A club with a rich heritage like Napoli is bound to have expectations riding on them every time they take the pitch. Needless to say, no team can ever live up to all those expectations and are bound to fail. Some shape their destiny while others hurt for long. We take a look at 10 such losses Napoli suffered that actually shape the Napoli of today.
10. Juventus 4 – 3 Napoli, 2019-20 Serie A
The start of the 2019-20 season saw Juve unsettled with a new coach and an overloaded squad lacking balance.
With Napoli pushing for the title in the last couple of seasons, this was their chance to put a marker down at the Allianz Stadium. Instead, Napoli lost 3-4 to a late Kalidou Koulibaly own goal after coming back from 3-0 down to 3-3.
9. Napoli 0 – 3 Fiorentina, 2017-18 Serie A
Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli had the title well in their sights, but a shock defeat (and a heavy one) against Fiorentina meant they lost their way from a promising position.
A 6th minute red card to prolific defender Kalidou Koulibaly meant 10 men Napoli conceeded a hat-trick to youngster Giovanni Simeone and slump to a 3-0 defeat.
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8. Napoli 1 – 2 Juventus, 2018-19 Serie A
At the Sao Paolo in Naples, Napoli had to win against league leaders Juventus to stay in the hunt for the title.
A red card for goalkeeper Alex Meret coupled by a wonderful Miralem Pjanic freekick goal complicated things as they eventually slumped to a 2-1 loss at home to Juve.
7. Napoli 0 -1 Arsenal, 2018-19 UEFA Europa League
After winning 2-0 in the first leg at the Emirates, Arsenal traveled to Sao Paolo to defeat Napoli 1-0 and win 3-0 on aggregate.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were expected to respond from their pathetic showing in London. However, it didn’t quite work out that way as Arsenal’s defense proved too hard to break down for Napoli.
6. Napoli 0 – 2 Inter Milan, 2014-15 Coppa Italia Quarterfinals
The quarterfinals of the 2014-15 Coppa Italia pitched Roberto Mancini’s Inter against Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli.
In what was expected to be a classic tactical contest, Inter steamrolled Napoli to a 2-0 victory to knock the holders out of the Coppa.
Also Read: Top 10 AC Milan Losses
5. AC Milan 4 – 1 Napoli, 1990-91 Serie A
One of the worst defeats of Diego Maradona as an individual, Serie A champions Napoli crashed to a huge defeat to AC Milan in the Serie A the following season.
The line up consisted 8 members of Napoli’s title-winning squad but couldn’t stand up to European champs Milan who ran away with a 4-1 victory at San Siro.
4. Sampdoria 4 – 1 Napoli, 1990-91 Serie A
Crushing defeats in the same month to Sampdoria and Milan ended Napoli’s chances of competing in the title race in the 1990-91 season.
After being humbled by Milan at San Siro, Diego Maradona’s Napoli lost by the same margin at the hands of eventual Serie A winners Sampdoria.
3. AC Milan 4 – 1 Napoli, 1987-88 Serie A
Champions Napoli were taking on contenders Milan in a Serie A game in the 1987-88 edition when Milan thumped the Naples outfit 4-1 with an amazing showing from Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit.
The defeat was as much humiliating as it was critical in the title race for Arrigo Sacchi’s team, especially as it came against arch rivals Milan.
2. Napoli 0 – 4 Sampdoria, 1989 Coppa Italia Final
Sampdoria were going through one of their rich veins of form when they squared up against Napoli in the final of the Coppa Italia in 1989.
Diego Maradona’s team were swept aside with a 4-0 victory that truly announced the demise of Napoli’s golden generation.
1. Werder Bremen 5 – 1 Napoli, 1989-90 UEFA Cup
True humiliation of sorts as German side Werder Bremen thrashed Italian champions Napoli 5-1 in Bremen in a UEFA Cup game.
The teams were in no way evenly matched as Napoli possessed the riches of talent of Diego Maradona and his strike partner Giovani. This is till date Napoli’s worst turnout in European competition.