Three takeaways from Napoli 1-1 Union Berlin: Partenopei let golden chance slip but Politano impresses again

Matteo Politano was amongst the goals again for Napoli, but a 1-1 draw in the Champions League against a Union Berlin side without a win in 12 matches was an opportunity wasted for the Serie A title holders.


Napoli could only manage a 1-1 against Union Berlin in Matchday 4 of the Champions League on Wednesday, as they struggled at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The Partenopei looked to have taken the lead when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa poked home, but his goal was disallowed for a push in the build up.

Whilst Matteo Politano did nod the hosts in front, a David Datro Fofana equaliser after the break left the Serie A champions frustrated and allowed Die Eisernen to record their first point of the campaign.

Pressure mounts with Real Madrid around the corner

Despite sitting in second place in Group C with the draw, Napoli missed a golden opportunity to all but seal qualification into the knockout stages with victory against the competition’s most out of sorts team.

A win against the Bundesliga club would have kept Braga at arms length and taken the pressure off their trip to Real Madrid in Matchday 5. A defeat in Spain could leave Napoli requiring a result against Braga in the final game, and it remains to be seen if this iteration of the Partenopei can handle such pressure.

With Union Berlin registering their first point of the campaign and winless in 12 matches in all competitions, there was never a better time to face them but Napoli have squandered an excellent opportunity.

Tactical frustrations cost Napoli

Napoli were caught on the counter after throwing everyone forward for a corner, and undone by a long ball to Fofana to release Sheraldo Becker, and a rebounded shot allowed the former to equalise.

Quite how the Partenopei could be so naïve in defence will be cause for concern and after looking comfortable in the lead, Garcia’s side threw it away in infuriating fashion.

Despite enjoying most of the ball, Napoli were too slow to move the play and it was easy for Union Berlin to keep the attack quiet, with a lack of urgency and too many shots from range meaning that the Azzurri struggled to force their way back into the lead.

Meanwhile, Garcia’s reluctance to make changes until the final 15 minutes of the game held Napoli back and the lack of fresh legs meant that the Serie A champions were not able to force a winner against a Union Berlin side that are woefully out of form.

Union Berlin players celebrate after equalising against Napoli @fcunion_en)

Politano’s hot streak

With Victor Osimhen watching on from the stands following a recent injury, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia unable to make an impact, Napoli had winger Politano to thank for their point at the Maradona.

The former Inter man may not have known too much about it, but he got into the right place at the right time to flick in a Mario Rui cross and put the Azzurri ahead, and what ought to have been on course for victory.

Politano has struck three goals and laid on a further two assists in his last four matches in all competitions, allowing Napoli to ascend up the Serie A table and maintain their position in the qualification places in Group C of the Champions League.


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