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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

5 Reasons Why The Game Ended 2-1 To Napoli

Napoli picked up a memorable victory against Manchester City last night courtesy an Edinson Cavani brace. Also, Walter Mazzarri finally picked up his first win over Roberto Mancini in eleven meetings. Napoli now sit in second place in Group A of the UEFA Champions League and a win against Villarreal will confirm their participation in the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Here's a look at 5 possible reasons for the Partenopei triumph :

1. City forgot that Dzeko is good in the air

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini started Balotelli on the left side of attack and James Milner on the right. Balotelli may not have been expected to provide too much, but Milner was unable to utilise Edin Dzeko to the fullest. It was fairly obvious that Dzeko would be an aerial threat to the Italians but Mancini's men seemed to have forgotten that. Dzeko saw very little of the ball and was never provided with good crosses to latch onto. Even balls from defence, towards Dzeko, were lacking. Thus, closing down a major source of City's goals.

2. Milner and Silva's switching of positions was a complete flop

James Milner started on the right side of midfield while David Silva played behind lone striker Edin Dzeko. Mancini wanted to see the two midfielders regularly interchange positions but his plan backfired. Milner was completely ineffective when playing in the middle, while Silva was unable to thread any passes through for Dzeko from the wing. Mancini should have used either Samir Nasri or Adam Johnson ahead of Milner. Even when Milner played down the right flank, his delivery for Dzeko was very poor. Johnson was given just 5 minutes but still seemed a threat with his weaving runs down that flank.

3. Lavezzi was unstoppable last night

Ezequiel Lavezzi played one of his best games for Napoli last night. He tore the Manchester City defence apart with his speed and trickery. He weaved his magic along with the other members of the lethal Napoletani attacking triumvirate. He constantly shifted positions with Marek Hamsik and troubled De Jong all night. He made the Dutchman look almost nonexistent throughout the game. A delightful one-two with Cavani in the 11th minute, the corner that led to the first goal and a nonchalant pass to Dossena that led to the second goal were the highlights of the Argentinians game. With their attack in this sort of form, Napoli are almost surely guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage.

4. Kolarov was City's only threat down the left

With Maggio and Dossena playing fairly high up the field, Napoli played most of the game with a three man defence, concentrated in the center. Mancini was expected to take advantage of this and play outright wingers to exploit the space on the wings. Things didn't go according to plans and saw Balotelli, City's left sided attacker, move into the middle and forced left back Aleksandar Kolarov to attack a lot more. Kolarov made a limited number of runs down the flank, yet was almost rewarded for his efforts in the second half. If Mancini had managed to utilise someone more effectively down the left, City could well have been leaving Italy with a spot in the knockout stage confirmed.

5. Gargano destroyed City's midfield

25 successful passes out of an attempted 27 and 8 successful tackles out of an attempted 8. Those were Walter Gargano's stats last night. He ensured that City, especially Silva, were not given enough time to thread any passes through the Napoli defence. He hassled the City midfielders for the ball and made a complete mockery of Yaya Toure and Nigel de Jong. Toure and de Jong were supposed to carry out similar duties for the opposition but failed miserably. Gargano gave the two City midfielders a lesson on the art of destruction. Alongside Gargano, Gokhan Inler provided the Italians with an indestructible wall in midfield, helping a great deal in attack as well.

1 comment:

  1. Mancini's experimentation at times leaves the team down. Silva is a wonderful left sided player and player him behind the lone striker doesn't seem good.Milner works hard but at times can let himself and the whole team down. Aguero not staring is a surprise and with his skill and talent should be playing most of the games. Adam Johnson deserves a starting spot and there is nothing wrong he has done to be sittin gon the ench. Napoli have done themselves no harm by winning this game and are a bright side. Would love to see them play against the United's and the Barca's in the later stages of the tournament if they can stick around. They are delightful to watch.