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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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Josh: Cheers mate, we'll fight to the bitter end ;)
Max: Cheers mate, yes it is, I mean they don't have the best of players but as a squad they work together very well.
Neal: Bloody embarrassing! ;) But other than that it wasn't bad. Just need to keep up the form in the next ten games :)
Walter: I know I use Neal's style but this is solely because I have picked up on the fact that his style has gotten him a very long way ;) Don't worry, i am planning to mix it up next season! And thank you ;)
Sott: Sorry about that mate, I forgot to take screenshots for the league so had to update six games in one! It is much bigger than the usual updates I write so don't worry about that ;)
Just caught up on this...if you can keep your form up till the end of the season, that title is yours! Good luck buddy!

Heart break for Napoli in cup clash

It had so far been a terrific campaign for Napoli, equaling four wins and two draws in what could have been seen as the 'group of death'. Many expected Napoli to finish rock bottom of the group but they defied the odds and earned themselves second place in the group, below Man City who only topped the group on goal difference.

Then, the Champions League draw for the next round came along and Napoli were given a very tricky test against Manchester united. They would be pushed to the limit in this game, however if they could perform as they did at City but keep solidity, they would be just fine.

Now, this was far from the case. Just six minutes into the game Juan Mata scored a goal to put his side in front, and Napoli would already have a lot of work on their hands, and even more work when Jefferson farfan scored a 30 minute free kick to make the score 2-0.

Napoli did get their own back two minutes later with a goal from Lorenzo Insigne who broke free of his marker, Chris Smalling to tap a Jose Callejon cross into the open net.

In the 60th minute, Behrami was sent off for the second game in a row, and left Napoli with almost no hope, and it looked that way when Mata scored a vital 3rd goal for his side when a lovely chipped ball came over from Rooney.

The scoring was rounded off with another goal from Napoli, this time just one minute after the United goal. Insigne again in the 67th minute put his side with in reaching distance of United giving his team a glimmer of hope when they would travel to Old Trafford in a weeks time.

So now all Napoli had to do in this next game was score two goals. With three away goals for Manchester United, one goal wouldn't be enough and United would go through, but a 2-0 win for the Azzurri and they would be in the pot for the quarter final draw.

But, as expected it was United's game from start to finish. They weren't so great in the first half as either side had their fair share of good chances, Napoli with the best of them. But it was in the second half that United really turned on the style.

A corner was conceded in the 55th minute and as they had done for three previous times Napoli would line up as normal and attempt to get the ball on the counter attack, but for this one time, the ball was floated into the box at the back post to an unmarked Chris Smalling who made no mistake in making the aggregate lead 4-2.

Just three minutes later, Napoli conceded a rash penalty. Something that has been a rather annoying occurrence for the Napoli fas and boss. Just as usual, Van Persie would take and the clinical finisher made it 2-0 from the spot.

Unless Napoli could take home a 5-2 win, they would be out, and with just ten minutes to go, this seemed extremely and obviously unlikely, and more so when they were pushed further down into the mud by a rampant Manchester United team. Van Persie took advantage of the fatigue in the Partenopei's squad, and his clear cut chance was taken well as the ball flew past the keeper with power to win them the two legged tie 6-2.
Tough loss, but Manchester United are obviously a really good team. You'll bounce back next year, but now you must return your focus to the Scudetto race! :)

Inconsistency the problem at Napoli, can they hold on?


After a heartbreaking encounter against Manchester United, Napoli would now return to the Serie A with a frustrating inconsistency. The key to seeing out this title win would be to win game after game, and to keep the consistency which is quite obvious, but it is seemingly easier said than done with Napoli.

Their first game back would be played away at Chievo and after travelling hundreds of miles to England, they'd now be heading up to the north of Italy, where fatigue was really expected to kick in.

As expected, it clearly did. Although putting in a decent performance they just could not break the deadlock. Both teams had their fair share of good chances but it was Napoli who had the most and who were the best, but both strikers, Zapata and Higuain just couldn't find the net.

Thankfully for them, neither could Chievo and they managed to take away a point for this exciting run in for the title.

With a point at Chievo, it was an underachieving Sampdoria at home now and as expected Napoli did run out with the three points in the bag with a spectacular effort from everyone of their players.

