An Arkadiusz Milik header helped Napoli secure a hard-fought 2-0 win over Hellas Verona at the Stadio Bentegodi in Serie A on Tuesday.
The Pole rose highest from a corner to set the Coppa Italia champions on their way to a fifth away victory in six matches. Deep into stoppage time Hirving Lozano met a corner at the back post and secured the win for the Azzurri.
Verona weren’t without chances of their own and saw a Davide Faraoni equaliser ruled out after Mattia Zaccagni slipped and touched the ball with his hand in the build up. Meanwhile, Valerio Verre missed an open net from just yards out early in the first half, as the Gialloblu fell to defeat.
Verona came closest to breaking the deadlock, as Samuel Di Carmine’ sharp movement allowed him to win a corner off Kalidou Koulibaly. From the resulting set-piece, Napoli midfielder Allan was relieved to see a backward header go into the side netting.
The Partenopei pushed forward and Piotr Zielinski showed neat close control to chest the ball down and evade his marker, but his low drive was well parried by Marco Silvestri.
At the other end, Verona ought to have taken the lead as Verre contrived to miss an open goal. A rapid counterattack allowed the hosts to get the ball up field and Zaccagni’s shot from the edge of the box was lazily headed away by Diego Demme.
As Faraoni raced to the loose ball and sliced a volley across the face of goal, Verre chested the ball over from just yards out with the net at his mercy. The incredible miss would prove costly some 10 minutes later as Napoli went ahead.
Making amends for his sloppy defensive work, Demme charged down the line to win a corner, and Milik made no mistake from the resulting delivery. Taking advantage of non-existent marking, the striker guided a well-placed header beyond Silvestri to give Napoli the lead, shortly before the end of the first half.
Verona started the second period brightly and Miguel Veloso stung David Ospina’s gloves with a drive from range. The Colombian keeper, meanwhile, showed bravery to punch a smart Darko Lazovic cross away as Di Carmine dived in.
The home side had the ball in the net on the hour mark but were left cursing VAR. The lively Zaccagni mazed his way through a static Napoli defence and whipped in a fine cross for Faraoni to nod in, but the winger slipped in the build up and brushed the ball with his hand. Despite much protestation, the goal was chalked off after a VAR consultation.
It proved to be something of a wake up call for Napoli, and the Partenopei looked to take control of possession. Lorenzo Insigne came closest to doubling the advantage with a bending effort after cutting inside, but his strike whistled over the bar.
Napoli secured victory in stoppage time through substitute Lozano, as the Mexican climbed above his marker at the back post to force a corner home. The former PSV man ought to have doubled his tally moments later as he raced clear, but he snatched his low shot wide.