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Key Events

Mário Rui
Red Card
H. Lozano
Yellow Card
A. Grassi
Yellow Card
V. Osimhen
0 - 2
A. Ismajli
Own Goal
0 - 1

Match Stats

45% 54%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 6
Total Passes 408 474
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Napoli NAP Napoli 37 27 6 4 75 28 +47 87 D W L W D
2 Lazio LAZ Lazio 38 22 8 8 60 30 +30 74 W W W D L
3 Internazionale INT Internazionale 38 23 3 12 71 42 +29 72 W W L W W
4 Milan MIL Milan 37 19 10 8 61 42 +19 67 W W L W D
5 Atalanta ATA Atalanta 37 18 7 12 61 46 +15 61 L W L L W
6 Roma ROM Roma 37 17 9 11 48 37 +11 60 L D D L D
7 Juventus JUV Juventus 37 21 6 10 55 33 +22 59 L L W W W
8 Fiorentina FIO Fiorentina 38 15 11 12 53 43 +10 56 W W D W L
9 Torino TOR Torino 38 14 11 13 42 41 +1 53 L W D W D
10 Monza MON Monza 37 14 10 13 46 47 -1 52 L W W D D
11 Bologna BOL Bologna 37 13 12 12 50 47 +3 51 D W D D L
12 Udinese UDI Udinese 37 11 13 13 47 47 0 46 L L L W D
13 Sassuolo SAS Sassuolo 38 12 9 17 47 61 -14 45 L D L L D
14 Empoli EMP Empoli 38 10 13 15 37 49 -12 43 L D W D W
15 Salernitana SAL Salernitana 38 9 15 14 48 62 -14 42 L W D W L
16 Lecce LEC Lecce 37 8 12 17 31 43 -12 36 W D D L L
17 Spezia SPE Spezia 37 6 13 18 30 60 -30 31 L D W L L
18 Hellas Verona VER Hellas Verona 37 7 10 20 30 56 -26 31 D L L W L
19 Cremonese CRE Cremonese 38 5 12 21 36 69 -33 27 W L L L W
20 Sampdoria SAM Sampdoria 37 3 10 24 24 69 -45 19 D L D L L


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That concludes our commentary of the Serie A fixture between Empoli and Napoli! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Empoli are back in action in a week, when they travel to play Monza. Napoli return home to welcome Lazio to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Friday.
A red card midway through the second half was inconsequential to the result in the end, as Napoli see out their two-goal advantage from the first half to take all three points away from the Carlo Castellani. Empoli tightened up their set-piece defence in the second half but it was a bit too late, with Ismajli’s own goal and Osimhen’s finish in the first half enough to seal the result. Spalletti reacted to Rui’s red card at the 67th minute by making a raft of changes, resting key players and tightening up in the midfield to control the tempo despite the man disadvantage. Empoli rarely threatened Meret and should be disappointed they didn’t do more after the sending-off, despite the quality of opposition. The win puts Napoli 18 points clear of Inter while Empoli stay 12th.
90' + 5' Napoli have kept a clean sheet in their last three league matches and could go for four in a row without conceding for a second time under Spalletti (also four in October 2021).
T. Ndombélé
P. Zieliński
90' + 3' Ndombele gets a chance to play in injury time, relieving Zielinski.
G. Gaetano
A. Zambo Anguissa
90' + 3' Gaetano will also get a chance to stretch his legs. Anguissa is the player to make way.
90' + 1' The fourth official indicates six minutes will be added to the end of the game for stoppages.
89' Empoli take a corner-kick quickly looking to catch Napoli off-guard but after successfully switching play from left to right, Caputo’s cross into the middle is easily deflected by Anguissa, which provides an easy catch for Meret.
87' Elmas only has eyes for goal as he stands over a Napoli free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area, sending his attempt over the wall but up and over the crossbar as well.
G. Simeone
V. Osimhen
84' Osimhen is given an early rest, replaced by Simeone with five minutes to go.
84' Napoli have been very effective in limiting the opposition’s chances following the sending-off, with Empoli firing just two shots total in the second half while maintaining just over 40 per cent possession.
