Albanian defender Elseid Hysaj scored his first Serie A goal and Allan got the sealer to give Napoli a 2-0 victory against Sassuolo on Saturday night but the match will be remembered for the Neroverdi having four goals disallowed for offside.
A goal in each half for the Neapolitan side was enough for the win but their opponents from Emilia-Romagna had goals by Filip Djuricic on two occasions and then Francesco Caputo and Domenico Berardi disallowed by referee Gianluca Aureliano.
The Partenopei remain seventh in the table with 59 points after 36 games and they are now 11 points above the Neroverdi.
Djuricic blasted a shot over the bar for Sassuolo early on but it was Napoli who opened the scoring after eight minutes. Hysaj received the ball on the left, decided to cut in, and he unleashed a shot from outside of the penalty area, which Andrea Consigli could not parry away.
This brought the Partenopei to life and they gained control of the play. Lorenzo Insigne nearly made it 2-0 after running onto a Piotr Zielinski through-ball but his shot just went wide when he only had Consigli to beat.
Minutes later, Zielinski’s had a shot from outside of the box just go wide another effort went straight into the Sassuolo goalkeeper’s arms.
Djuricic thought he had equalised but he was clearly offside when he received the ball.
Insigne crossed from the left and Callejon had made a late run into the box but he could not get enough contact onto the ball.
Another goal from Djuricic was disallowed in the 37th minute due to Hamed Traore being offside in the build-up. The Serbian was still willing to score though and he had a shot saved by David Ospina.
Napoli attacked immediately in the second half, with Arkadiusz Milik failing to convert and Zielinski’s shot on the rebound tipped away for a corner.
Soon after, Sassuolo had their third goal of the game disallowed. Francesco Caputo had put the ball into the net but both Berardi and he had been in offside positions.
The Partenopei went on a counterattack, and Fabian Ruiz had a shot blocked after a solo run, when perhaps he should have passed to an unmarked Callejon.
It seemed that it couldn’t get any worse for Sassuolo but they had their fourth goal disallowed when Berardi had beat Ospina, but after another check with VAR, Caputo had been offside in the construction of the play.
Milik had a shot saved by Consigli soon after and then Gian Marco Ferrari headed over the bar for the Neroverdi.
Sassuolo kept pushing for an equaliser in the last 20 minutes, but Napoli came closer to scoring, with substitutes Matteo Politano hitting the post and Elif Elmas shooting straight at the Neroverdi goalkeeper.
The second goal of the game finally came in injury time, when the other substitutes Dries Mertens and Allan combined to double the home side’s lead.