It was a weird and wild match against Inter Milan, but Napoli won and advanced to the Coppa Italia semifinal thanks to a late goal from Gonzalo Higuain. The performances were mixed and sometimes bizarre, but some players had some fairly impressive performances. Who was the best of the pack today?
Mariano Andujar - 6 - Probably Andujar's best match since joining Napoli. Handled himself relatively well on crosses, for the most part, and did well on the couple of saves that he needed to make, though he needs to drop the knockdown-save technique he's so fond of. Gave up way too early on the Icardi shot that hit the post early in the first half, though.
Kalidou Koulibaly - 7 - Considering the challenge he faced in his first start as a right back, Koulibaly did very well. Shut down Shaqiri effectively enough that the Swiss winger switched to the opposite flank to try his luck, though he didn't do better with Strinic. Also got forward to support the attack surprisingly well, though his cross needs a lot of work if this is going to be a regular thing.
Raul Albiol - 5 - Kind of a non-entity today for the most part. Helped keep Napoli out of trouble on set pieces - a pleasant surprise considering his struggles in that area this season - but when it comes to open play defense he was just a passenger for most of the match, which is really not something you want to see from a defender. Did induce an absolutely hilarious, theatrical, front-flip-to-ass-landing drive from Icardi, which was fun.
Miguel Britos - 5 - Struggled mightily with trying to mark Icardi all day long. Got beaten for pace and positioning repeatedly. To be fair, that was never going to be an easy matchup for him, but ... man. That was ugly.
Ivan Strinic - 8 - Locked down George Puscas early in the match, then gave Xherdan Shaqiri fits after the two swapped sides. Running most of Napoli's counters through him was a stroke of genius, because when he was involved Napoli was damned dangerous. This has been an inspired signing so far.
Walter Gargano - 5 - Did well against Brozovic early, but when Inter realigned their formation, Hernanes spanked him up and down the pitch. Also got involved in a little fracas with Gary Medel in the second half that earned him a booking, and was, sadly, his usual inefficient self in possession, including consistently misplacing passes in Inter's half of the pitch.
David Lopez - 6 - Mixed bag from Lopez today. Made some key plays in defense, but also got bypassed and worked around too easily at times. Supported the attack well, but was wayward with a couple key passes and got dispossessed at a couple awkward moments.
Jose Callejon - 6 - Struggled to get in to positions to shoot, but used his tireless running to pull Inter defenders out of position to give other Napoli attackers room to work with. Also did well working in defense against Nagatomo, which is no easy task.
Marek Hamsik - 7 - Excellent in maintaining and driving possession. Struggled with his finishing, but set up numerous chances all match long. Also pressed very effectively and created issues for Inter's defense even when he didn't have the ball.
Jonathan De Guzman - 4 - De Guzman was, simply put, terrible. Wasted possession time after time, missed yet another sitter, and didn't do a damn thing in defense. Yeah, DeGuzman had a great run of form a couple months ago, but he has been atrociously bad for awhile now.
Gonzalo Higuain - 7 - Maybe his rating should be higher for scoring a late winner like he did, but the fact of the matter is that if Higuain hadn't been insanely greedy at several points earlier in the match, Napoli could have had this done and dusted much earlier. Yes, strikers are going to look out for themselves more often than not, but bulling Strinic off a ball and then losing the ball, and several instances of taking several horribly low-percentage shots when he had supporting runners in much better positions with clear passing lanes available? That's just bad football.
Dries Mertens - 6 - Didn't have a lot of direct chances, but played aggressively and caused chaos, which is always a good thing to see from an attacking sub.
Manolo Gabbiadini - 6 - Remember what you just read about Mertens? Read it again, because it fits Gabbiadini's performance as well.
Faouzi Ghoulam - 7 - Sure he was only on for ten minutes, but he stopped two dangerous attacks cold and his heads-up placement on a throw in was the assist on Higuain's throw.
Who was your Napoli man of the match against Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia? Vote in the poll below and talk about the performances in the comments!