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Napoli - Operation Domination

Started on 9 April 2014 by Aaron
Latest Reply on 13 August 2014 by Walter
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Nice updates Aaron and some good signings too!
Pompey: Cheers josh mate! :)

and sorry for no updates guys, been away from home since yesterday morning. I'll be back late tonight so I shall either continue tomorrow or later on today! :)
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
10 yearsEdited

Two wins in two as Napoli go second


It's been a pretty busy transfer window for new Napoli boss Roberto Baggio, but with all these new signings his man management has had to come into play. He has kept each and every players feet firmly on the ground ready to head out of the tunnel against mid table side Genoa. Not a team to underestimate, but beatable nonetheless.

It was Genoa that got the game kicked off but from there, but straight away Napoli had taken the ball away from them, using an attractive pressing and attacking style of play. They got themselves the ball and right away they had Hamsik sprinting down the wing to lift in a cross that would gift Higuain a brilliant chance but unfortunately for the striker the ball sailed over the crossbar.

Ten minutes in we saw our first card of the game. To centre midfielder Inler. A reckless challenge saw the man in the book and walking on thin ice. The free kick was taken but Napoli once again took the ball from their opponents and countered down the right wing.
Mertens had the ball and like Hamsik was gliding down the right side of the pitch, however he was taken down right on the edge of the box.

Mertens was the man to take the free kick and he fizzed the ball to the near post where debutant Balanta was roaming. Balanta with his first touch knocked the ball past the keeper and had gotten his first goal for his new team in just twelve minutes. More importantly, Napoli were winning.

Later on in the game Napoli were given the chance to put the tie to bed. A penalty was awarded for a poor challenge on Higuain and Inler would take the penalty to put the Azzuri 2-0 up. He took three steps back and shot at the left bottom corner, the shot had the pace, the power and was on target, but somehow the keeper leaped like a salmon to parry it out for a corner! A great save, and he kept his team in the game!

Just three minutes after the penalty miss, Inler would be made to regret his miss, after a one on one opportunity was tucked away by Genoa's left back De Ceglie. The scores were level, could either side take the lead once more?

Well, the game dragged on, and players began to tire out, and Baggio could see this. He made three subs at once including the most crucial of them all. Rodrigo Gomez for Callejon.

Gomez hadn't done particularly well in pre season, but he took advantage of the faith given to him, when a pin point pass from Bertolacci nailed to the right wingers foot, he sealed the points for his new club with a powerful shot into the top corner! 87 minutes in and the game was won, three points and a place in the top four was exactly what Baggio would have been after!

The second game was taken place at home against big boys Inter Milan. This would be Baggio's biggest game yet, but I am sure that would be trumped by the next game...Juventus.

Now, despite Baggio stating his intentions were to NOT play counter attacking football, his side went out onto the field in a 4-6-0 formation. Not only was the manager contradicting his words, but he was also playing his youngest player Joao Texiera, a clearly great talent...Just not as experienced as you'd like.

The game was stale, both teams had their chances, but they couldn't take them for anything. Chance after chance was blazed wide or over the goal, until the second half when the deadlock was finally broken!

Reveillere received a pass from Carvalho and pulled play back with cross to the edge of the box where Hamsik was stood, a little flick on took the ball over to the back post where an onside Dries Mertens was running, to tap the ball into the back of the net!

The game was now 1-0 to Napoli, and it was a very tense last 40 minutes, but despite having the the most narrow lead, they saw the game out, and were handed the three points. The stadium erupted with Napoli fans cheering and chanting all around! Three points and second in the league. What a fantastic start!

Really nice update mate! keep it up :)
A very good start to the season. Lets hope it can continue for a long time to come.
Nice start mate

Napoli drop points in Juventus clash

COming of the back of two straight wins, Baggio's side would be looking to continue their run, and gain some consistency. However, all was not as easy as it seemed, they would face title favorites Juventus away from home, and they were the clear under dogs going into the game.

Although there was no pressure on them, Napoli still started the game nervously, they were playing a controlling style of play today and it really didn't pay off, it was clear that many of the players had never played this style, and it would take some getting used to if they were to master it.

Just two minutes in, Juventus were awarded a free kick. Of course Pirlo would take it, and lash in a curling cross. The ball came over to Bonucci, who flicked it back to Pogba with his head, Pogba then knocked it forwards to Peluso, who then headed it sideways where the ball would fall to Balanta who cleared back the other way...And then of course this scruffy heading fiasco had to end with a goal, and so Ogbonna was there to thump it in the net past a scrambling Pepe Reina.

