Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
 
1 vs 0
Played
February 26, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio San Paolo — Napoli
Referee:‬ M. Bergonzi‎
Attendance:‬ 45000‎
 
 
Top of the Match
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Napoli
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Napoli
Flop of the Match
Diego Milito
Diego Milito
Inter
Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri

Napoli 1-0 Inter: Lavezzi strike increases pressure on Ranieri as Nerazzurri fall nine points behind third place

The Argentine international's effort condemned the Milan giants to a fifth straight defeat, plunging them further into crisis while the Azzurri climbed into the top five

By Kris Voakes

Napoli increased Inter's recent misery and piled more pressure on Nerazzurri coach Claudio Ranieri with a 1-0 Serie A victory at the San Paolo on Sunday.

Ezequiel Lavezzi grabbed the goal just before the hour mark, stroking a wonderful effort across Julio Cesar and into the far corner from the edge of the area to take his tally to four goals in three games over the past eight days.

The Azzurri had to see out the closing stages with 10 men after Salvatore Aronica’s sending-off, but Inter never looked like getting back level as they slumped to a fifth straight loss.

After Dejan Stankovic and Gokhan Inler exchanged early sighters, the game settled into a rather pedestrian pace in the opening quarter, with Napoli’s width giving Yuto Nagatomo and Marco Faraoni problems.

The first save of real note came on 24 minutes, when Julio Cesar had to go at full length to his left in order to keep out a stinging right-foot drive by Blerim Dzemaili. The Brazilian was then left standing moments later as Lavezzi swung in a magnificent free-kick from the right, but Edinson Cavani’s header wasn’t a clean one and just went the wrong side of the far post as a result.

Wesley Sneijder then came close to testing Morgan De Sanctis at the other end just before half-time. The Dutchman whipped in a wicked free kick which was just short of the necessary amount of curl, dropping agonisingly wide as the keeper scrambled to cover.

Claudio Ranieri made a very noteworthy double change at the break, replacing Sneijder and Diego Forlan with Ivan Cordoba and Giampaolo Pazzini. The switch meant an alteration in shape too, as a restructured Inter came out for the second half in a 3-5-2 formation.

But it was the Azzurri who made the first decent change after the restart, with Juan Zuniga’s cross from the left inviting Christian Maggio to head towards target, but the wing-back’s effort didn’t have enough on it and the ball flashed wide.

Inter failed to heed the warning, and with Napoli beginning to force themselves on their visitors, they soon took the lead.

Cavani picked up the ball and fed Dzemaili, who drove through the centre, holding off two men, before flicking a pass to Lavezzi. The ball didn’t run perfectly for the Argentine, yet he opened out his body and guided a beautiful shot inside the far post, leaving Julio Cesar with no chance.

As Inter looked to get back into the game, Pazzini made a good run to meet Nagatomo’s cross, but couldn’t adjust his feet quickly enough to get a shot on target.

They were given a boost in the 79th minute though, as Faraoni exposed Aronica at the back and was brought down by the centre-half. Referee Mauro Bergonzi had no doubt in his mind that it was a goalscoring opportunity, showing Aronica the red card.

However, the home side held out after Pazzini missed a free header from just seven yards with two minutes left on the clock, then an injury-time foul by Zuniga on the striker in the area went unpunished.

The win means Napoli climb up into fifth place after Roma’s heavy defeat to Atalanta earlier in the day. Inter, meanwhile, fall nine points off the podium, leaving them with much to do to claim a Champions League spot for 2012-13. They have now conceded 11 goals since they last scored themselves, intensifying speculation about Ranieri’s future.



Napoli

26
Morgan De Sanctis
Goalkeeper
3.00
-
2.50
14
Hugo Campagnaro
Defender
3.00
-
Paolo Cannavaro
Defender
3.50
11
Christian Maggio
Midfielder
3.00
18
Camilo Zúñiga
Midfielder
3.50
20
Blerim Dzemaili
Midfielder
59′ 89′
3.50
5
Walter Gargano
Midfielder
19′
3.50
88
Gökhan Inler
Midfielder
3.50
9
3.00
21
4.00

Inter

3.00
30
Julio César
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
2.50
33
Lúcio
Defender
3.00
25
3.00
55
2.00
10
3.00
10
2.50
19
2.50
-
2.00
10
2.50
22

Substitutes

22
Antonio Rosati
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
0.00
3
0.00
21
0.00
5
3.00
-
Edu Vargas
Striker
0.00
19
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
12
2.50
-
0.00
17
Angelo Palombo
Midfielder
3.00
16
Andrea Poli
Midfielder
66′ 77′
0.00
20
Joel Obi
Midfielder
2.50
11
0.00
9

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
19 0
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
17 2
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0