Lazio and Napoli play out tense 0-0 draw

AP , Sunday 28 Jan 2024

Lazio and Napoli played out a tense 0-0 draw that did neither side any favors in their fight for fourth spot in Serie A

Lazio
Lazio s Italian goalkeeper #94 Ivan Provedel makes a save in front of Napoli s Brazilian defender #05 Juan Jesus and Napoli s Norwegian defender #55 Leo Skiri Ostigard during the Italian Serie A football match between Lazio and Napoli on January 28, 2024 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. AFP

 

The result left Lazio two points below fourth-place Atalanta, with Napoli two points further back.

Fiorentina can move into fourth spot later Sunday with a win over Inter Milan, which will be looking to go back top of Serie A.

Last year, Napoli and Lazio finished first and second in Serie A but had struggled this season. Napoli, which scored the most goals in the league last campaign, has now failed to find the back of the net in eight of Walter Mazzarri’s 14 matches in charge.

Both teams were looking to bounce back from losses in the Italian Super Cup. Lazio was humiliated 3-0 by Inter in the semifinals, while Napoli lost 1-0 to the Nerazzurri in the final.

However, both teams also had a number of star players missing. Giovanni Simeone, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Jens Cajuste were all suspended for Napoli, which was also without key forward Victor Osimhen because of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ciro Immobile and Mattia Zaccagni sat out bans for Lazio.

Some sections of the Stadio Olimpico were closed as punishment for racist chants against Romelu Lukaku during Lazio’s Italian Cup victory over city rival Roma.

There were no shots on target during a drab first half but Lazio thought it had taken the lead in spectacular fashion immediately after the break. However, Taty Castellanos’ overhead strike was ruled out for offside.

Castellanos also saw another effort cleared off the line by Napoli defender Leo Østigård in a much better second period.

STUNNING STRIKE

A magnificent goal from Caleb Ekuban saw Genoa fight back to beat Lecce 2-1 and continue its push away from the relegation zone.

Nikola Krstović had a penalty saved by Genoa goalkeeper Josep Martínez before giving his side the lead with his first goal in his last 14 league matches.

However, Mateo Retegui leveled in the 70th minute and Ekuban scored what was to prove the winner just six minutes later with an acrobatic volley.

Genoa is now unbeaten in seven matches and moved 10 points above the drop zone.

Lecce was only three points above the relegation zone after Hellas Verona missed one penalty but scored another to draw 1-1 against Frosinone and climb out of the bottom three.

Sassuolo is only a point clear of danger after losing 1-0 at Monza.

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