Napoli got back to winning ways, with Victor Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia seemingly putting the drama behind them with well-taken goals, as Udinese had a stunning Lazar Samardzic consolation strike.

The tension was sky high at the Stadio Maradona, as after two points from three Serie A games with players openly berating coach Rudi Garcia for substitutions, another scandal erupted last night with Osimhen’s agent threatening legal action for a video on the club’s official TikTok account mocking the striker for missing a penalty against Bologna. Natan started again in defence, with Juan Jesus and Amir Rrahmani still injured. The Friulani absentee list included Enzo Ebosse, Vivaldo Semedo, Daniele Padelli, Christian Kabasele, Brenner, Adam Masina, Gerard Deulofeu, Keinan Davis and Kingsley Ehizibue.

It was an open start, as Payero blasted over from distance and Piotr Zielinski did the hard work, controlling the Giovanni Di Lorenzo pass and flicking it over the defender, but then couldn’t keep his shot down.

The referee initially waved play on when Kvicha Kvaratskhelia went down under a Festy Ebosele challenge, but was forced to change his mind after a VAR review when it caught the Georgian on the heel. Zielinski was the one who stepped up to take the penalty rather than Osimhen and stroked it into the near bottom corner, sending Marco Silvestri the wrong way.

Payero blasted off target again, while Kvaratskhelia stung the goalkeeper’s gloves and Osimhen couldn’t make the most of the through ball one-on-one with Silvestri.

Osimhen did get his goal soon after, meeting a magnificent flicked no-look Matteo Politano pass to take a touch and beat the on-rushing Silvestri. The Nigerian ran to the touchline to hug Jesper Lindstrom, but ignored coach Rudi Garcia.

Sandi Lovric smashed a long-range effort inches over the bar and Kvaratskhelia thought he had finally got his first goal since March only to smash the volley against the upright from point-blank range on a Politano cross.

Giovanni Simeone tested Silvestri at the near post after a strong run from Lindstrom, but Kvaratskhelia was incredibly unlucky to rattle the frame of the goal for a second time with a right-foot strike from the edge of the box and could not disguise his frustration.

Kvaratskhelia finally got his goal after 192 days of drought for Napoli, pouncing on the Jakub Bijol error and bursting down the left, drawing out Silvestri to dink it over him and score from a tight angle into the empty net.

Lazar Samardzic came off the bench and scored a truly extraordinary solo effort, as he rode several tackles to finish it all by himself in the Stadio Maradona.

It was only a momentary blip, as Napoli restored their three-goal advantage moments later with Simeone’s back post header on a Kvaratskhelia assist.

Simeone was determined to get on the scoresheet, but was again denied by Silvestri.

Napoli 4-1 Udinese

Zielinski pen 18 (N), Osimhen 40 (N), Kvaratskhelia 74 (N), Samardzic 80 (U), Simeone 81 (N)

27-09-2023 19:45
MatchDay 6

Player statistic

1st half
Piotr Zielinski Penalty 18'    
Victor Osimhen
(Assist: Matteo Politano)
Goal 39'    
2nd half
    62' Yellow card Nehuén Pérez
Giovanni Simeone Yellow card 71'    
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Goal 74'    
    81' Goal Lazar Samardzic
(Assist: Isaac Success)
Giovanni Simeone
(Assist: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia)
Goal 82'    

Match statistic

65
Possession %
35
23
Total shots
13
10
Shots on target
3
9
Shots off target
7
4
Blocked shots
3
8
Corners
4
0
Offsides
0
11
Fouls
10
Napoli
Udinese

Starting lineups

1
Goalkeeper
22
55
Defender
6
Defender
3
Defender
99
Midfielder
83'
20
Midfielder
71'
68
Midfielder
77
83'
21
Attacker
63'
9
Attacker
63'
1
Goalkeeper
2
Defender
59'
12
Defender
72'
29
Defender
18
Defender
31
32
Midfielder
4
Midfielder
72'
11
Midfielder
58'
26
Attacker
58'
17
Attacker

Substitutes

4
Midfielder
70
Midfielder
16
Goalkeeper
14
Goalkeeper
59
23
Attacker
17
Defender
50
Defender
18
Attacker
63'
29
Midfielder
63'
24
Midfielder
71'
7
Midfielder
83'
81
83'
15
Attacker
80
Midfielder
40
Goalkeeper
5
Defender
21
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
72
Goalkeeper
16
Defender
7
Attacker
58'
24
Midfielder
58'
13
Defender
59'
37
Midfielder
72'
33
Defender
72'

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