Vice-champion Lazio Roma inflicted their first league defeat on reigning champions Napoli on Saturday night. Nobody would have expected that before the game – and probably after the first 45 minutes as well.
The conditions could not have been more different, although on Saturday evening at the Diego Armando Maradona the reigning champions welcomed the reigning runners-up. But while Napoli had been convincing in their preparations, winning their first two games of the season, Lazio had lost both in Lecce (1:2) and at home to CFC Genoa (0:1)
And apart from one scene, the first 45 minutes suggested that the trend of both teams would continue. Napoli stormed off like fire, but Kvaratskhelia (3rd, 21st) and Osimhen (13th) lacked the final precision. Lazio had practically not taken place in the opponent’s final third until the 30th minute. And then the Himmelblauen suddenly scored a dream goal: Felipe Anderson pushed his way through the baseline and found Luis Alberto at the five-metre area, who put the ball into the short corner with a heel (30.).
It was a special goal for the Spaniard: only he and Giacomo Bonaventura have provided at least one goal and one assist in the past eight Serie A seasons. But Luis Alberto did not have long to rejoice: Napoli hit back furiously and were fortunate – Zielinski’s shot from the second line was deflected twice for the equaliser (32nd).
Napoli could have taken the lead before the break, but after great preparation by captain di Lorenzo, the advanced Olivera chased the ball over the crossbar (40.). After the break, Lazio acted more courageously and were quickly rewarded. Felipe Anderson found Kamada on the edge of the penalty area, who welded the ball into the bottom right corner from a half-left position (52nd). It was the first Serie A goal for the Japanese player, who left Eintracht Frankfurt on a free transfer in the summer.
Shortly afterwards, Kamada had to call it a day as Guendouzi, who had been signed on Deadline Day, was given an early chance to prove himself. And the Frenchman made impressive use of it: The ex-Herthanian first sent Zaccagni on his way, who beat Meret (67.), before Guendouzi himself put the ball into the top right corner (71.). A snag in what should have been a brilliant debut: both goals were conceded for offside.
Lindström has the equaliser on his foot at the last second
So it was still “only” 1:2 on Lindström’s debut in the 75th minute, but Napoli somehow had the plug pulled on them by Kamada’s goal. Nothing worked for the southern Italians anymore. Harmless offensively, vulnerable defensively – that’s how one had to describe Napoli’s inexplicable performance in the second half. Instead, Zaccagni again had the 3:1 on his foot, but just missed on the right (85th).
And so Lazio left the door open unnecessarily. Lindström almost went through, but after a pass from Juan Jesus, the Dane chased the ball over the crossbar from close range (90.+6). So the Serie A adventure begins for the former Frankfurt player with a damper.
The only team to take the full nine points from the first three games is Milan. After the international break, Napoli will have to show a different face to keep pace with the Rossoneri. Especially because three away games await: at CFC Genoa (16 September), in the top flight at Sporting Braga (20 September) and at FC Bologona at the end of September.