Jose Callejon got the game going with a first minute goal, but Sampdoria responded well with goal from Eder, but then ten minutes later Callejon scored another, with a beautiful goal with a curling effort from just a little outside the outside the box on 18 minutes.

Dries Mertens, made it three with what must be his tenth goal from a free kick this season, and Sampdoria just couldn't react and dug themselves a deeper hole when Hamsik scored the fourth and last goal of the game late on, ten minutes before time.

Now, it was time for the big one. A.C. Milan vs Napoli, one of the biggest games this season, if Napoli won even with seven games left they'd be guaranteed the title, when you consider their form this season it is obvious they will pick up at least 15 points in 7. The teams they have to play include, Verona, Bologna, Udinese, and Torino.

It was Napoli who went up into the lead first in just two minutes. Mertens broke free of his defender and he was met by a lovely through ball from Stanciu, and he powered it into the top corner.

Not ten minutes later he scored again, with almost an identical goal as the last however this time it was Matuidi's through ball, 2-0 on 11 minutes it was. What a perfect start.

They lasted three minutes with their 2-0 cushion. Milan got themselves back into the game on 15 minutes through their star striker balotelli who pounced on a low cross from Kaka to make it 2-1, could they get back into it?

Well, they lasted less time than Napoli did with their lead, one minute later Mertens secured the fastest ever Napoli hattrick under Baggio in jut 16 minutes. He picked up the ball outside of the box and lashed one at the top corner, it needed help from the post but a goal is a goal and it was now 3-1.

Stunned by the exciting Napoli attack, (Or so it seemed) A.C. Milan looked dazed by the instant impact Mertens had on the game and it was thought that Napoli would get even more, and they did...Just not before Milan. A Napoli attack led to Kaka bursting out of his half when the clearance from Constant met the attacker, Robinho curled a quality through ball to Robinho and the striker beat Balanta for pace and he lobbed it over the keeper and into the net to make it 3-2. Napoli nearly saw themselves out into halftime 3-2 up, but had they not mistakenly let Balotelli through on goal to score a 3rd, what happened might next might never have occured.

Dries Mertens scored again 10 minutes into the second half latching onto a parried Callejon shot to make it 4-3 and Napoli were now looking even better than before, even in defense. They held out until the 81st minute but could not keep Milan out any longer and Ocampos scored the 8th goal of the game.

Now, as we all know, Napoli's disciplinary record has been shameful, certainly nothing to bost about and once again it came back to bite them on the arse when Behrami got picked up his 5th red of the season six minutes from time and A.C. Milan took advantage. Two minutes later a cross was whipped in and defender Constant was there to fire it in like a bullet. 5-4 was the final score.

Well, the Champions league defeat should help you concentrate all efforts on the Serie A. Go for it! :D
Yeah what As4 said, The loss in the UCL will let you concentrate on the league and making sure you secure that title!
Neal, Zero and AS4: Yes, leaving the UCL is definitely a hand for us in the title race but personally I felt we could have gone further as well as winning the title :) Anyway, CL looks certain for next year so we wil try, try and try again!!

Napoli on verge of first title since 1990!!


Knowing that 3 wins and a draw would see themselves home and dry with a title in their fairly dusty cabinet, Napoli would face Torino in their first of the last seven games, and Baggio would not be taking anything lightly against the relegation battlers. Torino had everything to play for being a huge six points from safety and it would be far from easy for the Partenopei.

Now, given the record with Napoli and penalties you'd expect one to go against the Azzurri but in the 14th minute the pressure had already gotten to strugglers Torino as Pasquale took down Mertens in the box to earn himself a second yellow card in under 15 minutes. Inler stepped up to the plate, and prodded it home neatly.

We had to wait a while for the second of the goal of the game, 60 minutes in Napoli had themselves in with a chance of a second as Hamsik swung the ball in from the corner, one head, two head...BALANTA! The big Colombian netted yet another bullet header this season to make it two.

It didn't take as long for a third, Napoli finished the route with a blast from Higuain who stamped the Toro further into the mud when he netted home a volley into the top corner from a lovely cross from Insigne.

Next, it was yet another relegation battler...Surprisingly it was Udinese and yet again Napoli came out of the blocks attacking with serious intensity and it wasn't long before they got the first through Callejon six minutes in.

