Late Parisian pain appeared to strike Napoli again on Tuesday night as Juan Bernat put Paris Saint-Germain ahead in first-half injury time, only for the inspirational Lorenzo Insigne to convert a second-half penalty to ensure the Partenopei got their share of the spoils.
A place at the top of the group was up for grabs after Liverpool’s shock defeat away at Red Star Belgrade earlier in the evening left Group C extremely competitive, with just two points now separating the four sides after four rounds of fixtures.
The game started slower than was anticipated, but Napoli were their typical bee-like selves defensively as they swarmed down an early Neymar venture into the box before reacting well and shutting Marco Verratti down as the Italian attempted to follow up with a shot.
Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne were the Partenopei’s attacking outlets but failed to have the impact they would have liked, Insigne tried to probe the PSG defence while both Mertens and Callejon failed with respective attempts to find the Neapolitan in the box.
The San Paolo then witnessed the kind of goal they are accustomed to seeing, but it was the visitors who delivered it. Patient build-up passing play eventually saw Kylian Mbappe charge into the hosts’ box, from where he found Bernat in the middle and the ex-Bayern Munich man converted with a scuffed effort.
Not for the first time in his career, Gianluigi Buffon thwarted Napoli as the second half got underway, first turning a Mertens effort wide before turning back the clock and producing a remarkably acrobatic save to again frustrate the Belgian as the Partenopei started to turn the screw. The 40-year-old again reacted brilliantly to deny a deflected Fabian Ruiz strike.
Time, and reality, sadly caught back up with the veteran before long though as he clambered out of his goal and, along with Thiago Silva, conceded a penalty on Callejon, allowing Insigne to step up and convert.
Incredible Insigne at it again
It wasn’t his best performance of the season by any stretch of the imagination but Lorenzo Insigne was again the man to rescure Napoli with his converted spot-kick.
Ancelotti has managed the forward brilliantly this season and while there were some reasonable doubts about his consistency in the past, the veteran coach has found a way to get the versatile Insigne firing every week.
Given his form and confidence, there was never any doubt that he would convert the penalty when he stepped up, even despite Buffon impressing with some remarkable saves prior to the penalty being awarded.