Tue, Oct 09, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Ancelotti making the right moves at Napoli


SSC Napoli’s Adam Ounas, right, scores against US Sassuolo in their Serie A match at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Carlo Ancelotti’s constant lineup changes are paying off. SSC Napoli have fielded a different starting XI for each of their 10 matches in all competitions this season.

Adam Ounas, the latest player to crack the lineup, on Sunday made an immediate impact by scoring the first goal in Napoli’s 2-0 win over US Sassuolo.

Lorenzo Insigne, who replaced Ounas in the second half, got Napoli’s second.

Ancelotti changed eight of the 11 starters from Napoli’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday last week.

“I use a lot of players because I see dedication and quality in most of the squad,” Ancelotti said. “There’s no risk when you’re dealing with serious players.”

The variations are a reversal of how former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri used virtually the same lineup for every match.

Sarri was even known for making the same substitution near the hour mark of almost every game, replacing captain Marek Hamsik with Piotr Zielinski.

Sarri’s unwillingness to use more players bothered Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, who began to wonder why he spent money for new acquisitions.

Ounas, who appeared in only seven league matches for Napoli last season, became Ancelotti’s 21st different starter.

After Ounas’ goal, Insigne found the target with a splendid shot from outside the penalty area into the top corner.

Insigne also scored a 90th-minute winner in the win over Liverpool, after which De Laurentiis praised Ancelotti.

“I am going through a good period of form,” Insigne said. “I hope to continue like this and to keep scoring regularly, but aside from all that, I really hope Napoli can go all the way in every competition.”

Napoli moved back within six points of Serie A leaders Juventus.

Elsewhere, Mauro Icardi scored twice as Inter won 2-1 at SPAL, who missed a penalty.

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