Rafa Benitez is under increasing pressure at Napoli after the Partenopei failed to pick up a maximum return from last night’s Serie A encounter with newly-promoted Palermo.
Played at their Stadio San Paolo home, defensive errors cost the hosts dearly, with their Sicilian opponents twice coming from behind to snatch a valuable 3-3 draw in an absorbing encounter from the Italian top-flight.
Napoli had started brightly, with goals from Kalidou Koulibaly and Duvan Zapata putting the hosts 2-0 up within the first 11 minutes.
But their lead did not last long as Palermo fought back to make it 2-2 with just under 25 minutes on the board.
Jose Callejon put the Naples club back in front just before half-time but the Rosanero came back again, levelling the scores on 61 minutes.
Napoli pushed hard for an equalier, with the rested trio of Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain all introduced to no avail.
That result extended the Partenopei’s winless run in Serie A to three games, with Rafa Benitez’s charges currently languishing down in 10th and already eight points off leaders Juventus.
Benitez is under increasing pressure at the club following this poor run in the league and Napoli’s surprise early exit from the Champions League in the qualifying stages.
The Italian’s were dumped out of the competition by Athletic Bilbao, after draw 1-1 at the Stadio San Paolo before a 3-1 loss at the San Mamés Barria in the return leg.
These results reflect a disappointing return on the significant investment made by owner Aurelio De Laurentis and could prompt the Napoli president to opt for a change of guard.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Benitez appeared bullish in the wake of another poor result, though he was unable to offer an explanation as to why his team dropped more points.
"Clearly the team needs to be helped at this moment. We scored three goals, could’ve had more and were denied a penalty that could’ve made the difference," he said.
"It is also true we conceded three goals that we should not have conceded. I think the side still lacks a sense of calm."
The Spaniard was previously sacked by Inter Milan after making a poor start to his debut season at the club and a similar exit could follow in a development that could pave the way for a return to the Premier League.
Prior to his appointment at Napoli, Benitez had made no secret of his desire to be appointed to another top-flight position in England and with success at both Chelsea and Liverpool on his CV, a move back to British shores could be one potential option.
Which Premier League club would be the best fit for Benitez?