Then minutes before half time Juventus were again handed a silly free kick after a needless foul. 35 yards out...No way? Pirlo was actually going to shoot. He took four steps back, and took his run up. Connecting ever so sweetly with it, he practically knuckle balled it from 35 yards out into the top corner, it was a truly brilliant goal, and if we are to go 2-0 down to a goal like that then you crack on!

THe second have was dull and stale, and the only time we saw anything worth a mention, was when one team would see red, and have a player walk. Llorente had the ball at his feet and sent Tevez running with it beating Albiol for pace, he had one last defender to get through but Albiol absolutely sparked him out with one of the most disgusting challenges ever! The momentum on both players was what made it worse, I guess. But I am happy that Tevez walked away without harm! Albiol was shown red, and sent for an early bath.

The game dragged on, and on. Nothing really happened from there. one or two chances came either way but no cards, no brilliant chances missed, and no goals! Napoli walked away with nothing, after the hard work in the last two games they just could not master a win here in Juventus.

Baggio won't be too disappointed though. A good result was never on the cards, but how will it affect morale? Napoli take on Shakthar next, so it is going to be interesting to see how they fair back in the Champions League. If they want to win, their players are just going to have to step up. Although a victory was never foreseen here in Juve, they still didn't put in a decent performance.

Hamsik commits to Napoli

He's been at Napoli for most of his career, and has enjoyed a lot of success with his club. In seven year he has managed to pick up 63 goals and over 250 appearances, and is now captain of Napoli and plays under Italian legend Roberto Baggio.

This boy is indeed Marek Hamsik, one of the few attacking midfielders that don't seem to get the credit they deserve. No goals for him so far this season, however with one assist he has managed to aid his team to, two wins against Genoa and Inter, however he was involved in the game which they slipped up to Juventus.

Roberto Baggio has made no hesitation toward his captain, and has almost instantly offered him a new contract which would see him on around 110K a week. Without batting an eye Hamsik penned the new deal which would see him at the club for as long as 5 years. Not bad business for Baggio there.

Hamsik spoke to some Napoli reporters just after the game and he had some nice words to say. He spoke about his new deal and Baggio. The Slovakian as well as every other player seems to be on high spirits.

"Yes, I am very happy with the new deal. I have been at Napoli for a long time now, and I want remain here. We haven't had a lot of success but now that Roberto is here I think we can go far under him, and I want to be a part of the success and glory he brings to this wonderful club.

Roberto is a great man, and someone who I looked up to as a kid. Even now he still sets a good example, especially for the younger players. He has also put his faith in me buy making me skipper so it's nice to have some recognition off of him. I hope I can repay his faith, I want to be with this team and if I am the one to lead them out of the tunnel each game, all the way to glory, I'll take that!"

So some great business there and Baggio just seems to be doing all the right things at the moment. Keeping his best players and he has had his team off to a great start. It'll be fun to see how they fair against Parma next weekend and I can't wait to see them in action.
Hamsik, Gomez...Balanta. They are a joy to watch!
Nice updates Aaron and good to tie Hamsik down to a long contract :)
Great update mate, good to see Hamsik signing a new deal, he's a talented player which can really aid your push for the Serie A title.
Pompey: Cheers mate, I'm looking to keep all of our best players, so that we can sign one or two goodens in jan...The plan is to then become a defensively strong team this season :)

Josh: Thank you, although I can't say whether we will have the chance to win it ;) We'll be in the title race for sure but there are some massive teams.

Maybe if we make the right signings in Jan ;)
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
10 yearsEdited

Napoli wipe floor with Shakhtar

Days after getting a thumping by the the Old lady, the Azzurri would now face an even bigger test in the Champions League. They were drawn in a group consisting of; Themselves, Manchester City, Shakhtar and Benfica and would need all of their passion and drive to see them out of it in either second or first spot.

They would be playing in Ukraine against Shakthar, a team who had won the last four Ukrainian league titles, and having been battered at Juventus, this game could have gone either way, both have top players, but it really cam down to who wanted it more. Luckily for the Napoli boss it was his side.

Jose Callejon hadn't been playing well of late, and after being overshadowed by Gomez and his last gasp winner against Genoa, it looked like the former Real Madrid player would be benched. But Baggio had faith in the Spaniard and gave him his chance, and his faith payed off when the right winger was put through on goal on 18 minutes...Without even looking he instinctively hit it high and into the near top corner! 1-0!