Then on the brink of half time Insigne had the chance to make it 2-0 from the free kick, and took the opportunity brilliantly with a spectacular swerving effort from the left winger. The ball curled around the outside of the wall went straight into the top corner.

Udinese were crumbling to bits now in the second half and it was clear to see with the nervousness of their play, Napoli were going all out attack and udinese couldn't handle them. Even Balanta was up for a Mertens cross and he managed to get a nod on it to see it in the back of the net for 3-0.

80 minutes in, it was a chance for 4-0. Inler picked up a pass from Insigne on the half way line and away they were with another attack, Hamsik received the ball from Inler and with one little flick Higuain was in on goal, he took it round the keeper but was clipped at the ankle by the keepers hands, a penalty was the end result in this situation. Inler once again for the second game stepped up...And it was another goal. 4-0 and Udinese were back in the red.

Despite the last two wins, the next would be an even tougher challenge with Fiorentina making there way to the San Paulo. It would be a tough game and everyone knew it, but a win for Napoli would see them within a point of clasping the title.

Napoli kicked off and to begin with were shaky, Fiorentina in the first few minutes attacked, and attacked and attacked and eventually it paid off three minutes in. A cross from Joaquin on the right bent around each Napoli defender meeting an out reached Giuseppe Rossi right foot which was enough to make it 1-0.

From then on it was all Napoli, they reacted well but just couldn't get any luck in the final third until the beginning of the second half. Hamsik passed the ball to Higuain who did his best to hold up the play, one quick glance was enough to throw the ball over the head of a Fiorentina left back to meet Callejon who struck it into the top corner. Napoli couldn't get a second but what this meant was 3 points against Bologna would mean the title would come home with the Partenopei.

But as we all know, Bologna were the first team to end a great unbeaten run for Napoli and it'd be a tough ask for Napoli to win like they have against the likes of Udinese and Torino, but nevertheless they would go out fighting.

Or would they? Well they started the better side and were looking brilliant up until 20 minutes. They were on the attack and a long shot from Hamsik deflected off a Bologna defender, Bologna won it back and the speed off Cristaldo was immense and he managed to get on on one with Reina after seeing himself pass Albiol the last defender. He cooly finished into the left bottom corner.

Nevertheless. Napoli still fought for the points and were given a glimmer of hope for a win when Higuain burst past the Bologna defense to meet with a fantastic killer ball from Stanciu, on his first touch he directed it in the other direction to put the goal in the bottom corner for 1-1, but another goal could not be found by either team. This meant that still, just one win from three and napoli would take home the 2013/14 season, they even had a game in hand.

Don't do a Liverpool! :P

Napoli - Serie A Champions 2013/14


We are now approaching the end of the season and with three games left to play, it already looks like we have our Serie A champions, Napoli. The Partenopei have been in brilliant form all season in both the Serie A and the Champions League, not so much the Italian Cup but I am sure they will look to build on their disappointing exit next season. There is still three games left to play, and all Napoli would need is two points to clinch the title. They haven't lost three games in a row all season and realistically it would take something disastrous like that to happen for them to miss out on their first league title since 1990.

The first of the last three was Livorno, and as expected they did fall victims to the Azzurri, as they were crowned Serie A champions for the first time in 24 years. It was Rodrigo who gave his form the lead with a stunning header, the ball was lashed in from Insigne and Gomez was on the end of it to make the score 1-0.

45 minutes later in the last minute of the game, Higuain came up with the goods he'd been producing for this second half of the season with a lovely solo effort, he took on three defenders after receiving a great long ball from Balanta and as he took on the last man he instinctively chipped over the keeper sealing his club the Serie A title.

The celebrations of course continued all throughout the night and the constant chants from the Napoli 'ultras' could be heard all across Livorno as they refused to leave the Armando Picchi, opting to sing long into the night supporting their team. Back in Napoli, it grew late and swarms of Napoli fans clogged the streets and for hours on end the only thing that could be heard was the screams and shouts of Partenopei fans which bounced from roof to roof creating a cauldron of pure passion.

