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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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Napoli qualify for next round

With a win here at Benfica, Napoli would equal seven point in their group. and most likely go level with Manchester City.(If Manchester City don't somehow slip up).
Many considered the Baggio's new team to be the under dogs of the group, and to finish last as well...However they have surprised everyone notching up two wins and even a draw against City. They really have been the surprise package.

Benfica got the game under way and were off to a good start. Although an early chance for the Portuguese team would see a one on one chance for Markovic to score unfortunately go wide. Their line was high and for the first ten minutes of the game Napoli couldn't find a a way in, but that all changed just a few moments later.

A corner was won after Luisoa's headed clearance, and Insigne yeah fired it over the top to meet Federico Fernandez' head, the ball was directed goal ward powerfully but the keeper just managed to get his finger tips to the ball which then deflected of the post and fell to the feet of an unmarked Pandev. Luisoa saw the striker open and thus went in for the slide tackle, only to put the ball in his own net, and in the process humiliating himself.

The second half was now upon us and Benfica came out of the blocks fighting, Napoli were shaken by the Portuguese teams' attacking prowess and had Siqueira taken down in the box by left back Ghoulam who's nervousness earned himself an early bath, and a way back into the game for Benfica. Siqueira stepped up to the spot and cooly placed the ball in the top corner which gave Benfica an essence of hope that could bring them back into contention for knockout qualification.

Yet, the fans' hopes were dashed and for the second time this season, Napoli's right winger would gift his team the win which would do the double over Benfica. No not Rodrigo Gomez, but Jose Callejon, the attacker was played the ball on the wing and threaded Higuain the ball which allowed him to turn his marker, finish up the one-two with Higuain and put the score right for his team, with a brilliant move and a brilliant finish.

Nice mate, you have qualify to next round. Hope you get great challenge there :D
Nice to see you beating Benfica :) good luck in the knockout rounds!

Juan Jesus signs pre-contract

With Napoli hot on his tail for the majority of this season it was looking quite likely that the centre back would get his move to the Azzurri, even after his poor start to the season. The Brazilian has made 11 appearances so far this season and put in some fairly average performances for inter, and will now look to build on these performances at his new club.

The deal is an estimated fee of £14M, which does seem a little excessive, but the player is one of brazil's most talented young centre backs, and could be a good player for his national team one day, but can he make the impact expected at Napoli? Well, we can only hope but it is up to his determination and passion for the game to see him blossom into a great player.

Baggio even believes that not only is it up to the player but he will have to play a part in his development, of course this is clearly obvious but he thinks he will need to be the one to help out Juan and his mental side of the game

"He's a remarkable player and he can thrive here at Napoli. As long as he remains confident in each game and hit the ground running he will be fine. I will have to help him out of course, it is up to me that he doesn't get either over confident or too down about his performances. We need to keep his feet on the ground.

"I'm not expecting him to make a huge impact...As much as I would like that, it is very hard for a player to improve after 1) Some shaky performances and 2) A dramatic change. (Moving clubs)The fee paid for him will pay off in the long run you'll see."

Jesus will join Napoli on the 2nd of January, he will run out the remainder of his contract at Inter and then move on. A pre-contract is probably the best move as for the next 2 months Beggio and the coaching staff at Napoli will be likely to assess his performances further at the expense of Inter Milan.

Napoli are also looking at other young stars, like Dodo, from Roma. Marcos Rojo, another centre back from Sporting and there have even been reports of Napoli scouts at the Allianz Arena to see Mandzuckic, and Swiss right winger Shaqiri in action.
Very good player there Aaron! :D

Napoli 8 points clear following consecutive victories

It was an eagerly anticipated fixture right from the start of the season but after the two teams' recent success it would be even more of a tense affair with both sides battling out for top spot. Yes, Napoli and A.C. Milan would be going head to head, with a win at the Sao Paulo A.C. Milan would top the table, leading the pack by just the one point, however if the favorites (Napoli) were to triumph, they would go five points clear of the Rossoneri.

The game got under way and it was Napoli who started the better side, it wasn't too long before they took the lead through Gomez. The in form winger was roaming just outside the box as a beautiful cross from Balanta flew in at the back post, Gomez watched the ball come over and tapped it in to round off a great move and give his side the lead.

Napoli kept up the pressure all game and saw it out all the way up to the 85th minute. No, Milan didn't equalize but young Zapata gave his team a 2-0 lead with an effort from just inside the box after taking in the pass from Hamsik. Napoli were now five points clear at the top, and had the advantage in the race for the title.

Next up was Torino away and Napoli would look to extend their lead at the top, but leaving the other title contenders with a game in hand. Could they take the three points from this next hurdle? Well was there any doubt? A goal from Teixeira in the 20th got the Partenopei off to a good start, and it took just one minute for Albiol to head in the second of the game.

Mertens was then cool enough to finish hi dinner from a free kick in the 42nd minute, sealing his team the points. Immobile got Torino a consolation, but that looked to be canceled out with a Dries Mertens penalty in the 90th minute and even though he couldn't add to the scoreline, Napoli still took home the three points.

What?! Cagliari in second?! :))
Just caught up on this story. Great stuff! Congrats on the great Champion league run so far!
Neal: It get's better...

DeadPan: Cheers mate, glad you're enjoying it! :)

Three in three for Partenopei

Following two solid wins at Torino and A.C. Milan, Shakhtar would meet with Napoli for a second time this season, only at home. The last game ended 3-0, inspired by a dazzling Jose Callejon performance the Azzurri took home the three points moving themselves closer to qualification, which they have confirmed after just four games.

