Napoli keep pressure on the top four

Date: 22nd April 2021 at 10:46pm
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Napoli strengthened their claim for a Champions League spot with a thrilling 5-2 win at home to Lazio.

They found themselves four goals up through Lorenzo Insigne, Matteo Politano, and Dries Mertens, but were bought back to 4-2 by Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milimkovic-Savic. The game was then put beyond doubt Victor Osimhen.

Just three and a half minutes in, Lazio countered at pace through Manuel Lazzari and he was bought down in the box by Elseid Hysaj when he was through on goal. A VAR check ensued, which found that Milinkovic Savic fouled Kostas Manolas with a high foot from a Napoli corner in the same passage of play. The referee awarded Napoli a penalty, which Insigne fired past Pepe Reina.

By the 11th minute, Napoli were 2-0 up. Mertens laid the ball wide for Politano who cut inside and fired a low shot through the bodies and into the bottom corner.

Lazio created plenty of chances in the first half but couldn’t score. Shortly after the restart, Insigne made it 3-0. Gennaro Gattuso’s side flew forward and Insigne produced a moment of genius as he feinted past Lucas Leiva and chipped the ball over Reina from 18 yards.

With 25 minutes to go, Napoli scored another wonderful goal to make it 4-0. This time the ball was played to the edge of the box by Piotr Zielinksi after a neat turn, and Mertens hit the bouncing ball first time into the roof of the net. That goal was his 102nd in the league for Napoli and took him level with Antonio Vojak as the club’s all-time Serie A top scorer.

Five minutes later, Immobile pulled a goal back for Lazio. He was played through by Andreas Pereira and finished superbly past Alex Meret. Lazio were certainly worth at least one goal.

With 15 minutes to go, they had another goal back. A free-kick on the edge of the box was expertly placed into the top corner by Milinkovic Savic.

The comeback was soon ended though as Osimhen fired an excellent finish past Reina to put the game beyond Lazio.

The win puts Napoli just two points behind fourth-placed Juventus as they intensify the race for Champions League football.

It looks unlikely Lazio will reach the top four now, as they sit seven points off fourth. They do however have a game in hand.


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