Napoli’s Ghoulam makes Serie A return after eight months in Hellas Verona win

The Algerian defender came off the bench to play his first league match for the Parthenopeans since October 6

 Faouzi Ghoulam played his first competitive match for Napoli since October as a substitute in Tuesday’s Serie A win over Hellas Verona.

The 29-year-old was introduced as a 67th-minute substitute in their 2-0 away triumph at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

He replaced Elseid Hysaj, and he assisted Hirving Lozano in securing Napoli’s second goal on the stroke of full-time after Arkadiusz Milik opened the scoring in the 38th minute.

The game was Ghoulam’s first outing since October 6 when he was introduced for Hysaj in a goalless draw against Torino.

It was his sixth appearance in the Serie A this season as Gennaro Gattuso’s men boosted their chances of qualifying for the Uefa Champions League next season.

Napoli are sixth in the league table with 42 points after 27 matches and they are nine points away from the top-four with 11 games to go.

At the end of the match, Ghoulam said he was excited to return to the pitch and he was pleased with the team’s overall performance on the road.

“I was looking forward to returning to the field. I’m happy: for the victory, the team’s performance and for the assist. Kudos to us,” the Algeria international tweeted.

Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly was also in action for Napoli but he was shown a yellow card during the encounter.

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The centre-back who played a crucial role in helping Gattuso’s men lift the Coppa Italia last Wednesday was delighted to see the team maintain their winning streak and he also shared in Ghoulam’s joy.

« The joy of Coppa Italia did not distract us. We played a difficult game very well. Happy for the return to the field of Faouzi Ghoulam,” he tweeted.

For Hellas Verona, Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat was on parade for 84 minutes while Ghana’s Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu was an unused substitute.


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