The Partenopei’s chase at the top was slowed down by an organised Fiorentina ...
The Partenopei started intensely but soon faded as Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men found their feet in the opening period. Going into the game off a wave of enthusiasm, Napoli failed to live up to their billing as they found themselves in front of a well organised Fiorentina outfit.
After the break the Partenopei looked to pick up the pace but there proved to be no joy as they failed to open up the visitors as they lacked a spark in attack. The result enabled Napoli to consolidate second place but handed further control to Milan who will look to stretch their lead at the top away to Lecce on Sunday evening.
The game started at an electric pace as the home side took to the field buoyed on by the enthusiasm of a packed Stadio San Paolo.
After an early period of Napoli domination the visitors eventually found their feet. Fiorentina were well organised from front to back and Walter Mazzarri’s side began to take a more measured approach as they looked to find a path to goal.
The first real scoring chance came on 35 minutes when Paolo Cannavaro was served just metres out following a pinpoint cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi. Fortunately for the visitors the Napoli captain was caught by surprise and he failed to make contact with the ball allowing Artur Boruc to smother the danger.
Shortly before the break Adem Ljajic had a golden chance to test Morgan De Sanctis between the sticks but he sprayed his effort high over the bar from 15 yards. It was a clear indication as to the balance of the encounter and the Viola were in no mood to park the bus as they went in search of an opener.
After the re-start the sides became more and more stretched as they threw caution to the wind in search of an opener. The Napoli faithful were rather frustrated by their side and they nervously whistled the Viola who started to look threatening going forward.Lorenzo De Silvestri worked out a decent scoring chance on the hour mark, but the former Lazio man planted his effort over the bar after having broken through enemy lines at pace.
Fiorentina again when close shortly after when Marco Donadel sprayed just wide of the post following a well taken drive from distance.
Napoli sprang back into life in the closing stages as they pushed forward at pace down the flanks. Lacking the final pass however, the Partenopei were unable to serve the Cavani on frequent occasion and the Viola goal remained largely unthreatened.
The result proved frustrating for the Azzurri who were hoping to consolidate their second place a week on from the destruction of Juventus. The point did little to improve Fiorentina’s position in mid-table, but the Viola will take courage from the performance given the recent form of their high flying opposition.