In his 300th Serie A match, Goran Pandev managed to compile a goal an an assist in Napoli’s 2:4 road win against Lazio.
The goal and assist were extra special for Goran Pandev since it came against his former club Lazio, a team that he left on bad terms several years ago after a heated contract dispute with Lazio president Claudio Lotito. It got so bad that the matter ultimately ended up in court where Pandev prevailed and got out of his contract with Lazio.
In Monday’s match, with Marek Hamsik still out for Napoli, Pandev was given the start in the attacking midfield role for Napoli in their 4-2-3-1 formation. After a rather even 1st half that finished 1:1, Napoli showed more initiative after the break and scored a quick goal in the 50th minute through Pandev to take the 1:2 lead in Rome. A cross by Gonzalo Higuain reached the head of Christian Maggio who then played a pass towards Pandev who turned and fired a left footed shot past the Lazio keeper.
After the goal, Pandev did his signature celebration while he was a Lazio player by putting his hands on his ears and running around. He also yelled some words to the crowd to celebrate his goal.
In the 72nd minute, Napoli made it 1:3 with Pandev turning provider to Higuain. Goran sent an accurate pass to his teammate who then showed good finishing skills by slotting a shot past the Lazio keeper. Moments later, in the 74th minute, Pandev was substituted by Napoli manager Rafa Benitez who inserted Blerim Dzemaili into the game. As Pandev walked off the field, he was booed by the Lazio fans, but he ultimately had the last laugh with a goal, assist and more importantly a win.
The assist by Pandev:
Lazio and Napoli each added one more goal after Pandev’s substitution to complete the scoreline at 2:4 for Napoli who snapped a two game losing streak in league play with the win.
As previously mentioned, this match was also Goran’s 300th in Serie A. He has won 159 league caps for Lazio (48 goals), 75 for Napoli (16 goals), 46 for Inter (5 goals) and 20 for Ancona (1 goal). That brings out his total to 70 league goals in 300 league appearances.