Three takeaways from Napoli 1-3 Fiorentina: Garcia’s Osimhen decision, Fiorentina’s talented young full-backs impress

Napoli suffered a second defeat in a week when they hosted Fiorentina on Serie A Matchday 8, with Rudi Garcia's decisions sparking interest and La Viola impressing all over the pitch.


Fiorentina produced a very impressive overall performance to beat Serie A champions Napoli 3-1 on Matchday 8, despite Victor Osimhen finding the back of the net and being a threat throughout.

La Viola took the lead at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona early through Josip Brekalo, but a penalty from Osimhen before the break restored parity.

Despite being the current champions, Napoli‘s struggles continued under Rudi Garcia and goals from Giacomo Bonaventura and Nico Gonzalez secured the points for Vincenzo Italiano’s side.

Osimhen assumes penalty responsibilities again

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen celebrates. [@sscnapoli]

Everybody knows that Victor Osimhen is a technically and physically gifted footballer who has earned his place as one of the best strikers in the sport right now. He added to his tally again against Fiorentina and should really have got more than one.

Another side to his mentality was shown when he chose to step up and take the penalty he had won in the first half which got Napoli back on level terms. He took himself off of penalty duties in the wake of Napoli’s unusual TikTok video which mocked him for missing a penalty against Bologna.

The assumption was that someone else would take this one against the Viola but Osimhen stepped up and scored excellently.

Garcia’s odd Osimhen decision

Fiorentina players and staff celebrate. [@acffiorentina]

Osimhen remains the focus, but more because of what he wasn’t allowed to do. Napoli‘s gameplan throughout was, in Lamen’s terms, to get the ball to Osimhen in or around the box. It’s simple, but he’s so good that it’s a valid plan that many teams cannot stop.

With 15 minutes to go, Rudi Garcia took Osimhen off for Giovanni Simeone and the Nigerian did not appear to have an injury of any sort.

The gameplan remained the same, though, with multiple crosses going into the box which Osimhen would have loved to reach, but Simeone is simply not as good as Osimhen. It was a decision that Garcia will be asked to explain after the game.

Fiorentina’s young full-backs impress

Fiorentina’s Michael Kayode watches the flight of the ball. [@acffiorentina]

There is a lot to admire in this current Fiorentina squad and there is quality all over the pitch, but there is reason to believe that they have the full-back positions sorted for many years to come.

The quick caveat here is that Fabiano Parisi‘s poor chest back to Pietro Terracciano led to the penalty that Victor Osimhen scored, but that was very out of character and his overall performance was actually very impressive.

He has swiftly become one of the best young players in Italy and had got left-back at Fiorentina nailed down. On the other side, Michael Kayode started and the 19-year-old Italian has caught the eye this season.

With Dodo out, he is seeing more minutes and he looks extremely composed for a player of his age and experience, both in attack and defence. He didn’t look out of place up against Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Co.


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