Napoli are continuing to prove themselves to be Serie A’s best flagbearers in the Champions League group stage, confirming their place in the competition’s knockout rounds by beating Dutch Eredivisie side Ajax 4-2 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday night.
Luciano Spalletti’s Serie A leaders impressed on the night and not for the first time this season, having made light work of Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers previously in the Champions League’s group stage.
Napoli: Italy and Europe’s entertainers
Unbeaten at the top of the Serie A table with 22 goals scored in nine games, Napoli are replicating their domestic form in Europe and they sit comfortably atop their Champions League group as well. There, they’ve now won four from four with 17 goals scored in the process.
The party started pretty early on Wednesday too, with Hirving Lozano opening the scoring inside five minutes. Giacomo Raspadori soon made it 2-0, and it would stay that way until half-time.
The second half saw more goals scored – four in the half in all – with Ajax first halving the deficit through a Davy Klassen header.
But Khvicha Kvaratskhelia excellently converted a penalty to restore Napoli’s two-goal margin just after the hour mark before Steven Bergwijn scored his own perfectly dispatched spot kick to threaten an intriguing final 10 minutes.
In the 89th, though, Daley Blind fell victim to nominative determinisim, dallied on the ball and was pickpocketed by a Victor Osimhen whom he never saw coming in his own area, leaving the forward with an open goal to finish into.
Hey European football, meet Giacomo Raspadori
Giacomo Raspadori has taken to the Champions League like a duck to water, enjoying an incredible run of form since joining Napoli from Sassuolo in the summer.
The forward has not only impressed domestically for his new club, but he has established himself as arguably Italy’s most important forward under Roberto Mancini too.
Impressively, his European tally now stands at four goals from just 90 minutes of football, in his first-ever season in the Champions League.