Napoli Escape with 3 Points into Serie A Winter Break After Win at Siena
To be honest, if you only watched the last 10 minutes of this game, you'd be better for it. The first 85 minutes were completely uninspiring and devoid of anything worth writing about.
A whole recap about this game may be the biggest Christmas miracle ever.
Nothing happened in the first half. No cards, three shots, and only one of those shots was on goal.
Things in the second half almost went the exact same way. After some substitutions, some more shots, it appeared that this game was going to end in a scoreless tie. This was the sort of showing that gives calcio a bad name.
After what had been an incredibly tough week for the Partenopei, two league points deducted and captain Paolo Cannavaro suspended for six months, a scoreless draw against last-place Siena would have all but completed this nightmare before Christmas for Mazzarri's side.
Luckily, they were able to pull it together at the very end.
In the 86th minute after a corner, Marek Hamsik, who wore his side's captain armband in Saturday's game, fed a pass in front to Christian Maggio who tapped it past Siena's Gianluca Pegolo.
Doubt was removed when Napoli's Goran Pandev was awarded a penalty in the 89th minute and Edinson Cavani converted to put his side up 2-0.
Napoli finished the match with 11 total shots; five were on goal. Siena had two total and none were on goal.
While the play throughout most of the game was atrocious, there were a few positives to take away for Napoli. Worst team in the league or not, Napoli defended incredibly well against Siena. In addition, Pandev looked as healthy as ever and was a huge spark for his side when he came on in the 69th minute.
Christian Maggio was crowned man-of-the-match, and Napoli escaped with three points.
Three very important points.
For Napoli and her fans, the next couple of months will be very interesting. How will this side push through the recent streak of ugly results and league penalties?
Will these players step up and show some sort of consistency match to match? Will additions be made in January?
The Azzurri faithful are certainly hoping so. This club is running out of time to prove to Cavani and other young talents on this team that the club is a contender, that it can be a true force in European football.
With the Serie A schedule they have right after the winter break, fans won't have to wait long to see how well this club will bounce back after a rough couple of months. They face Roma, Fiorentina and Parma in the month of January.
In mid-February Europa League play resumes as Napoli face off against Czech team Viktoria Plzen.
Strong wins against those sides could go a long way to prove that Napoli belongs in consideration with the great clubs in Italy.
After the first half, they still haven't made a strong case that they do.
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