The Partenopei bounced back from a rough week with a convincing 3-0 win over visitors Sampdoria. Napoli were dominant throughout the match and in the end earned an easy 3 points to keep their Scudetto hopes alive (as unlikely as it may be). After a scoreless opening 25 minutes, the match changed drastically when Napoli scored 2 goals in a span of less than 2 minutes. The first goal came when Callejon squared the ball to a charging Milik who rifled it into the top of the net. The best part of this move wasn’t the goal itself, but the long distance pass from Hamsik which released Callejon down the right wing. The second came shortly after as Insigne found just enough space to turn and shoot against the unsuspecting Sampdoria keeper. Napoli were in full control in the second half as well and sealed the deal in the 89th minute when Verdi converted a penalty awarded after a Zielinski shot struck the arm of a Sampdoria defender in the box.
Napoli’s defense was able to keep Quagliarella contained and didn’t allow a clear cut chance all day as the former Napoli striker was unable to break Batistuta’s all time record of consecutive matches with a goal.
Quagliarella’s streak was the main talking point heading into the match, but today may end up being more remembered for the end of a different streak. Further reports suggest that club legend Marek Hamsik may have played his last game for the Partenopei after 12 years in Naples and is heading off to China. Rumors of his departure have been going on for some time now but the move was all but confirmed when he was subbed off in the 74th minute and applauded the Partenopei and kissed the badge for what could be the last time.
Meret: 6.5 Wasn’t asked to do much today but did what he needed to get the clean sheet. Poor distribution at times when passing out from the back.
Koulibaly: 9.5 A near perfect performance from Napoli’s rock at the the back. He seemed to be everywhere today and throughout the match made a number of impressive forwards runs into the Sampdoria half. The only thing missing was a goal.
Maksimovic: 6 Looked shaky at first and needlessly turned the ball over a few times but had a very solid second half.
Rui: 8 A great performance from the often maligned right back who was solid defensively and looked dangerous going forward. With more performances like this look for Rui to keep Ghoulam on the bench.
Hysaj: 6.5 Another player who was linked with moves away from the club, Hysaj played well defensively but didn’t offer much in the attack.
Hamsik: 8 A very good game from Napoli’s captain who looked tidy on the ball and his beautiful long distance pass to Callejon set up the first goal. The Napoli legend proved again today that the team is better when he’s on the field which makes it that much sadder that this may have been his last game.
Allan: 6.5 A solid performance from the Brazilian midfielder but still doesn’t quite seem like himself yet after an emotional few weeks.
Zielinski: 7 Linked up well with Rui on the left side and earned Napoli a penalty to seal the game.
Callejon: 7.5 Beginning to look more comfortable as a right sided midfielder after usually playing as a winger and had two assists today.
Insigne: 7.5 Looked much more clinical than he has in recent weeks and had the confidence to take his chance with a smart first time shot.
Milik: 6 Got on the scoresheet today but still was not at his best. Too often was looking to shoot when passing to an open teammate would have been the better option.
Diawara: 5.5 The potential there but the drop off was noticeable when he came on for Hamsik in the 74th minute.
Verdi: N/A Took the penalty brilliantly but wasn’t on the field long enough to put in a full performance.