September 10, (THEWILL) – Napoli held on to a slim 1-0 lead over Spezia, in their first match without the presence of Victor Osimhen’s threat in attack, to secure all three points from the Serie A tie and the match ended with a red card for manager Luciano Spalletti.
The manager made some significant alterations to the starting lineup after their successful, but difficult night against Liverpool midweek. Osimhen, who is injured, was replaced by Giacomo Raspadori, and Juan Jesus, who was playing for the Partenopei for the first time, was chosen over Kim Min-jae.
Both teams played relatively cautiously at the beginning of the game, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia serving as the only offensive standout for the home team. Jesus was a standout in the defence, and the visitors’ first shot on goal came from Emmanuel Gyasi at the 40-minute mark. But, it was 0-0 going into the interval.
Spalletti made some substitutions in the second period that improved Napoli’s play in terms of tempo. In the 70th minute, Spezia came the closest to scoring first but Rrahmani successfully cleared the goalline, much to Napoli’s relief.
Raspadori scored the winning goal for the hosts in the 89th minute, driving the crowd into a frenzy. There was an altercation after the goal that led to a red card for Spezia’s goalkeeper’s coach, and Spalletti was handed a second yellow card.