Ninety minutes of utter frustration for Napoli fans, as Lazio turned up at the San Paolo looking like last season's side, the one that played for the draw, the one content to sit back and simply defend. While that strategy often got the best of the biancocelesti last season, this year they've got Federico Marchetti in front of net. While Fernando Muslera was well known for his bumbling errors in Serie A, Marchetti didn't put a finger wrong, earning Lazio a deserved point in Naples tonight.
While Napoli didn't look their best in the first half, they came storming out in the second. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall in that dressing room, knowing what, exactly, Walter Mazzarri said to have the partenopei suddenly buzzing around the pitch, threatening from every angle. While the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi and company managed to get behind the Lazio defense, they simply couldn't catch Marchetti off-guard.
The most potent example of the ex-Cagliari keeper's tremendous game came in the dying minutes of injury time. El Pocho, convinced he'd found a way to get the winning goal in zona Napoli, sent his shots through the legs of a Lazio defender. The ball was headed for the bottom corner of the net but Marchetti somehow managed to spot it, get his gloves on it, and push it away.
And so a 0-0 draw in the end that preserves Lazio's unbeaten streak at eight matches running. What was encouraging from Napoli, though, was their second half performance. In the league, the azzurri have oft looked a shadow of their last season's self, but their play was near-perfect for the last 45 minutes (excepting a shot from Walter Gargano, which should never be allowed), and on another day, they would've picked up all three points.