82' GREAT SAVE! Elmas dinks a pass into the path of Osimhen, who scuffs a shot towards goal from eight yards out. Off his line and falling backwards, Vicario manages to deny the striker with a save using the studs of his boot!
81' Grassi gives the ball away cheaply in midfield, with Anguissa profiting before playing a square pass to Elmas. In search of a goal, the substitute hits his shot at the first time of asking and wins a corner for his efforts.
79' Zielinski lays the free-kick off to Osimhen, who drags his shot from distance wayward.
78' Vignato runs across Zielinski clumsily and sends him to the floor, giving Napoli a free-kick in a promising position 30 yards from goal.
E. Vignato
M. Satriano
77' Vignato is introduced with 13 minutes remaining. Satriano makes way.
M. Pjaca
N. Haas
76' A winger comes in for a midfielder as Pjaca selected to replace Haas.
75' Napoli have scored the most goals in the last 15 minutes of play in Serie A this season (13), on the other hand, only Cremonese (11) have conceded more than Empoli (10) during this period.
73' Napoli looked to be in cruise control but will have a very awkward 17 minutes ahead of them as they look to see out the game. Rui’s red card was a completely unnecessary lashing out, which has hamstrung his side - not to mention the full-back will miss the Partenopei’s match with Lazio next week.
E. Elmas
K. Kvaratskhelia
71' Kvaratskhelia also makes way as Spalletti tasks Elmas with seeing out the remainder of the contest.
M. Olivera
H. Lozano
70' Lozano comes off to be replaced by a full-back, with Olivera sent onto the pitch in his stead.
P. Stojanović
T. Ebuehi
68' Stojanovic comes on for Ebuehi immediately after the red card.
Mário Rui
Red Card
67' RED CARD! NAPOLI DOWN TO 10! During Caputo’s medical check on the pitch, the referee goes across to have a look at his monitor. Upon replay, it’s clear that the damage done to Caputo was caused by Rui’s kick-out following the coming-together, with his foot landing in a very sensitive area of the striker’s body. Without hesitation, the match official comes back to the pitch and shows the red card to the full-back, leaving the visitors a man light.
67' Play is stopped temporarily for Caputo, who has come off worse for wear after a coming-together with Rui. The striker seems to be winded 10 minutes after coming on but he should be okay to continue after a medical check.
65' Luperto’s clearance is unconvincing and it allows Zielinski to steal in and win the ball back in midfield but Rui’s ensuing cross is easily dealt with by Ismajli.
H. Lozano
Yellow Card
63' Lozano kicks out at Parisi frustratedly and earns a yellow card for the infraction.
A. Grassi
Yellow Card
62' Grassi is shown a yellow card five minutes after coming onto the pitch for a foul on Zielinski and his subsequent aggression towards the referee.
61' OSIMHEN SCORES BUT IT WON’T COUNT! Lobotka plays a lovely ball over the top of the defence for Osimhen, who attacks the space between the two defenders and latches onto the end of the pass. Bearing down on goal, the Nigeria international scuffs an off-balance shot that beats Vicario but an offside in the build-up keeps it 2-0 for the visitors!
59' Napoli opt to go for a standard corner-kick this time, with Zielinski hoisting it into the penalty area but the Empoli defence are ready for the test, getting it away at the first time of asking.
A. Grassi
L. Henderson
57' Grassi is also introduced, with Henderson making way.
F. Caputo
R. Piccoli
57' Caputo comes on for Piccoli in Empoli's first change of the game.
55' Napoli work a lovely move just outside the 18-yard box with Di Lorenzo, Lozano and Lobotka all moving passing and moving to free Anguissa inside the penalty area. Unfortunately for the midfielder however, the final pass is put a bit too far, allowing Parisi to win it back.
53' CLOSE! Lozano drives a shot just wide of the far post after Anguissa’s backheel lay-off plays the winger into space inside the penalty area.
51' Empoli have lost only one of their nine Serie A home meetings with Napoli (2-3 on March 19th, 2017), winning four and drawing four –having kept a clean sheet in their first four, they have both scored and conceded in each of the last five.
49' Aguissa drives a low, powerful strike from 20 yards out that forces Vicario into a full-stretch dive to protect his post despite the effort whistling narrowly wide.
