Napoli defeated Bologna 3-1 in their Round 26 Serie A clash but it was not a vintage performance from the Partenopei and it took their captain’s genius to salvage the victory.
Lorenzo Insigne scored twice against the Felsinei in the Ciucciarelli’s 3-1 win on Sunday night and his individual brilliance certainly made the difference.
The 29-year-old was livid after his team squandered a 3-2 lead at the death to draw against Sassuolo on Wednesday evening but he made sure against Bologna that his team were going to secure the victory.
He opened the scoring after eight minutes, moving into a more central channel and then stroking the ball into the net with the side of his right foot. He could have made it 2-0 in the first half but his powerful strike was saved by Rossoblu goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski.
Napoli were struggling to keep possession and they posed more of a threat to the Bologna defence when they played on the counter-attack. Despite this, Belgian veteran Dries Mertens struggled to make an impact and he was replaced by Victor Osimhen.
With the Nigerian striker on, the Partenopei had another dangerous threat in attack and he doubled their lead. He should have killed the game off as a contest when Insigne made a dashing run on the counter and passed to him, but Osimhen shot woefully wide.
When Roberto Soriano pulled the score back to 2-1, it gave Bologna some hope, but Insigne came to the rescue of his team and dashed the hopes of the Bolognese side soon after.
Lorenzo De Silvestri failed to clear the ball and he kicked the ball into Insigne. The diminutive Neapolitan sprinted towards goal and his low strike from about 25 minutes beat Skorupski at the near post.
Coach Gennaro Gattuso took him off after 79 minutes, earning a well-earned rest. The forward has three goals in his last two Serie A matches, taking his tally to 13 goals in 22 league games for 2020/21 so far.
With 12 rounds to go, Napoli also have a game against Juventus in hand, which means Insigne has enough chances to better his career-best of 18 goals from 2016/17.
Napoli are currently sixth in Serie A and they only have league football to focus on now. If they do want to earn qualification for Europe next season though, more Insigne magic will make a world of difference.