After the 3-0 win you'd expect Napoli to be more ruthless at home, but despite still turning in a good performance it was nothing quite like the last. Another Callejon goal would give Shakhtar nightmares over the last game in the 11th minute and he was looking all set and ready to score more, but Zapata was the one to finish them off in the 42nd minute with a speculative effort from 30 yards out.

Next was rivals Udinese. A win here would keep the pressure up at the top of the table whilst Udinese were looking for a way out of the drop zone. Three points here would see them out of the red but only if they surpassed four goals against the Partenopei, which no side has done all season, not even Manchester City. Even with a 4-0/5-0 win they'd still be very much in the battle.

The wrong team struck first, Zapata scored his 2nd in two games for the club within the 40 minute zone, then the second half came along and Dries Mertens secured a second goal for Napoli. Napoli were now looking the real deal, better than they have all season and another goal this time from Albiol five minutes after the first would then lead to an Udinese consolation, but that wasn't enough and Albiol got a hit a wonder striker from outside the box to make it four on the night. Napoli weren't done there, Mertens placed in his second of the game making the score 5-1. Udinese blown out of the water but not for the first time this season. Atlanta managed to put six past the struggling side at the start of the season.

Now came a bigger test for Napoli, with an expected thrashing over Udinese it was now Fiorentina who would look to strangle the attacking threat of Napoli and be the first side to take home three points from the Sao Paulo.

It was looking good in the 10th minute when Vargas got his team off to a flyer, Napoli looked dazed by the quick goal but weren't to threatened as they were still able to score in the 28th minute through their captain Marek Hamsik, and for the second time in a row, Napoli ran riot. An unlucky own goal from Mario Gomez put Napoli into the lead for the first time in the game, and the sudden confidence boost was taken by Callejon who scored very early in the second half and a big Napoli win just wouldn't be the same with out a goal from their left winger Dries Mertens. A parried Callejon shot fell to his feet and struck it into the empty net, making the score 4-1.

Napoli ran down the clock, and the Viola's had no way back, despite any attempts to break forward or get an attack going on the counter. Napoli took away the points after another amazing game for them and went were now seven points clear at the top...And no one had any games in hand to play.

Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
10 yearsEdited

Napoli made to fight for 1st in slip up


It's been the best Champions League group campaign that Baggio and his side could have hoped for. Qualification means that the next game against Manchester City wouldn't really matter, but top spot and an easier draw was up for grabs. A 1-0 win for Napoli would take them to the top of the group, however even a draw for City would see them on their way out as champions of group D.

It didn't take long for Manchester City to break through when Yaya Toure slotted away a through ball from Spanish magician David Silva, from here Napoli feared the worst, but it took only eleven minutes for the Azzurri to draw themselves level with a goal coming from Gonzalo Higuain.
Just five minutes later, City would again take the lead for the second time in the game with a curling shot from Sandro inside the box.

This time, City managed to hold their nerve for a little longer, but not long enough. 76 minutes in, Callejon found his shooting boots and struck a Mertens cross home on the volley putting the scores right. The game remained 2-2, but even though they couldn't take top spot, Baggio would be happy with the fight and spirit of his side.

It was now time for an overachieving Bologna to face up against the Partenopei...Away.
Bologna, would now be the first side, to put Napoli to the sword away from home all season, and inflict a damaging defeat on them since the Juventus game.

Napoli didn't help themselves, giving a penalty away in the 1st minute, and the penalty was fired home by Cristaldo, a rising wonderkid that Baggio has been said to be scouting. In the 24th minute, Napoli gave away another penalty, this time it was certainly a debatable one however you can't fault the taker...Bianchi raised the roof with a placed shot in the top corner. You can't help but feel Napoli would have taken the lead from 1-0 as they have done so many times this season had they not have been penalized for a second time.

Livorno was next, the team with many, many Inter loanees in their starting 11. They escaped the game with a draw, their goal coming first, 6 minutes in by Siligardi, they were not long after brought back down to earth with a Federico Fernandez headed goal 10 minutes later, and a missed penalty 5 minutes after the equalizer would become a real dent in their confidence.

Napoli were looking ready to take the lead in the second half, but as we have seen so many times from this team, the poor disciplinary record came back to haunt them with Inler getting sent off in the 66th minute of the game. Napoli would once again feel hard done by.

Now the last game of the section you would expect to be a big challenge. But not this time. Roma would prove to be a really surprising push over. With a first half goal from the vastly improved Rodrigo Gomez, Roma would be a little shaken, they held on for the rest of the first half, but Dries Mertens could only give his team the two goal cushion late on in the 77th minute.

Then striker Higuain finished them off with a blinder from 30 yards out, which hit the top corner in about a nano second after leaving his boot.

Napoli completed a well earned victory to stop the slide, but let's be honest, it wasn't the hardest game going...Are we going to see them slide in the coming weeks against bigger sides? Is this team just an overachieving squad that are going to eventually mud slide back to where they were predicted each year? ...Mid-table?

A creditable draw against City there Aaron! Disappointing to see you lose against Bologna but a very good away win against Roma!
Disappointing result against Bologna but a good draw against City and a great result to Rima!
Nice update too Aaron :D
Nice results, good luck mate in next week, will follow how much i will can. Oh, and like updates style.

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