Napoli 3-2 Bayern Munich: Insigne settles friendly encounter late on
In a rematch of the two 2011-12 Champions League group stage clashes, the Italian outfit eventually came out on top after first going a goal down and then being pegged back at 2-2
By Keeghann Sinanan
What threatened to be a typically uninspiring friendly turned out to be a back-and-forth encounter, with both sides able to create chances despite signs of rustiness and lethargy creeping in.
David Alaba gave the Bundesliga outfit the lead after 17 minutes before limping off with a suspected ankle injury later in the first half.
Napoli were able to draw level on the stroke of half-time, after an athletic finish from captain Paolo Cannavaro punished a sloppy piece of defending by Bayern.
The Italians took the lead in the second half through Goran Pandev, but Xherdan Shaqiri restored parity with a fantastic free-kick 15 minutes from time.
However, Lorenzo Insigne would have the last laugh, lashing home his own rebound to seal the victory for the Partenopei in the 83rd minute.
The Serie A side fired the first warning shot after three minutes through Juan Zuniga, whose tricky delivery from the right was punched over by keeper Tom Starke. From the resulting corner Cannavaro nodded just wide.
The Bavarians would survive the early scare, and began to stamp their authority on proceedings, with Arjen Robben at the heart of all things good in the attacking third. The Dutchman looked dangerous every time he was on the ball, and would play a part in the opening goal.
Rafinha's cross found the former Real Madrid man in a great position, and with two defenders rushing to block his shot, Alaba was given all the time he needed to collect the rebound and power home.
Robben was at it again moments after the restart, cutting in from the right flank and coaxing a fine stop from Antonio Rosati at the near post.
At the other end of the pitch, Starke would make an equally good save to thwart Blerim Dzemaili’s attempt from Andrea Dossena's delivery.
However, the Roten keeper was a mere spectator on Eduardo Vargas’ drive moments later, which flew agonizingly off target.
Bayern nearly doubled their advantage just past the half-hour mark, after a beautiful attacking sequence saw Alaba denied by Rosati, before Anatoliy Tymoshchuk fired off target from 20 yards out to waste a gilt-edged shooting opportunity.
However, Alaba would not last much longer, and succumbed to an ankle injury five minutes before the break, with Emre Can coming on in his stead.
That would not be the last piece of bad news for Bayern before the interval, with Napoli able to draw level with the last kick of the half.
Dossena's cross was headed clear rather unconvincingly by the defence and Cannavaro needed no second invitation, attacking the rebound with a scissor kick from 12 yards out to level the scores.
The second half really failed to spark into life, with both sides clearly reluctant to over-exert themselves in what was turning out to be a typical pre-season encounter.
Bayern were almost punished for their lacklustre approach as Eduardo Vargas broke free, but Diego Contento kept his concentration to thwart the Chilean as he bore down on goal.
However, he could do nothing to stop Zuniga on Napoli’s next attack just past the hour mark, as the Colombian surged past multiple bodies on the right to tee up Pandev for the simplest of finishes.
The hosts seemed to be in the ascendancy, but they were brought back down to earth by Shaqiri on 74 minutes, the Switzerland international curling a delightful free-kick into the top corner from 20 yards out.
But Insigne would restore their advantage for good with seven minutes to go, drilling home the rebound from his own blocked shot to end the challenge of Bayern once and for all.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- 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