Serie A | Roma 2-0 Napoli: Pellegrini breaks nine-man Partenopei

Lorenzo Pellegrini’s half-volley on the turn gave Roma all three points, but Napoli were livid...

Serie A | Roma 2-0 Napoli: Pellegrini breaks nine-man Partenopei

Lorenzo Pellegrini’s half-volley on the turn gave Roma all three points, but Napoli were livid after Matteo Politano and Victor Osimhen were sent off.

The Partenopei were still in shock after Tuesday’s 4-0 Coppa Italia home defeat to Frosinone, with Jesper Lindstrom, Mathias Olivera and practically sold Eljif Elmas out of action. However, Victor Osimhen signed his new contract to June 2026 today. Romelu Lukaku and Nicola Zalewski returned from suspension, but Paulo Dybala, Houssem Aouar, Chris Smalling, Marash Kumbulla and Tammy Abraham were still injured after one point from two games saw them slide out of the top spots. Renato Sanches wasn’t even on the bench with flu symptoms.

Roma were unlucky not to take the lead after 18 minutes when Edoardo Bove started the move from midfield and almost finished it, his curler from the edge of the area clipping the top of the crossbar.

Bove had another huge chance moments later, as Andrea Belotti got down the right and pulled back from the by-line, but Alex Meret parried using his body from point-blank range.

The tension was sky high at the Olimpico with protests from all sides and both coaches booked for dissent in the opening 38 minutes. Osimhen had penalty appeals when accidentally caught by a Leandro Paredes arm, leading to a rather intense conversation with Mourinho.

Napoli threatened when Osimhen’s overhead kick on a set play was redirected by Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa’s heel, going wide of the far post.

Piotr Zielinski’s relatively weak finish was smothered after the restart, along with a Kvaratskhelia curler, but Napoli then lost Stanislav Lobotka to injury.

It was an incredibly niggly game with endless fouls and protests, so it was perhaps no surprise a red card was flashed after 66 minutes. Politano was dragged back by the jersey by Zalewski, who was booked, but then had a little kick out at the Roma man on his way down and received a straight red card.

Lukaku hit a half-volley over the bar from a tricky angle, but Roma got their breakthrough in chaotic fashion.

Sardar Azmoun and Stephan El Shaarawy attempts were charged down until Lorenzo Pellegrini let it bounce and scored with a half-volley on the turn from 12 yards.

Zielinski’s free kick flashed across the face of goal past everyone, with Di Lorenzo only grazing it with his forehead at the back post.

Lukaku thought he had doubled Roma’s lead running on to a Bryan Cristante through ball and dinking Meret, but the goalkeeper just managed to raise a hand to fingertip it away.

It got even worse for Napoli, as Osimhen was sent off for a second bookable offence, both of them his over-eager attempts to chase down opponents and win back the ball.

Napoli effectively were down to eight in stoppages when Natan hurt his shoulder. With that situation and the visitors pouring forward, Roma added a second on the counter-attack when Lukaku combined with Evan Ndicka to beat Meret.

Roma 2-0 Napoli

Pellegrini 76 (R), Lukaku 96 (R)

Sent off: Politano 66 (N), Osimhen 87 (N)

23-12-2023 19:45
MatchDay 17

Player statistic

1st half
Leandro Paredes 28'    
    28' Mário Rui
Rasmus Kristensen 32'    
Bryan Cristante 38'    
2nd half
Andrea Belotti 60'    
    62' Juan Jesus
Nicola Zalewski 65'    
    66' Red card Matteo Politano
    73' Victor Osimhen
Lorenzo Pellegrini
(Assist: Stephan El Shaarawy)
76'    
Stephan El Shaarawy 82'    
    86' Yellow-Red card Victor Osimhen
Sardar Azmoun Yellow card 90+5'    
Romelu Lukaku
(Assist: Evan Ndicka)
Goal 90+6'    

Match statistic

41
Possession %
59
17
Total shots
7
4
Shots on target
2
10
Shots off target
2
3
Blocked shots
3
4
Corners
0
2
Offsides
1
19
Fouls
12
ROM
NAP

Starting lineups

1
Goalkeeper
14
Defender
5
Defender
23
Defender
43
75'
4
Midfielder
52
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
71'
59
Midfielder
71'
11
Attacker
71'
90
Attacker
1
Goalkeeper
13
Defender
22
5
Defender
88'
6
Defender
81'
99
Midfielder
20
Midfielder
88'
68
Midfielder
56'
77
87'
21
Attacker
9
Attacker

Substitutes

2
Defender
37
63
Goalkeeper
99
Goalkeeper
60
Midfielder
72
Defender
7
Midfielder
71'
92
71'
17
Attacker
71'
19
Defender
75'
55
Defender
4
Midfielder
16
Goalkeeper
59
18
Attacker
95
Goalkeeper
24
Midfielder
56'
23
Attacker
81'
81
87'
70
Midfielder
88'
3
Defender
88'