AP NEWS

Ancelotti making all the right moves at Napoli

October 7, 2018
1 of 5

Napoli's Adam Ounas celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Sassuolo at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Oct. 7, 2018. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA Via AP)

ROME (AP) — Carlo Ancelotti’s constant lineup changes are paying off.

Napoli has fielded a different starting 11 for each of its 10 matches in all competitions this season.

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

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 Champions League on Wednesday.

“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 the 21st different starter under Ancelotti.

After Ounas’ half-volley goal, Insigne found the target with a splendid shot from beyond the area into the far 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 leader Juventus, which won 2-0 at Udinese on Saturday and beat Napoli 3-1 last weekend.

ICARDI AND HIGUAIN BRACES

Mauro Icardi scored twice as Inter Milan won 2-1 at Spal, which missed a penalty.

Inter moved back up to third, two points behind second-place Napoli.

Icardi has been involved in 17 goals in his last 19 matches for Inter, contributing 15 goals and two assists.

Icardi’s 78th-minute winner came six minutes after Alberto Paloschi had equalized for Spal.

Mirco Antenucci missed a penalty for Spal.

Gonzalo Higuain also scored twice for AC Milan in a 3-1 victory over Chievo Verona.

Both of Higuain’s goals were set up by Suso, who has been the assist man for Higuain on all three of his goals at the San Siro since joining Milan.

“When I played for other teams, I would watch Suso play and admire his quality,” Higuain said. “His second assist today was fantastic and it’s thanks to my teammates that I get goals.”

Suso also set up Milan’s third for Giacomo Bonaventura before Chievo’s 39-year-old captain Sergio Pellissier pulled one back.

SEVEN FOR SEVEN

Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek scored with his first touch six minutes into a 3-1 loss to Parma, making him the first player to score in the opening seven Serie A matches since Gabriel Batistuta achieved the feat in 1994-95.

Piatek, a 23-year-old Poland striker, has scored a league-best nine goals.

In 1994-95, Batistuta scored in 11 straight games for Fiorentina and ended the season with 26 goals.

Parma responded to Piatek’s opener with three goals in a 15-minute span of the first half from Luca Rigoni, Luca Siligardi and Fabio Ceravolo.

OTHER MATCHES

Lazio edged Fiorentina 1-0 with a first-half strike from Ciro Immobile, and Sampdoria won 1-0 at Atalanta with a goal from Lorenzo Tonelli.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

AP RADIO
Update hourly