Napoli needed a win and needed a statement -- not to mention the need for revenge over a Lazio side that embarrassed them twice at the end of last season. That's exactly what they got in this match, with a fantastic performance at the San Paolo leading to a dominating 5-0 win over Lazio.
Things went on tilt almost right off the bat, with Napoli dominating early possession and completely rattling Lazio's defense, much like the start of their match against Club Brugge in the Europa League. It worked out about as well as in that match, too, with a bad defensive mistake gifting Gonzalo Higuain the opening goal just 14 minutes in.
Napoli could have dialed things back after that, and we often seem to see them do exactly that when they go up early. On Sunday, though, Napoli had a point to prove. They were sick of letting Lazio walk over them like they did last season. They were sick of the team's slow start to the season. They were sick of not winning. Napoli were frustrated beyond belief, and they took out that frustration on Lazio on Sunday.
Allan scored a second Napoli goal before the end of the half, set up in large part by a jaw-dropping pass from Jorginho, though Lorenzo Insigne got credit for the assist for the final pass into Allan. Insigne scored one for himself just after halftime, and good lord what a goal it was. It was a lovely reward for some of the fantastic play Insigne has been enjoying of late, and it immediately knocked the wind out of Lazio's sails before they could try to establish something resembling momentum.
After that, Napoli mostly just settled in and took control of the match. Higuain snagged a brace just before the hour mark, and right after that Maurizio Sarri started subbing out key players to rest and protect them from an increasingly-aggressive Lazio side. Out came Hamsik -- who played an excellent match himself -- then Higuain and Insigne, but Napoli weren't done yet. Another fantastic assist came from Allan, with Manolo Gabbiadini grabbing his first goal of the season on the other end of it.
The win was badly needed for Napoli, and hopefully this is the start of great things for the season. Getting the Lazio monkey off their back was almost visibly relieving for the players, and now they can go about the rest of their season without that weight, or the weight of "well, you haven't won yet." Napoli's season starts now, and while they've got some catching up to do on the rest of the league, and least now the ball is rolling.
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik (Lopez 60'); Insigne (El Kaddouri 74'), Higuain (Gabbiadini 65'), Callejon
Goals: Higuain (14', 59'), Allan (35'), Insigne (47'), Gabbiadini (79')
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Mauricio, Hoedt, Radu; Parolo, Onazi, Lulic (Milinkovic-Savic 46'); Mauri (Felipe 46'), Matri (Djordjevic 74'), Keita
Goals: None. HAHAHAHAHAHA.