After two weeks of holiday break, Napoli would come back for Coppa Italia play. It’s the round of 16 and for Ancelotti’s army winning this competition is the goal. They would host Sassuolo for the second time this season.
For Napoli, they would line up in a 4-4-2 but would attack in 4-2-3-1 or a 4-2-2-2 giving them a different look that would be successful. Sassuolo Would line up in 4-3-3 with forwards playing tighter in the center giving wingers space out wide to cross it in the box.
The match would start off to be a midfield battle, Napoli would jump ahead in the 15th minute with a Milik goal set up by Insigne. Napoli would face a scare a couple minutes later, as Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli scored a goal, but after a VAR review, the goal would come back on offsides. Napoli would get another Goal in the 74th by Fabian Ruiz.
The Colombian would receive his first start since December 16th against Cagliari. The Colombian seemed fresh and confident, proving he deserves starts with the emergence of the young incumbent Alex Meret. Besides the scare in the 35 minute, a goal that got called back due to offsides, Ospina Would be comfortable between the pipes.
Elseid Hysaj- 4.5
The Albanian by far had the worst performance out of anyone on the home side. He constantly got beat on plays and had some bad turnovers in their own end. He would give the option out in the flank in the final third of attack. Overall bad performance.
Nikola Maksimovic- 5.5
He would start for Albiol, giving him some rest ahead of Serie A play next week. He would have an average match as he would play back in the center back role. He would receive a yellow card in the 34th minute.
Although still suspended for Serie A play from the Inter match, it was good seeing Koulibaly back out there with the squad. Nothing different with him in the lineup. He changes the confidence level of the backline. If it wasn’t for Koulibaly this backline would have been in trouble, he made big plays all night and a crucial contributor in the victory.
Mario didn’t prevent us from winning but still did not have a good match. Too many turnovers, bad decisions, and horrible passes. Overall bad performance by the Portuguese fullback.
Jose Callejon- 5
Jose had another Jose match. Again, good on creating chances out wide, but panics the minute he’s in the final third. He would have some bad turnovers as well as giving up on plays. He definitely seems like he’s lost confidence, at his age is it worth salvaging anything out of him?
Fabián Ruiz- 7
The Spanish Midfielder would play deep with Diawara on defense and would move up in the attack. Safe to say he covered a lot of ground in this match. He was able to make the second goal in the 74th minute to seal the win but was able to help create chances all match.
Amadou Diawara- 6
The Guinean is coming from a holiday break of a bunch of transfer rumors. With his future with the club up in the air, it was important for Diawara to take advantage of his chances. He played well for Napoli, playing him in a true defensive Midfield role is beneficial for Diawara, as not giving him a lot of responsibility helps him succeed.
Lorenzo Insigne- 6.5
Lorenzo had been quiet before the break started, and this match would be a good match to let loose before finishing his two-match Serie A suspension. He would play more out wide as a winger than usually, even assisting on the first goal that he set up perfectly for Milik. He would have a couple of opportunities to score as well.
Adam Ounas- 6
The young Algerian would get some crucial minutes as he would interchange up top with Milik, he played well as he showed his skill off again. I expect more minutes going forward for Ounas as he had a solid match.
Arkadiusz Milik- 7
Milik seems to be playing with a new found confidence, and it’s obvious on the pitch. In this match, he would interchange with Ounas up top but you would see him come down to the midfield to receive the ball at times, showing his control on the pitch. He would get a goal while also assisting on the second goal. Great match by the Polish striker.
Michael Allan- 6
The Brazilian would come in for 20 minutes to help secure the win, he wouldn’t do much with his short amount of time but certainly helped seal the win.
Amin Younes- 5.5
The German international would finally get some minutes in this Coppa Italia match, he would come in the 81st minute, not much time but it was important to take advantage of those minutes and learn from it.
Gianluca Gaetano- N/A
A monumental moment for the young Napolitano born player. A product of the Primavera squad, he would get called up for rewarding him with his hard work and success with the Primavera side. He came in the 90th minute. He got the feel of playing in the San Paolo which is a win on its own.
For Napoli, they move on to the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia, where they will face Milan for what will be the third time this year. The match will be a doubleheader with Milan. Winning the tournament is the Goal for Ancelotti and his squad. This week Napoli are back to Serie A play as they host Lazio for the second round of matches with the other 19 Serie A clubs. They’ll have their hands full trying to slow down a lethal Lazio attack, while Napoli will still be without stars Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly.