SSC Napoli’s dominance in Serie A (SA) continued as they beat Udinese Calcio 3-2, the 13th time in the last 14 H2Hs they’ve secured victory while the other ended in a draw.
Despite arriving at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona as clear underdogs, Udinese showed admirable fearlessness in the early stages and Gerard Deulofeu tested Alex Meret with a flicked attempt at goal. Gli Azzurri never looked too troubled, though, and the inevitable Victor Osimhen met Eljif Elmas’ cross to head the hosts into the lead on the quarter-hour mark, scoring his eighth goal in as many games. Having previously come close to bringing ecstasy to the travelling Zebrette supporters, Deulofeu’s day ended in tears just 26 minutes in as an injury forced the Spaniard off.
There was no stopping Napoli, as a swift counter on the half-hour culminated in Piotr Zieliński cutting inside Sandi Lovrić and curling an absolute beauty of a strike into the top corner – scoring in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Luciano Spalletti’s side picked their moments and showed a real threat when they turned it on. They could have even had a third before HT if Osimhen’s pass to Hirving Lozano had come off after they had turned Udinese’s backline.
Udinese continued to push for the goal that would give them hope after the break. However, there was usually a man in blue ready to put out any spark and Kingsley Ehizibue completely wasted the opening when it finally came. Napoli punished the visitors within a minute, as the day after signing his new contract, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa found Elmas who cleverly jinked his way inside Jaka Bijol and clinically finished.
The visitors finally struck back in the 79th minute thanks to Ilija Nestorovski’s sweet hit, before Lazar Samardžić pickpocketed Kim Min-jae and curled a beauty into the bottom corner three minutes later to set up a nervy finish. However, Napoli saw out their 11th consecutive league win ahead of the break. Meanwhile, Udinese are without a win in their last eight across all competitions after making a promising start to the campaign.