‘Monster defender’ Kim Min-jae (27) played full-time and took the lead in winning 4 consecutive victories for his team, Italian professional football Serie A Napoli, with ‘iron wall’ defense. By widening the gap with second place in the league, Kim Min-jae is more likely to win the league title from the first season of transfer.
Napoli won 2-1 against AS Roma in the 18th round of Italian Serie A in the 2022-2023 season held at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy on the 30th. Napoli, whose undefeated streak of 15 league games after the opening ended in the match against Inter Milan in the last round, continued its upward trend by winning four consecutive victories again. Napoli (53 points), with 17 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss, has a greater chance of winning as it widens the gap with Inter Milan (13 wins, 1 draw, 6 losses, 40 points) in second place to 13 points.
On this day, Kim Min-jae, who started as a central defender in harmony with teammate Amir Rahmani, was truly a ‘wall’. According to Whoscored.com, a soccer statistics site, Kim Min-jae recorded the most kicks of 9 times across both teams. Kim Min-jae also had the highest number of shots in the shooting jersey category twice, and also made two successful tackles. He also played a perfect role in the back, recording a pass success rate of 93.2%, the highest in the team. Kim Min-jae blocked opponent striker Paulo Dybala (29) from the source. The Napoli defense, including Kim Min-jae, struggled to the extent that Roma’s three strikers only managed to shoot twice.
Napoli scored with a direct shot after Victor Osimen received a sharp cross in the 17th minute and peeled it off with a perfect touch in front of the Roma defenders.
Roma scored a comeback goal in the 30th minute of the second half when a cross from the right side hit the right foot of Stefan El Sharawi, who was running into Napoli’s goal. The balance of the tight game shifted to Napoli in the 41st minute of the second half when Giovanni Simeone scored the winning goal. Simeone, who received the pass in the penalty arc, turned around and created space to shoot, and hit the top corner of the goal with a strong kick with his left foot, driving a wedge.
The opposing coach also praised Kim Min-jae. According to Italian media Arena Napoli, AS Roma coach Mourinho mentioned Kim Min-jae while answering a question about team striker Dybala. Mourinho said: “Dybala didn’t play well? I don’t like to talk about this kind of thing. It has to be taken into account that Napoli have two very strong, good and fast central defenders. In particular, Kim Min-jae was praised as a fantastic, phenomenal (fantastico) player.” 안전놀이터