Free-scoring Napoli crush Lazio 4-1, go back top of Serie A
Not content material with transferring back to the top of Serie A, Napoli additionally boosted its credentials as Italy’s most entertaining workforce by crushing third-placed Lazio 4-1 on Saturday.
Napoli recovered from an early objective all the way down to degree on the finish of the primary half and then blew Lazio away.
Maurizio Sarri’s workforce moved back to a degree above six-time defending champion Juventus, which gained at Fiorentina 2-Zero on Friday.
Napoli walked out onto the pitch carrying shirts with the name and quantity of teammate Faouzi Ghoulam, who _ having been out since November with an ACL damage _ faces one other month no less than on the sidelines after needing a knee operation this week.
“This victory is dedicated to Ghoulam,” Napoli goalscorer Jose Callejon mentioned. “This workforce is a household, we’re all working for a dream that now we have in our heads.
“We had an excellent sport, enjoying with our hearts and legs proper till the tip. It’s from the primary day of preseason that we’ve been working for the title.”
Lazio remained third after its third successive league defeat, seven factors behind Napoli, and may very well be overtaken by Inter Milan and Roma on Sunday.
Earlier, AC Milan beat relegation-threatened Spal 4-Zero, and Atalanta drew at Crotone 1-1.
Lazio obtained off to the right begin as Stefan de Vrij caught out a foot to prod Ciro Immobile’s cross previous Pepe Reina and give his facet a third-minute lead.
De Vrij additionally opened the scoring when Lazio misplaced to Napoli 4-1 earlier within the season.
Napoli leveled within the closing minute of the half when Callejon introduced down a protracted free kick from Jorginho and fired it into the underside left nook.
Napoli dominated after the break and took the lead after Lazio defender Wallace turned Callejon’s cross into his personal web.
Mario Rui elevated Napoli’s benefit moments later, with an effort deflected in by teammate Piotr Zielinski.
Zielinski additionally had a hand in Napoli’s fourth, bamboozling two defenders, earlier than unleashing a shot which Dries Mertens completed off. It was Mertens’ 15th league objective and his fifth in his previous 4 matches.
Sarri marked his 100th Serie A sport in cost of Napoli by being despatched off on the finish of the primary half for dissent. His file stands at 71 wins, 18 attracts and 11 defeats, scoring 228 targets and conceding 86.
Patrick Cutrone boosted his claims to be a daily starter with two targets, and Lucas Biglia and substitute Fabio Borini notched their first league targets for Milan.
Handed his eighth league begin this season, the 20-year-old Cutrone scored lower than two minutes in. Spal goalkeeper Alex Meret parried Alessio Romagnoli’s header however Cutrone tucked the rebound into the underside proper nook.
Cutrone doubled his and Milan’s tally within the 65th. Cutrone’s preliminary shot on the follow-up got here off the left publish however he managed to ship it in on the second try.
Biglia scored from a Spal error, and Borini scored within the final minute.
The Rossoneri are exhibiting indicators of enchancment below Gennaro Gattuso and their greatest win of the season will increase confidence forward of subsequent week’s match at Sampdoria, with each teams chasing a Europa League spot.
NO GREAT ESCAPE
Crotone pulled off the nice escape final season, avoiding relegation on the ultimate day.
This 12 months it’s doing its finest to make sure it’s protected earlier than May. It virtually shocked Atalanta when it scored with 10 minutes remaining. However, Atalanta leveled eight minutes later.
Crotone inched 4 factors clear of 18th-placed Spal and the relegation zone.