Napoli’s Lozano lauded in Italian media as Mexican inspires Empoli win
Hirving Lozano played a crucial role in Napoli’s tenth Serie A win in a row: he scored a penalty, drew an Empoli red card and set up the hosts second goal.
If Napoli are enjoying the best start to a season in their history (by far), it’s because head coach Luciano Spalletti has found the right way to use every element in his squad, making players feel a part of the project - and important to it. Against Empoli on Tuesday, Hirving Lozano played a crucial role in Napoli’s 2-0 Serie A win over Empoli, having started on the bench. Brought on in the 64th minute as the Partenopei struggled to find the breakthrough, the Mexico international ending up changing the course of the match.
The winger created the opening that led Victor Osimhen to win a penalty, before converting the spot-kick himself. Later, Lozano drew the second yellow card shown to Empoli’s Sebastiano Luperto and assisted, with time almost up, crowned a fine piece of play by setting up Piotr Zielinski for the hosts’ second.
Lozano enjoying excellent campaign at Napoli
The former PSV player, who arrived at Napoli in 2019, alternates on the right wing with Matteo Politano: he has started seven times in 14 Serie A games, and twice in the five Champions League clashes that he has been available for. With a total of four goals and two assists, the 27-year-old is having a very positive season - close to his best form for the club, in 2020/21, when he grabbed 15 goals in all competitions.
Lozano was unstoppable against Empoli, as the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport underlined. “Chucky will remain in [left-back Fabiano] Parisi’s worst nightmares, after burning past him before delivering the pass for Zielinski’s goal,” the publication purred.
Mexican praises Napoli spirit after netting penalty
Speaking on DAZN post-match at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Lozano paid tribute to the great atmosphere in the Napoli dressing room. “I wanted to take the penalty and all my teammates encouraged me, this made me happy,” he said. “Here we’re all key men, and we’re doing a great job”.
The forward will also be a prominent figure at the World Cup, where his Mexico team open up their campaign against club-mate Zielinski’s Poland. “We’re talking about the game, it will be special,” Lozano said. “Piotr is a great guy and it will be very nice to cross paths in Qatar”. Before that, there is one last Napoli game to go, against Udinese. If Spalletti’s side win, the league leaders will maintain an advantage of at least eight points over their pursuers. There would be no better pre-World Cup send-off.