita's best match. Spent most of the first half frustrated and isolated up top against a packed-in defense. Even once things managed to open up more in the second half, he still didn't really have a ton of success, though he was able to distribute a little better.
Jose Callejon - 6 - Used his pace and ability to pick runs to help keep Chievo's defense off-balance late in the match. Didn't really get much in the way of scoring chances, but still played a solid game.
Walter Gargano - 6 - This wasn't a popular sub, bringing Gargano on for Jorginho with about 20 minutes to go, but with a lead to protect and the central defense pairing looking shaky, it was the right call. Gargano did a solid job helping Lopez shield the back line, and hey, it worked.
Marek Hamsik - 7 - Wasn't on for terribly long, but helped Napoli control the match through its final stretch and keep Chievo from keeping chances. Helped create several late chances and drive possession more efficiently than Napoli had seen all match long.
Who was your Napoli Man of the Match against Chievo Verona? Vote in the poll below and talk about the performances in the comments!