Napoli’s wretched run in Serie A continued on Saturday evening, as the hosts slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat to struggling Fiorentina at Stadio San Paolo.
Federico Chiesa’s smart finish and a wonderful effort from Dusan Vlahovic were enough to condemn I Partenopei to their third straight defeat, leaving Gennaro Gattuso’s side marooned in the bottom half of the table.
Napoli started the game in determined fashion, but they squandered a string of good chances against a Fiorentina side which was extremely short of confidence. La Viola grew into the match however, and Gattuso’s men began to rock under the pressure of their visitors’ play.
Fiorentina opened the scoring on 25 minutes, when a lovely flowing team move fell to the feet of Chiesa, who poked the ball into the bottom corner to give Giuseppe Iachini’s men a shock lead.
The away side did not look back from that moment on, and they carved out chance after chance to put the game to bed, but their forwards were guilty of spurning some wonderful openings.
Patrick Cutrone thought he had doubled the lead, but his vicious volley was ruled out for offside, and Napoli began to rally in front of the home crowd. I Partonopei rarely tested Fiorentina goalkeeper Bart Dragowski however, as the visitors repelled a series of hopeful balls into their penalty area with ease.
The game was finally put beyond doubt when Vlahovic ran onto a forward ball from Pol Lirola, and with plenty left to do, the 19-year-old cut inside and whipped an unstoppable curling strike beyond Ospina and into the far corner.
The second goal came with 15 minutes to play, and it all but killed Napoli’s hopes of mounting a grandstand finish in front of the home crowd. This crushing defeat leaves Gattuso with plenty to ponder, and their opponents have now joined I Partenopei on 24 points in the Serie A table.