The second round of this super fight in The UEFA Champions was hyped up as expected. Two weeks ago Napoli drew with PSG in an epic last-minute, beautiful goal by PSG’s Angel Di Maria. This time around Napoli was expecting a win being at home, having the infamous Napoli Ultras backing them up. Both of the squads gave us a hard-fought 94 minutes and yet it still ended as a 1-1 draw.
Ancelotti gave us the same exact lineup and formation as the last match. PSG, on the other hand, did change up their formation, going with a 3-5-2, hoping to win the midfield battle and counter-attack.
In net as expected we got David Ospina, after receiving some rest missing the last Serie A match, he looked to be in good form. He was clutch when needed, only allowing one goal to PSG’s Juan Bernat who slid through the backline to go up 1-0.
The back line consisted of Maksimovic-Albiol-Koulibaly-Rui. Ancelotti seems to love going with the three natural Center backs in a four-back set for Champions League matches, with the ball skills and athleticism that Koulibaly and Maksimovic contain, it works great for attacking, while Rui is an attacking flank option, he runs up and down out wide. Mario Rui had a match better match in this game, bouncing back from his Paris nightmare. Maksimovic was surprisingly involved with a lot of attacking situations as well. I must mention Kouilbaly’s tackle on Kylian M’bappe in the 28th minute was a thing of beauty.
In Midfield we got Callejón-Allan-Hamsik-Fabian. These guys had a tough time with PSG’s pressure on the midfield but still did enough to hold their own. Callejón managed to draw a penalty in the box, as he got sandwiched by Thiago Silva and Gigi Buffon. Allan struggled at times but for the most part, showed off his defensive prowess. Fabian had a great much, although he didn’t get a goal, he had a lot of opportunities and was an attacking threat. Zielinski came in the 71st minute for Ruiz.
Up top we, of course, have Insigne and Mertens, great match of course for both, they were all over the top half of the pitch, especially defensively, as Napoli used a high press all match long. Insigne and Mertens did have a tough time trying to create chances with PSG back line of Kehrer-Silva-Marquinhos who didn’t give up any space in between. Adam Ounas came on for Dries Mertens in the 83rd minute after Dries suffered another shoulder strain, his status going forward for Saturday is unknown.
Although Napoli wanted to win, we should be happy with a draw. A match where PSG was the better first half squad, Napoli found a way to stay in the match with a better second half. With Red Star upsetting Liverpool, it leaves Napoli atop of Group C. Up next for Napoli is a visit from Red Star Belgrade, who are coming off one of the classic upsets in UCL history. Although Red Star pulled it off, it’ll be difficult to go into Napoli and win. A must win for the Napoli as its still a three-way race for the top two positions.
FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE!!!!!