Paris Saint-Germain had never beaten an Italian side in the Champions League coming into Wednesday’s meeting in the French capital and Napoli ensured that run continued as they left the Parc des Princes with a creditable 2-2 draw.
Napoli will be somewhat disheartened to have conceded the three points so late on, but the result sees them sit in second place in Group G, now having played each of the other sides.
The hosts looked to set the tone early on and Edinson Cavani had a couple of half-chances, though Dries Mertens did hit the crossbar midway through the opening 45 minutes.
Napoli then took the lead just before the half-hour mark and it came courtesy of a reliable and consistent combination. Jose Callejon slipped a ball into the right-hand channel and Insigne pounced.
As the ball arrived in the box and Alphonse Areola came out, the Neapolitan calmly and casually executed a delightfully elegant dink over him.
PSG upped the tempo again at the start of the second half and David Ospina had to be at his best as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Cavani went in hunt of an equaliser, even appealing for two penalties in as many minutes.
The pressure paid off before long. Thomas Meunier was found on the wing by Mbappe and his low cross ended up at the feet of Mario Rui, who stuck out a foot and diverted the ball into the top corner.
As a Napoli hero of years gone by left the field, one from the present took centre stage as Mertens restored the Partenopei’s lead. Mario Ruiz had space on the edge of the box and shot, but his effort bounced off Mertens’ back and fortuitously fell kindly, allowing the Belgian to prod into the net.
Di Maria broke Napoli hearts with what was almost the game’s final touch, preventing Carlo Ancelotti from celebrating a victorious return to Paris.
It is early, but early season form suggests that 2018/19 could be a career-defining season for Lorenzo Insigne.
Carlo Ancelotti has clearly done something with the Italian and the forward is enjoying the best form of his career, playing the role of protagonist in almost every Napoli game this season.
His role is flexible and he pops up as a No.9, a No.10, on the left and even in central midfield at times and he is thriving under the experience Napoli boss.
If Insigne can maintain his form then it is hard to know where the limit is for this Partenopei side, although mounting another title challenge looks improbable if not impossible given Juventus’ dominance.