In Serie A, Matias Vecino’s second-half goal gave Lazio a 1-0 victory over Napoli on Friday, snapping Napoli’s eight-game winning streak.
For the first time since October, Lazio has won three league games in a row. With 48 points, they are one point ahead of third-place Inter Milan and fourth-place AC Milan, both of whom have a game left.
- ESPN+ streams: LaLiga, Bundesliga, and more (U.S.) Napoli, who lead the league with 65 points, have only lost one league game this season, to Inter at home in January.
At a news conference, Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri stated, “We had to convince the boys that they could come here and get a result, and that’s a lot.” It’s hard to believe you can win when you read Napoli’s home numbers.
“I have the greatest enviousy of this Napoli team because they will win the title. Luciano Spalletti, the coach, has been fantastic.”
Vecino’s close-range header was brilliantly cleared off the line by Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who headed it over the bar. This prevented Lazio from taking the lead in the fifth minute.
Even though Napoli had more possession in the first half, Vecino’s attempt was the closest either team came to scoring, and the game remained goalless at halftime.
Piotr Zielinski, a Napoli midfielder, had a chance to give the hosts the lead just before the hour mark when he received a neat pass from Victor Osimhen on the edge of the box. However, his powerful low shot narrowly missed the goal.
Lazio at last started to lead the pack and fixed the success in the 67th moment through Vecino, who got a ball cleared by Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and sent a staggering first-time shot from a distance which went inside the left post.
Napoli pushed for an equalizer in the final 15 minutes, but they were unable to salvage a point despite numerous late chances, including an Osimhen header that hit the post.
Napoli were unbeaten in their past seven Serie A home games against Lazio (W6, D1), with their last such loss tracing all the way back to May 2015, under Rafael Benitez.
“The draw was the most fair and accurate option. Spalletti stated, “We accept that tonight went badly because it happened to us several times that we didn’t settle for a draw and we won.”
On March 11, they play sixth-placed Atalanta, and on March 15, they play Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 matchup, which they approach with a two-goal advantage over the first game.
On Tuesday, Lazio plays AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League. On March 11, they travel to Bologna in the Serie A. read more….