By Jerry Mancini.
A late goal from Ciro Immobile extended Lazio’s winning streak to a club-record ten games, but Napoli’s struggles continue, having lost ten of their last eleven matches in Serie A.
The first half started slowly from both sides as neither were able to create many chances. In the second half, Napoli came out much stronger as it seemed that Gennaro Gattuso’s half time speech got to his men, yet a costly mistake was, once again, the difference for Napoli.
“The boys were good, always in the game,” Inzaghi told to Sky Radio.
“In the first half we did better, then Napoli came out. We couldn’t keep our distance. We knew we were going to suffer. Napoli are a great team.
“But we believed in it, we were in the game and we enjoy the record and win. We must continue like this and not look back. From tomorrow we will think about Cremonese.”
“The boys need to know they’ve done something extraordinary. The team always believes in it and knows we have players who can decide the game at all times.
“What I’m pleased with is the awareness and lucidity of the guys. Sometimes it can simple but today I warned them, it was a big match and we had to respond, blow by blow.”
Thomas Strakosha was the difference in this match and made many key saves from Lorenzo Insigne and Arkadiusz Milik. Napoli held most of the possession but couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities.
A costly Napoli error in the 82nd minute was the turning point of the match. Goalkeeper David Ospina was far out of his goal when Immobile applied pressure and stole the ball off the Napoli goalkeeper.
With the net wide open Immobile fired a shot on goal, but Giovanni Di Lorenzo came back to cover, only for the ball to deflected off the right-back into his own net.
“We keep the performance and look forward,” Napoli manager Gattuso told Sky Sports.
“Ospina’s mistake happened. I saw a team that was in the field that suffered very little with Lazio on the back of nine consecutive victories. It’s part of the game. If we keep playing like this then the wins will come.”
Immobile scored his 20th goal of the season, and it is now the third time in four years in which the forward has reached the 20 goal mark in Serie A with Lazio.
“This victory represents so much, especially for how it came,” Immobile told Sky Italia.
“I congratulate Napoli, [maybe] a draw was right. A lot of people say it’s luck if we win in the end, but we never give up.”
Immobile is right, the Biancocelesti have shown this season that they do not give up and play until the end for the win. The team is playing full of confidence and are finding different ways to win.
“We’ve improved so much on that, we believe until the end,” Immobile said.
“Something snapped in our heads that won’t let us give up. I thank the public who supported us to the end. The goal is continuing to grow.”
The results are finally showing for Lazio under Inzaghi, who has been the manager for four seasons.
“We have been with the mister for a long time, now we see the results of a 4-year seeding,” Immobile added.
“Scudetto? The goals are those of the beginning of the year. Let’s not get our heads up. We won two games where we didn’t play well. But if we don’t, we [win] in other ways.
“Goal of mine or own goal? The goal is mine, I was sure. I want to keep growing and playing with the team. I have fun and my teammates play for me.”
Lazio continues to find ways to win while Napoli’s costly errors continue this season.
The Biancocelesti turn their attention to Cremonese in the Coppa Italia, while Napoli look towards Perugia in their next game, also in the cup.