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Report: Ancelotti’s Napoli held by Genk

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Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side was held to a scoreless draw by Belgian side Genk.

This game was billed as a goal fest for the Italian side.

Last Champions League outing, saw Napoli thump defending champions Liverpool 2-0, and Genk loses to Austrian side RB Salzburg 6-2.

Surely with the quality available to Napoli, they would run up a whopping score against the lesser opposition.

It appears as Carlo Ancelotti rang the changes, he vastly underestimated his opponents, who battled and held on for a 0-0 draw.

The team from Naples left Lorenzo Insigne out of the squad, and Dries Mertens was dropped to the bench

Ancelotti gave Arkadiusz Milik only his second start of the season in the Napoli front line.

Milik showed he was lacking match practice.

He had a host of opportunities to get his name on the score sheet and show his manager what he was capable of.

In fact, he did show what he was capable of and that was not finding the goal.

He struck the woodwork twice and missed at least three glorious chances from close range.

Halftime came and went, and the story remained much the same. Napoli was wasteful in front of goal.

It was a  homecoming of sorts for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, as he was returning to Genk for the first time since he made the move to Napoli five years ago.

The Senegal international Koulibaly had a shot blocked on the line by Genk midfielder Patrik Hrosovsky.

Milik continued to waste goal-scoring opportunities, this time he was set up by Koulibaly, only to head the ball over the bar.

As well as Jose Callejon missing from inside the six-yard box.

When Mertens was introduced just before the hour mark, he was guilty of the same crimes as his misfiring teammates.

The Belgian international is just one goal away from the 115 Napoli goal mark achieved by legend Diego Maradona.

But even that fact was not motivation enough for him to score. He missed two efforts aswell.

The game appeared to be winding down, with both sides lacking any creativity and desire to push for a win.

That was until the 83rd minute. Genk’s 20-year-old prodigious talent Iani Hagi, son of Romanian legend Gheorghe had the opportunity to steal the points for the home side.

However, just like everyone else had done all night, he fired his effort off target.

Fulltime: Genk 0 – 0 Napoli.

Genk will see this as a great result, but Napoli will be disappointed and definitely consider the result two pints dropped.

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