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NAPOLI 0-0 MONZA: WALTER MAZZARRI SENT OFF AS VISITORS LEAVE NAPLES WITH A SERIE A POINT

NAPOLI 0-0 MONZA

Napoli were indebted to keeper Alex Meret, whose second-half save from Matteo Pessina’s penalty helped them to a point against Monza in Serie A. Napoli have stuttered through this campaign, and weren’t helped when boss Walter Mazzarri was sent to the stands for getting involved in an on-pitch disagreement. Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could have scored before half-time but sent his effort wide.

Napoli were held to a goalless draw at home to Monza in Serie A – and could have fallen to defeat had Matteo Pessina converted a second-half penalty for the visitors.
After a very quiet first half-hour, Napoli dominated play and could easily have gone ahead when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa latched onto a cross from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia but shot straight at Michele Di Gregorio.
The Georgian ace was close to scoring himself a minute before the interval but his effort just wouldn’t curl into the far corner. After Amir Rrahmani spurned a free header from Piotr Zielinski’s set-piece early in the second half, it was Monza who had the best chance of the match.
The penalty was a little fortuitous as Juan Jesus could do little to avoid being struck in the hand by a shot from substitute Andrea Colpani. Alex Meret came to the rescue but in truth it was a fairly easy stop from Pessina’s tame kick.
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri and his opposite number Raffaele Palladino were sent off in a feisty affair, as was visiting defender Mirko Maric, deep into stoppage-time. The result leaves Napoli in seventh spot, while Monza are 11th.
TALKING POINT – A GLIMPSE OF LIFE WITHOUT OSIMHEN
When he missed four games earlier in the year, Napoli lost one of these by a solitary goal to Empoli at home. This could well have been a similar tale if Pessina had converted the penalty. They had chances, with Anguissa, Rrahmini, Zerbin and Gaetano all guilty of poor finishes but only magic from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who also should have netted a simple opportunity, looked a likely goal source.
The end result was fairly predictable. Napoli had scored 28 goals in 17 games coming into this match, with 12 of these coming from Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano – who also saw red against Roma. Napoli will hope they will maintain the services of Osimhen for the long-term after he signed a deal keeping him at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona until 2026, but he has been continually linked with a move to the Premier League and Chelsea in particular.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – MARIO RUI (NAPOLI)
It was not a game of great performances but Rui put in a very solid performance. Strong at the back and he created multiple chances with his cultured left foot. He edges Kvaratskhelia who showed glimpses of his magical talent, but maybe not enough.