There was however two more games to be played, but Napoli didn't let it slight, complacency was not an issue. They carried out the remaining games with complete professionalism starting with Roma who were the next team to bleed out a loss at the home of the Serie A champions.

The only goal of the game came 55 minutes in from defender Albiol. Surprisingly, it was his defensive partner that set him up. A corner came in from the right and was headed on out of the box by Balanta and with one sweet connection from Albiol the ball flew into the top corner from 25 yards! A stunning goal which earned the Napoli defender goal of the month.

The final game of the season was played at Verona, nine minutes into the game it was insigne who broke the short lived deadlock with a free kick from 25 yards, he belted one right over the wall and into the top corner which actually earned himself second place in goal of the month.

Luca Toni then scored late on when a scruffy clearance was made by Albiol, he missed his kick completely and fell to Toni who had to just direct it goal ward to make the score 1-1.

But, what better way too end a season than for captain fantastic to score the final goal, the final winner in the final minute of the game. Yes...Marek Hamsik could be seen darting down the middle of the pitch to reach a fantastically placed long ball from Inler, Hamsik saw it all the way to his right foot and on the volley passed it into the back of the net to make the score 2-1.

It has been a fantastic season for Napoli. A few ups and downs, more in the middle of the season, they slipped up to teams they should have been beating, at home as well, and even left the Italian cup early to Cesena. Manchester united wiped the floor with them in the Champions League round of 16 but in the end, there was glory for Baggio's new side. Glory that they definitely deserved...The Serie A title.

Great result mate! well done!
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
10 yearsEdited

A new giant in football?

It's been a long but very successful first season at Napoli for Roberto Baggio, and the supporters of Napoli will have been enjoying the recent capture of their third ever Serie A title, even the players have been given time off after their spectacular efforts to make Napoli the top team in Italy this year.

But how did Napoli play out their first season under Napoli? What lead them to becoming the new Serie A champions? Well, they started off with two wins in their first two games against Genoa and Inter before falling victims to arch rivals Juventus in their third game.

From then on they carried the good form with 13 wins from 18 games, and the remaining five games coming in as draws. Two of those in the Champions League, both to City. They had earned themselves a bucket load of points ready for the second half of the season where they found themselves on a bit of a slip and slide. After the 18 game unbeaten run they lost to Bologna at home and then lost to Verona in their second game back to the Serie A after going out of the Italian cup early to Cesena.

They got back to winning ways though and in their remaining 19 league games they lost just twice and drew four times to gain an extra 41 points which won them the title by 8 points. They were also knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 against Manchester united.

So, where could Napoli improve on and off the pitch? Well no doubt they were brilliant all through the season and scored 78 goals to Juventus' 63 however they managed to concede an amount of 39 goals whereas Juventus only saw 24 hit the back of their own net. Any champion SHOULD have a solid defense but in Napoli's case they were shaky all season in the back line and this needs to be improved.

The two full backs are the main problem. With no real attacking or even proper sturdy defensive threat it is a wonder they managed to win the league with Reviellere and Flanagan rotating in the back line. Nicola Murru is a confirmed signing already for Napoli. The left back was bought on a free in January but the Partenopei had to wait the rest of the season until he joined the club officially from Cagliari.

No other players have been identified as 'done deals' but some defensive targets have been identified in the form of De Sciglio and Dodo who have both been on Napoli's as well as Baggio's radar for a vast amount of time.

The centre of midfield is also pretty bare, when we say bare we mean of talent. Napoli have a Bertolacci and Carvalho who both look like stars for the future however players like Inler, Behrami, and Matuidi who in recent years have been top quality but the season just ended will be one to forget for the three midfielders despite their Serie A winners medals. All three of them combined have notched up 16 red cards for the season and 40+ yellows. As far as performances are concerned neither of the three have ever stepped up big time which is something Napoli need in terms of the centre of the park.

Writers have said that Pedro Obiang could be a Napoli player as early as the second day of the transfer window and one young talent could be on his way from recently relegated side udinese for as little as 7 million Euros.

The next season will be possibly a lot harder than the last. The main aim for the Azzurri will be to hit the ground running this next season and if they can get something good out of it, a piece of silverwear perhaps. Maybe, just maybe we shall see a new giant rising from the ashes in football.
Congratulations on the Serie A win, and sweet updates!

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