Parma vs. Napoli, final score 1-0: Parolo puts Parma Euro charge back on track

Marco Luzzani

A brilliant finish from Marco Parolo put Parma level with Inter in fifth as they disposed of a Napoli side a world apart from the one that beat Juventus in their previous encounter.

After losing their third consecutive match in their rescheduled encounter with Roma in midweek, Roberto Donadoni made three changes to his Parma side, bringing in Gabriel Paletta, Felipe and Raffaele Palladino to replace Massimo Gobbi and the suspended pair of Alessandro Lucarelli and Amauri. After beating Juventus 2-0 last week, Rafa Benitez had the luxury of naming an unchanged side with no new injury worries rearing up in midweek.

Napoli were the brighter starters and had the ball in the net in the 10th minute, as Federico Fernández headed in Lorenzo Insigne's free kick, but the Argentine was clearly offside and the linesman duly raised his flag.

Napoli continued to be on top throughout the half as Parma looked a shadow of the side that went 17 matches unbeaten; however, the visitors were struggling to connect any passes in the final third and were restricted to only a couple of tame long shots in the remainder of the first period, whilst Parma really failed to offer anything.

Right from the beginning of the second half, Parma looked significantly stronger as they forced Pepe Reina into his first meaningful action of the match, punching Jonathan Biabiany's cross away from a well-placed Ezequiel Schelotto, who looked certain to score.

Five minutes later and the rejuvenated hosts were ahead through a wonderful finish from Marco Parolo. A flowing move ended with Mattia Cassani cutting back to Parolo from the right-hand side where he side-footed into the top corner from 18 yards.

Napoli stirred but were still struggling for clear chances -- Gonzalo Higuaín came close after being played in by a beautiful ball from Jorginho, but the striker's effort from a tight angle hit the outside of the post.

Napoli were still searching for an equaliser as the match entered the final 10 minutes and the closest they were able to come was a Lorenzo Insigne effort flashing across the face of goal with nobody on hand to tap in. Duvan Zapata had a couple of headers miss the target in the dying seconds, but Napoli were unable to get there and Parma now go level with Inter in fifth, their European charge well and truly back on.

Parma: Mirante; Cassani, Paletta, Felipe, Molinaro; Acquah, Parolo (Munari 80'), Marchionni; Biabiany (Cerri 90+2'), Schelotto, Palladino

Goals: Parolo 55'

Napoli: Reina; Henrique, Fernández, Albiol, Ghoulam; Inler, Jorginho; Callejón (Mertens 68'), Hamšik (Pandev 81'), Insigne; Higuaín (Zapata 68')

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