Stephan El Shaarawy has given Roma the half-time lead and Edin Dzeko almost got a second, but Napoli had numerous chances too.
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The Derby del Sole has always been a passionate affair and a bitter rivalry. Carlo Ancelotti faced Roma as an opponent for the first time since 2009 and opted for Arkadiusz Milik alongside Lorenzo Insigne just days after a 2-2 Champions League draw at PSG. Alessandro Florenzi, Javier Pastore and Diego Perotti were carrying knocks, so Davide Santon played at right-back. Daniele De Rossi made his 450th Serie A appearance, while Marek Hamsik matched Giuseppe Bruscolotti’s all-time club record of 511 games in a Napoli jersey.
The kick-off was delayed by several minutes due to technical problems with the VAR booth.
Fabian Ruiz went on a remarkable mazy run to dribble past three players in the box and laid it off to Lorenzo Insigne, whose shot was deflected over by a desperate Kostas Manolas sliding block.
Edin Dzeko’s screamer from distance swerved at the last moment to move away from the top corner, but moments later Roma took the lead.
Cengiz Under pulled back from the by-line and Dzeko couldn’t control it, but it kept going to Stephan El Shaarawy for a scuffed finish in off the inside of the near post from six yards. Kalidou Koulibaly tried to clear, but only after it had already crossed the line.
Arkadiusz Milik’s scorcher stung Robin Olsen’s gloves and Insigne was offside when he tried to pounce on the rebound. Napoli started pouring forward in waves, as Milik felt he was pushed, Hamsik’s angled drive was beaten away by Olsen and then Milik’s glancing header skimmed the far post.
Manolas made a decisive interception to stop Milik tapping in a wayward Callejon effort from five yards, then again to prevent Insigne going clear.
For all their possession and chances, Napoli almost went 2-0 down on 35 minutes. Under’s assist sent Dzeko clear, Ospina did just enough to send him wide and the Bosnian still managed to steer it on target from a tight angle, but Raul Albiol performed a goal-line clearance.
Insigne’s strike from distance whistled wide, but Roma lost Daniele De Rossi to injury before half-time. Milik was then a fraction of a second too late to meet Callejon’s assist from six yards.
Napoli 0-1 Roma (Half-Time)
El Shaarawy 14 (R)
Napoli: Ospina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Allan, Hamsik, Fabian, Callejon; Insigne, Milik
Roma: Olsen; Santon, Manolas, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; De Rossi (Cristante 43), Nzonzi; Under, Lorenzo Pellegrini, El Shaarawy, Dzeko
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