He even went on to score again, Shakhtar were on the attack, however they lost the ball and Napoli countered their attack with another. Hamsik got the attack going with a pass on the left wing to Mertens who took one touch and from his own half floated a long diagonal ball across the field to where Callejon was running. Callejon touched the ball down dribbled into the box and this time smacked it straight at the keeper. Dorosh got the touch but couldn't help it from hitting the back of the net, the shear power was too much.

Six minutes later, Napoli were awarded a freekick on the right wing. Mertens got the cross in but it was thwarted by a defender. Matuidi got the ball on the edge of the box and slid it back through the defense to find Mertens. Mertens laid it off to Higuain who as cool as anything tapped it past the goal keeper as if he wasn't there.

The game was all over in one half, Napoli not only wiped the floor with them but it was now squeaky clean! Three points on the table and top of the group is not a bad start to life in the Champions League. Manchester City will take them on next in Italy which could be either sides toughest test of the season.

The Azzurri will also be taking on Parma in their next Serie A game. With this game, Catania and Sassuolo all in their next three, these easier games really could boost the confidence for the City game.

However, these games will be made all the more harder as skipper Marek Hamsik was stretchered off on 45 minutes due to injury. Reports suggest it isn't serious, but Napoli will be taking care with him from now on, maybe we'll see a Joao Texiera starting in the next game.

Napoli go level with Juventus after unbeaten run


It has been a pretty good start to the season for Napoli, with three wins in four they would look to continue a good run of good performances against a few of the Serie A's 'easier' sides. First up was Parma, a mid-table club that can easily snatch a few points if one is not careful, and this was almost the case however the determination from the Azzurri players had shown them up come the end of the game.

Parma went 1-0 up in the first ten minutes, and they were dominating the game. A quick through ball from Parma's right winger Palladino left Reina stranded as the Napoli defenders struggled to find a way back to stop striker Parolo from natting the finish in the far bottom corner, Napoli were in trouble.

Now despite him not playing many games, Zapata was subbed onto the pitch for Higuain at half time. The boy made an instant impact in the 76th minute when he was passed the ball by Reveillere, Zapata received it at the front post turned and nestled it in the corner with a scruffy and rushed shot. 1-1 now, but the expectations were there for Napoli to win.

The crowd got behind them, and the lads started to pick their performance up. Hamsik chested in a beautiful pass from Insigne's free kick with a superb touch on the edge of the box. He turned and on the volley drilled the ball hard and low for 22 year old Zapata to get his second of the game, and to win the three points for his side!

Napoli seemed to drop their performance a little in the next game. Following a good scrappy win, they were put down on the back foot in the 44th minute to Catania. Although it was late on, Napoli would be frustrated by the most brilliant of goals. A poor cross from Barrientos was headed clear and back out to Gino Peruzzi who was facing away from goal. He then turned and chipped the ball as if he meant to cross it...And somehow he lobbed Reina who was on his line and rained it down into the bottom corner. Napoli were once more on the behind to a team they should be beating.

But 88 minutes in, another late goal was scored. Substitute Rodrigo Gomez scored the vital goal late on and earned his team a point, unfortunately this time it wasn't three, Napoli would take anything from this game with the way they performed.

Their last game was at home, to an 11th placed Sassuolo. For the third time running, Napoli went behind to a goal in the 18th minute, and were hit hard. The mental state of the side wasn't looking great, but a revival was sparked in the 42nd minute when Inler struck home his penalty to level the scores.

After half time, a few tactical changes and some harsh words from Baggio ensured that his team would see out the game. A goal from Hamsik in the 52nd minute put the Azzurri ahead, and another in the 70th gave them the cusion they craved.

Sassuolo almost found a way back in with a good effort from striker Ziegler, a 20 yard shot was drilled into the bottom corner beating the keeper to make the score 3-2.

But it was too little too late, as an amazing 30 yard effort from Callejon rattled the bar. The ball ricocheted off the bar and back off the head of keeper Pegolo.
Amazingly, the ball struck the under side of the bar and hit Pegolo on his sweed to deflect the ball in for a fourth goal for Napoli.

An alright month then in terms of results. Performance wise...Not brilliant, but if they are to keep scraping wins like that, just like a title winning side does, they will be title challengers and will even see themselves at least 3rd...or better.

Nice updates man. Glad to see your run continue.
Interesting update. I feel like I've seen that style of update before somewhere though ;)

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