clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roma vs. Napoli: Final score 1-0, bitter defeat in the Derby del Sole

What could have been a tremendous day for Napoli instead ended in ashes and disappointment.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Nothing less but a win would do, and Napoli didn't even come close to accomplishing that. Instead, the partnenopei suffered their third loss in five matches, falling 1-0 to Roma on the strength on Miralem Pjanic's first-half goal.

Napoli had a bright start to the match, with several players impressing going forward, particularly Dries Mertens. Roma found plenty of room going forward, though, especially past Christian Maggio and Raul Albiol on Napoli's right. Napoli were also far too slow getting back on the counter at times, and it wasn't too long before Roma punished their guests for that weakness.

A turnover and quick launch forward found Napoli stretched out and woefully unprepared for Roma's counter, and Alessandro Florenzi found room to work with running through the space that Faouzi Ghoulam would normally have been in. That pulled Miguel Britos over to his side, and Miralem Pjanic ran to where the defender had been. Florenzi centered the ball on to him, and both Raul Albiol and Mariano Andujar were far to slow to react, made worse when Andujar went completely the wrong way to try and stop Pjanic's shot, despite the only place he could have gone being the near post with how he opened himself up.

The goal let Roma regroup, having suffered a bit of a storm from Napoli shortly before, and Napoli struggled to find a way back in. Those struggles continued through the rest of the half and well in to the second, with the boys in blue constantly misfiring in their forays in to the final third. Napoli dominated in terms of total shots taken, but struggled badly when it came to actually generating dangerous shots, and when they did get shots on goal, former Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis was more than capable of turning his former team aside.

It was a bitterly disappointing result that could see Napoli slump in to sixth place in the league if other results go against them. It was made worse by seeing things like Gonzalo Higuain getting completely neutralized by Roma's defense and Marek Hamsik being nailed to the bench by Rafa Benitez, the latter of which especially hurt with how badly Jonathan De Guzman struggled for most of the match.

There was one beacon of joy with Lorenzo Insigne's return to the pitch for the last ten minutes of the match, but that was too little, too late in terms of an impactful change for Napoli. It would have felt much better had it been a victory sub, but alas that was not to be. Instead, Napoli again find themselves with more questions than answers after a match, and that's not a very nice place to be in at this point of the season entering a brutal stretch of their schedule.

AS Roma: De Sanctis; Torosidis, Manolas, Astori, Holebas (Yanga-Mbiwa 71'); De Rossi, Pjanic (Paredes 68'), Nainggolan; Florenzi (Ibarbo 80'), Ljajic, Iturbe

Goal: Pjanic (25')

Napoli: Andujar; Maggio, Albiol, Britos, Ghoulam; Jorginho, Lopez; Callejon (Gabbiadini 62'), De Guzman (Insigne 81'), Mertens; Higuain (Zapata 77')

Goals: none