Napoli got back to their goal scoring ways on Sunday ending their two game goal scoring drought in Serie A which seemed to last an eternity. Napoli were without the suspended Lorenzo Insigne which saw Dries Mertens inserted back into the starting eleven. Rather than shake things up by starting either Adam Ounas or Simone Verdi (both of which impressed on Thursday’s Europa League match) Carlo Ancelotti decided to go with a familiar eleven and it seemed to pay off big.
Piotr Zielinski got the scoring started in what has to be said is probably one of the easiest goals Napoli will score all season. A simple give and go on the left side between Elseid Hysaj and Zielinski was enough to see the Pole through on goal who finished the move off with a calm pass into the side netting. In the 36th minute Napoli were awarded a free kick at the top of the box which seemed primed for a thunderous left footed Arkadiusz Milik strike. However, after much deliberation, Milik instead slipped his shot underneath the jumping Parma wall much to the dismay of the home crowd. When asked about the free kick after the match Milik gave the credit to Ancelotti saying “Yes, I have to thank the Coach and the staff, as they really helped on that free kick. They told me Parma like to jump really high when defending free kicks, so I put it underneath.”
Milik continued his scoring in the second half when he pounced on a poor Parma back-pass and curled his shot past the keeper ignoring a wide open Mertens. It was a frustrating night for Mertens who has yet to find the net in 2019 and still finds himself stuck at 101 total goals for Napoli (3 behind Edinson Cavani). Ounas finished off the scoring in the 82nd minute from a wonderful team goal and the Algerian winger continues to impress despite his limited playing time.
The only negative takeaway from the match is that centerback Nikola Maksimovic had to be subbed off at half-time with an apparent leg injury. With Raul Albiol still hurt and Vlad Chiriches still building up to full fitness it will be critical to have a healthy Maksimovic back for Napoli’s top of the table clash with Juventus on Sunday at the San Paolo.