Napoli 1-1 Verona: Napoli miss out on Champions League after a disappointing draw | Serie A 2020-21

Dejected Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli after Verona match on 23-05.2021
Dejected Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli after Verona match on 23-05.2021 | Photo Credit: IMAGO

Napoli failed to qualify for the Champions League after they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Verona in their last match of the Serie A season.

Gennaro Gattuso‘s side finished the season in fifth place, one point behind Juventus, who secure a top-four finish narrowly.

A win was all Napoli needed to book their place in the apex club tournament of UEFA, but they could not capitalise on a dominant display in this game to take home all three points.

The hosts started the better of both teams but could not muster a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. 

After finishing the first half goalless, they opened the scoring at the hour mark thanks to an Amir Rrahmani strike. But the Kosovan’s goal was not enough to see out the game as Marco Faraoni scored for the visitors nine minutes later to level the scores and hand the hosts a disappointing last day result.

The result, which saw them finish with 24 wins–the second-highest in the Serie A–was not enough to secure them Champions League football.

What next for Napoli?

Having begun the season in a difficult situation, few people expected Napoli to be in a top-four battle by the end of the season.

However, despite the challenges of the season, which included a divided squad, a congested fixture list that saw the club suffer terrible spells with injuries/Covid-19, ‘Gli Azzurri’ have now qualified for the Europa League and are finishing in a respectable position ahead of the likes of Lazio and Roma.

Although they will be feeling bad for missing out on a top-four finish, Napoli fans have shown that any frustrations from this season will not be directed at this team. Rather their frustrations have been targeted at club President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who they believe has failed the manager.

Meanwhile, Gattuso is set to leave the club at the end of the season after reportedly falling out with the club president. Reports of Max Allegri taking over has grown louder by the day. The former Juventus coach is a good option as he will bring pedigree and a winning mentality to Naples. He is yet to commit to Napoli, and he could yet choose Real Madrid rather than coming to the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Whatever is the case, the Napoli fans call for the rebuilding of this Napoli team which they consider too weak to be challenging for the title. It will be interesting to see if Luciano Spalletti or Allegri are assigned with the rebuilding job.