47' Satriano takes advantage of a mistake from Rui and sends a lovely cross to the edge of the six-yard box for Piccoli, whose shot is blocked behind for a corner by a closely watching Rrahmani.
46' Napoli get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Empoli will need a spark from the bench if they are to overhaul the two-goal deficit, with Zanetti able to rely on Pjaca and the veteran Caputo from the bench. The hosts have been very positive despite the score and will need to continue getting forward confidently to turn the game into a contest in the second half. On the back of a midweek game in European competition, Spalletti will no doubt look to preserve the clean sheet and make significant changes to give some of his more key players a rest.
A rampant Napoli charge to a two-goal lead at the half, with Ismajli’s own goal after 17 minutes added to just before the half-hour mark by Osimhen; with both goals coming from corners. Both sides appeared to be ready for an open game, with Empoli doing their best to get the ball up the pitch as quickly as possible and test Meret - to which the visitors responded in kind. Set-piece defending has been the undoing of Zanetti’s XI, with Zielinski, Rui and Kvaratskhelia combining to create chaos from corner and free-kicks.
45' The fourth official indicates one minute will be added to the end of the half for stoppages.
43' Lozano uses his pace to get down the right wing before chipping a cross into the six-yard box but Vicario asserts his dominance and gets to the ball first.
41' Napoli are controlling the pace of the game with five minutes left, keeping everything in front of them as they prod around for a third. The visitors have been dominant in the first half and thoroughly deserve their two-goal advantage.
39' Following their 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture, Napoli could keep a clean sheet in two successive Serie A meetings with Empoli for a second time, after their very first two games against them in the competition (1986/87).
37' Zielinski’s latest delivery from a corner-kick is drilled to Lozano on the far side, with the winger immediately crossing it back to the Poland international. He looks to work some space to shoot after a bit of juggling inside the 18-yard box but Luperto comes across to smash it away.
35' Henderson again strikes from range but he fails to trouble Meret this time, sending his wayward shot high over the crossbar.
34' GREAT SAVE! Luperto is caught in possession just outside his penalty area, with Lozano applying the pressure. The winger manages to poke the ball free to Osimhen on the penalty spot but Vicario charges off his line and makes himself big to block the close-range shot!
32' Napoli look to be taking their time with a quarter-hour left to go in the half, dropping the tempo slightly for the first time all game. Fully in control of the score, they can afford to have spells of slow possession before hitting with pace seemingly on command.
30' Napoli start the match with three former Empoli players in the starting XI, with Zielinski and Rui named alongside current Partenopei captain Di Lorenzo. The trio join Spalletti, who was a player at the Castellani as well as their coach in two different spells in the 1990s.
V. Osimhen
28' ANOTHER GOAL FROM A SET-PIECE! 2-0 NAPOLI! Zielinski and Rui work a short-corner routine to Kvaratskhelia on the edge of the penalty area. The winger curls a right-footed shot towards the far corner that’s parried by Vicario into the path of the oncoming Osimhen. From there it’s a simple tap-in for the league’s top scorer, who doubles his side’s advantage!
27' Rui is again tasked with the set-piece but his delivery is unable to reach Osimhen thanks to Luperto’s headed intervention, putting it out for a throw-in on the opposite side.
L. Henderson
Yellow Card
25' Henderson is shown the first yellow card of the match for being a bit too physical in a tussle with Osimhen on the wing, grabbing his shirt before tugging him down to the turf.
24' Osimhen goes down in the centre-circle after an apparent tug of the arm by Luperto but despite the striker’s protestations, the referee urges the player back to his feet and allows the game to continue.
22' The ensuing set-piece is whipped into the near post but again the goalkeeper gets to it first to help out his defence.
21' Henderson drives a low shot towards the bottom corner from 25 yards out, forcing Meret across his line quickly to turn it behind for a corner.
19' Marin takes a corner looking to get Empoli back level immediately but Meret confidently steps off his line to clear the ball with a two-handed punch.
