Frosinone 1 Napoli 3: Champions Napoli Off To Winning Start After Early Scare
Serie A champions Napoli were given a scare by newly promoted Frosinone but rallied to a 3-1 win this afternoon picking up three points in their first game of their title defense at Stadio Benito Stirpe.
A double from talismanic forward Victor Osimhen proving the be the difference despite Abdou Harroui’s early penalty after wide-man Jaime Baez had been brought down by Swedish midfielder Jens Cajuste.
Matteo Politano levelled for the visitors midway through the first half driving low into the bottom corner neatly past a helpless Stefano Turati. It would be through the clinical Nigerian who would carry on from where he left off in the last season. Firstly, powerfully finishing captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s neat pass from an acute angle via the crossbar to put the Partenopei ahead at the break, before sealing the victory ten minutes from time beating the offside trap to cooly finish low beyond Turati into the corner of the net.
All in all, it would be a pleasing showing for new coach Rudi Garcia, facing the unenviable task of following on from the departed Luciano Spalletti with Napoli creating a plethora of opportunities despite missing Georgian playmaker Kvicha Kvaratskhelia through injury.
Garcia’s first line-up would see starts Juan Jesus at the back, preferred to Brazilian Natan as replacement for Kim-Min-Jae. Cajuste would make his debut in midfield after joining from French side Reims, whilst Politano and Giacomo Raspadori would be charged with flanking Osimhen.
Frosinone making their fourth appearance in Italy’s top-flight after being crowned champions of Serie B would start brightly. Napoli would be sluggish allowing the side based 20 miles outside of the capital city to form pressure in the final third and force an early error.
Baez clumsy challenge presenting debutant Harrouri the chance to fire his side into a shock lead, an opportunity the Dutchman gleefully buried from 12-yards.
Napoli would look frustrated but would start to find joy through Di Lorenzo’s direct running down the right-hand side allowing Politano space to break free in the channels.
The Partenopei’s pressure would come to fruition with the two Italian internationals combining once more this time allowing Politano to drift inside away from his marker to strike a low effort beyond a helpless Turati.
The hosts fought hard to limit the visitors time on the ball but struggled to deal with Napoli’s quick-fire movement in the final third. Raspadori firing into the back of the net after a neat move involving Piotr Zielinski and Cajuste only for the goal to be chalked off for offside after VAR intervention.
The reprieve would be short-lived with space once more appearing on the right. Napoli’s captain feeding Osimhen who showed just why he was the league’s top scorer smashing an unstoppable effort to give his side the lead just before the break.
Frosinone would tire through the second half leaving more and more gaps in attacking areas for Garcia’s side but would fight doggedly with spirit. Osimhen and Lobotka both narrowly dragging shots wide of the post as Napoli looked to put the game out of sight.
After a spate of substitutions, the vital third goal would come with gaps appearing. Osimhen breaking the offside trap as the home side pushed forward to make no mistake with his finish to send Napoli to the top of the table.
Napoli X1: Alex Meret, Giovanni Di Lorenzo (captain), Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, Mathias Olivera (Mario Rui,76), Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski (Leo Ostigard 92), Jen Cajuste (Frank Anguissa 45), Matteo Politano (Eljif Elmas 77), Victor Osimhen, Giacomo Raspadori.
Frosinone X1: Stafano Turati, Anthony Oyono, Ilario Monterisi, Simone Romagnoli, Riccardo Marchizza, Francesco Gelli, Luca Mazzitelli, Abdou Harroui (Enzo Barrenechea 86), Francesco Gelli, Luca Mazzitelli (captain), Jaime Baez (Luigi Canotto 75), Marvin Cuni (Gennaro Borrelli 67), Guiseppe Caso (Giorgi Kvernadze 67).