Chievo vs. Napoli, final score 2-0: Flying Donkeys provide a hammer-blow to Napoli's title ambitions

Dino Panato

Chievo took a comfortable 2-0 victory over Napoli, effectively ending the Partenopei's title hopes as Edinson Cavani's barren run of form continued.

Eugenio Corini made four changes to the Chievo Verona side that lost 2-1 at Fiorentina, bringing in Bostjan Cesar, Boukary Drame, Perparim Heremaj and Isaac Cofie for Francesco Acerbi, Bojan Jokic, Roberto Guana and Felipe Seymour whilst Walter Mazzari brought in Rolando and Alessandro Gamberini for the injured Miguel Britos and suspended Paolo Cannavaro and Lorenzo Insigne replaced Goran Pandev in attack.

Neither side were able to dominate the opening exchanges however it was Chievo who were afforded the first opening, Nicolas Frey breaking into the box from the left however Alessandro Gamberini was able to recover to make a crucial challenge and get the ball to safety.

The match threatened to break into life as Napoli began to find their feet going forward, Christian Maggio heading Lorenzo Insigne's corner over and Juan Camillo Zuniga firing just wide from distance however the Flying Donkeys were still looking dangerous on the break and this told in the 12th minute as Chievo took the lead. A free kick was cleared only as far as Boukary Drame about 35 yards out and the Senegalese wing-back was able to take a touch before rocketing an unstoppable drive past Morgan De Sanctis.

Moments later, it was nearly 2-0. A short corner routine finally found its way to Alberto Paloschi in the six yard box, his header hitting the top of the crossbar,

Napoli were struggling to make any real impact on the match and Edinson Cavani, struggling for form recently, looked forlorn and isolated. Napoli did manage to get the ball to Cavani, playing him in behind the Chievo defence however his shot was weak and easily saved by Christian Puggioni.

A long-range effort from Lorenzo Insigne that flashed wide and a Cavani free kick from 20 yards that was saved by Puggioni were the only real attempts Napoli were able to fashion and just before half time, things got a whole lot worse for the Partenopei as Nicolas Frey's clipped ball over the Napoli defence was met by Cyril Thereau who outpaced Alessandro Gamberini. His shot from the right had side of the six yard box wasn't the strongest however it managed to wriggle under Morgan De Sanctis's arm, the veteran goalkeeper really should have done better and will not want to watch any replays of the goal.

With a two goal lead, Chievo were content to sit back and absorb all Napoli's pressure in the second half, and the Partenopei predictably found it hard to break down their staunch defence. Chances were hard to come by, especially with Cavani so out-of-sorts however they were given a route back into the match when Dario Dainelli bundled over the Uruguayan in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Cavani stepped up however his goalscoring woes were to continue as Puggioni guessed right to make a good save and pile more misery on the downtrodden striker.

Thereafter, Chievo continued to allow Napoli to come to them however their defence stayed true and all of Napoli's attacking ambitions were stifled. Chievo took the three points which keeps them eight points above the relegation zone following Siena's victory, whilst Napoli's title ambitions appear to be all but crushed with Juventus grabbing a last-gasp winner at home to Catania.

Chievo: Puggioni; Frey, Dainelli, Cesar, Andreolli, Drame (Jokic 73); Cofie, Rigoni, Hetemaj; Thereau (Luciano 57), Paloschi (Pellissier 82)

Napoli: De Sanctis, Gamberini (Dzemaili 46), Rolando, Campagnaro; Maggio, Behrami, Inler (Armero 57), Zuniga (Pandev 63); Hamsik; Insigne, Cavani

Goals: Drame 12 (C), Thereau 43 (C)

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