A. Ismajli
Own Goal
17' NAPOLI TAKE THE LEAD! OWN GOAL! 1-0! Rui’s corner is headed away by Ismajli but only as far as Kvaratskhelia on the far edge of the penalty area. The Georgia international hooks a back-post cross over to Zielinski, whose low cross is put past Vicario by Ismajli, who turns it into his own net!
16' Di Lorenzo’s cross is repelled by Luperto immediately, with the centre-back’s clearance narrowly leading to a counter-attacking opportunity. Rrahmani does well near the touchline though, thwarting Piccoli’s attempt.
14' Osimhen plays a lovely pass around the corner for Lozano, who twists and turns to get away from Parisi. The winger eventually puts a low cross into the area after winning an inch of space but Osimhen is unable to gather the pass and turn as Empoli scramble it away.
12' Satriano finds Haas in a pocket of space but Rui’s quick closing down forces a decision out of the midfielder, who hits a speculative shot from a long way out that fails to trouble Meret.
10' Kvaratskhelia and Zielinski combine with a lovely one-two move down the left wing but the Poland international’s final delivery to the edge of the penalty area is lacking, allowing Marin to regain possession for the hosts.
8' Vicario punches Rui’s corner away from inside the six-yard box but Kvaratskhelia gathers the loose ball, hitting a half-volley that sails wide of the target.
6' Osimhen latches onto Di Lorenzo’s threaded pass and looks to hit a sliding effort towards Vicario but Ismajli matches the forward stride-for-stride and blocks the shot, preventing his goalkeeper from being called into action.
4' Marin ambitiously looks to hit the target with his free-kick from a long way out, sending it harmlessly over the crossbar.
3' Parisi slips past Lozano with a lovely move on the left wing before going down under a challenge from the Mexico international. It’s an early free-kick for the hosts in a good position to challenge the Napoli penalty area.
1' Empoli get the match under way from the kick-off!
Napoli make three alterations from the side that beat Sassuolo 2-0 last Friday. Rui replaces Olivera at left-back, while Zielinski returns to the side ahead of Elmas. The final change is on the wing, where Lozano takes over from Politano.
Empoli make five changes from the XI that earned a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina last time out. Parisi comes in for Cacace at left-back, while Henderson and Hass replace Filippo Bandinelli and Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro in midfield - both of whom are suspended. Both strikers are also changed, with Piccoli and Satriano starting ahead of Caputo and the injured Nicolo Cambiaghi.
NAPOLI SUBS: Mathias Olivera, Pierluigi Gollini, Gianluca Gaetano, Giovanni Simeone, Diego Demme, Karim Zedadka, Eljif Elmas, Bartosz Bereszynski, Leo Ostigard, Tanguy Ndombele, Davide Marfella, Juan Jesus, Alessio Zerbin, Matteo Politano.
NAPOLI XI (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Min-Jae Kim, Mario Rui; Andre-Frank Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Hirving Lozano, Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
EMPOLI SUBS: Alberto Grassi, Jacopo Fazzini, Liberato Cacace, Samuele Perisan, Duccio Degl’Innocenti, Lorenzo Tonelli, Petar Stojanovic, Koni De Winter, Sebastian Walukiewicz, Emanuel Vignato, Samir Ujkani, Marko Pjaca, Francesco Caputo.
EMPOLI XI (4-3-1-2): Guglielmo Vicario; Fabiano Parisi, Sebastiano Luperto, Ardian Ismajli, Tyronne Ebuehi; Liam Henderson, Razvan Marin, Nicolas Haas; Tommaso Baldanzi; Roberto Piccoli, Martin Satriano.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with our hosts!
Napoli’s 2-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday was their sixth in a row in all competitions; their last loss coming more than a month ago to Cremonese in the Coppa Italia. Already 15 points ahead of closest challengers Inter, Luciano Spalletti’s team also own the distinction of being the best attacking (2.4 goals per game) and best defensive (0.65 goals conceded per game) side in Serie A.
Empoli welcome league-leading Napoli to the Carlo Castellani, looking for a third win in four meetings with the Partenopei. Sitting comfortably in 12th - two positions better than their finish last year - Paolo Zanetti’s side are just four points away from Juventus in seventh despite registering just one win in their last five.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Serie A fixture between Empoli and Napoli!