Simple. Efficient. Effective. Those are the three words that spring to mind to describe how Napoli beat Cagliari on Sunday. The 3-0 win saw some impressive individual displays, and is delightful to revisit and examine.
Mariano Andujar - 6 - A mixed bag of good moments and frightening ones thanks to Andujar's shoddy decision making. Mixed in with a couple good reaction save were choices and mistakes that had fans pulling at their hair screaming "Nooooooooooo what are you doing?!" That's not the most encouraging thing for a goalkeeper.
Christian Maggio - 4 - Even if his sending-off was unwarranted, the foul that earned him his first yellow was really stupid, and he didn't do a whole lot of good otherwise.
Raul Albiol - 7 - Stopped Sau cold in the first half and kept Longo off-balance in the second half. A nice little rebound after a few rough matches for the Spaniard.
Kalidou Koulibaly - 5 - Uncharacteristically poor. Got spun around way more often than we're used to seeing, and gave up a couple sloppy fouls. Honestly, he looked rusty. Maybe it would help if he wasn't getting benched for no apparent reason.
Ivan Strinic - 7 - Hasn't always lived up to his reputation since joining Napoli, but he was very good in this match. Kept the left flank shut down no matter how Cagliari swapped players around to test him, and played some delightful attacking interchanges with Jorginho and Lorenzo Insigne.
Walter Gargano - 5 - Had a few neat attacking moments in the first half, but as a defensive midfielder -- you know, his job -- he left a lot to be desired. Sloppy fouls, blown assignments, terrible turnovers galore. Again.
Jorginho - 8 - Man, this kid is good when he's on, and he was really, really on in this match. Lots of quality passing, smart defending, and always being there when he was needed. Now that he's been playing a bit more often again, he's rounding in to some great form at a very important time for the team.
Jose Callejon - 7 - Scored thanks to a smart run and reading the play well, anticipating and reacting to Hamsik's defense-splitting pass perfectly. Probably could have done more in terms of build up play and off-the-ball work -- though his stellar defensive effort saved a certain Cagliari goal not long after he scored -- but it was a fine match nonetheless.
Marek Hamsik - 8 - Two assists (yes, we're counting his cross on the own goal because it was gorgeous) and an hour of all-around great play. Hamsik is definitely and truly back.
Lorenzo Insigne - 7 - This was his first start since returning from his knee injury and the more time on the pitch than in his previous substitute appearances combined. More than that, though, he was effective, coming close to scoring and constantly involved in Napoli's best attacks. Seeing him so lively and involved was ... awesome.
Gonzalo Higuain - 7 - Didn't score, but assisted Gabbiadini's goal and was dragging Cagliari defenders around on a leash to open spaces for his fellow attackers.
Manolo Gabbiadini - 8 - Scored a freakin' fantastic goal not long after coming on, and had a couple other good strikes too. Gabbi had been in a not-great bit of form for awhile there, but he seems to be back on the upswing again now that he's fully settled in to the team.
Duvan Zapata - 6 - Didn't have a lot to do since the match was basically over by the time he stepped on to the pitch, but he still played well, holding up play well and occupying defenders to help create chances for his teammates.
Giandomenico Mesto - 5 - Forced on unexpectedly by Maggio's sending off, Mesto was shaky, but no more so than we've become used to seeing. The fight was pretty well out of Cagliari by then, though, and his shakiness was never really exploited.
Who was your Napoli man of the match against Cagliari? Vote in the poll below and discuss the performances in the comments!