Serie A round-up: Raspadori is Napoli's latest new weapon on unbeaten start

Serie A round-up: Raspadori is Napoli’s latest new weapon on unbeaten start

ROME (AP) — For a team that lost its captain, all-time leading scorer and defensive star in the offseason, Naples Fill the holes skillfully.

With every game it seems, Southern Club Discover a new weapon.

Midfielder Piotr Zielinski later shined in the spotlight Beat Liverpool 4-1 In the Champions League, reserve striker Giacomo Raspadori scored his first goal for Napoli in the 89th minute of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Spezia in Serie A.

“It is difficult to play against Liverpool three days after the night, especially in the afternoon in this heat. But despite all that, we did everything to get the result,” Napoli coach Luciano Spellati said.

“It shows character, patience and belief that sooner or later we will get a goal, but we can’t always be in these situations and it was very expensive last season.”

A last-gasp win at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona moved Napoli atop the Italian league standings on goal difference over defending champions AC Milan.

Ten-man Milan won 2-1 at Sampdoria but sent off Rafael Luo, this season’s most effective attacker – meaning he will miss next weekend’s clash with Napoli.

Napoli and Milan are a point ahead of Atalanta, which could take the lead when it hosts promoted Cremona on Sunday.

Inter Milan moved into fourth, two points behind, with a 1-0 win over Torino.

Napoli have been chasing their first league title ever since Maradona He led the club to just two Serie A championships in 1987 and 1990.

Raspadori, the 22-year-old on loan from Sassuolo, started as an injury replacement Victor Osimin And Speletti kept it up despite replacing his other attacking players.

Speletti’s decision ended when Raspadori found himself in a position to send in a cross from Herring Lozano and fire inside the back post.

“These are all starting points for me,” Raspadori said. “I missed two chances but I managed to stay clear.”

That was just what Napoli had in mind when it agreed to the loan deal, which requires the club to buy Raspadori’s full rights at the end of the season for 30 million euros ($30 million).

What’s more, Raspadori became Napoli’s eighth different scorer in Serie A this season, tied for the most in the league with Inter Milan.

Georgia’s 21-year-old winger Khoicha Kvartsakhelia, who has already scored four goals and was named Serie A’s Player of the Month for August, showed his skills once again on the left when he dribbled past two defenders. Play in the first half.

A few minutes later, “Kvara” was at it again with some quick dribbling moves to beat his markers. This time his shot was a little more accurate but Spezia goalkeeper Bartholomew Dragowski blocked his effort against the near post.

Zielinski came on as a second-half substitute and made an immediate impact, curling a long-range shot that Poland team-mate Drogowski had to tip over the crossbar.

Spezia also threatened at times and centre-back Amir Rahmani had to clear a shot off the line amid confusion in the Napoli defence.

All in all, Napoli are doing well to make moves after former captain Lorenzo Insigne left for Toronto FC, record scorer Dries Mertens moved to Galatasaray and defender Kalidou Koulibaly joined Chelsea.

South Korean center Kim Min-jae, Koulibaly’s replacement, was relieved after he also made a big impression.

“There is a good atmosphere in the team. Everyone is very welcoming, which is important for a shy person like me to join a team like this,” Raspadori said.

Spalletti was sent off with his second yellow card amid the controversy after Raspadori’s goal, which also resulted in a red card for Spezia’s goalkeeper coach.

Next up for Napoli is a meeting with Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday. Speletti should then be suspended for next weekend’s match against Milan.

Milan tested

Olivier Giroud won for Milan with a penalty midway through the second half after Leo had been sent off and Filip Dvorić equalized for Sampdoria.

Junior Messias set Milan up on the counter-attack six minutes before Leo started by pulling away from Sampdoria near midfield and finished with Leo Messias’s set-piece.

Liu picked up his second yellow card for a dangerous head kick early in the second half.

Đuričić then connected at the top after being left unmarked by Milan’s defence.

Milan were awarded a penalty for handball and Giroud scored the spot kick into the top corner.

INTER REBOUNDS

Inter bounced back from back-to-back losses – in the Milan derby and at home against Bayern Munich – with an 89th-minute winner from Marcelo Brozovic.

It was a textbook goal as Niccolo Barella picked out Brozovic at the far post and the Croatian midfielder raced past the defense to flick it in.

Torino dropped to seventh, four points behind Napoli.

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