Dries Mertens was instrumental as Napoli celebrated the life of club legend Diego Maradona, unveiling a statue a year on from his death, and thrashing Lazio 4-0 on Sunday night in Serie A to go clear at the top of the league ahead of AC Milan.
After the Rossoneri lost earlier in the day against Sassuolo, the Partenopei stormed to the Serie A summit with a goal from Piotr Zielinski and a brace from Dries Mertens inside the first 30 minutes, before Fabian Ruiz finished the scoring.
NAPOLI PLAYER RATINGS VS LAZIO
Ospina 6.5; Di Lorenzo 6.5, Rrahmani 6, Koulibaly 6, Mario Rui 6 (86’ Ghoulam n/r); Lobotka 7, Fabian Ruiz 7 (86’ Malcuit n/r); Lozano 6 (64’ Elmas 6), Zielinski 6.5 (73’ Demme 6), Insigne 6.5; Mertens 7.5 (64’ Petagna 6)
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – DRIES MERTENS
The Neapolitans’ all-time leading scorer returned to the starting line-up due to the long-term absence of Victor Osimhen and, while offering something uniquely different in style, was fundamental to the Partenopei attacking play. After making fools of two Lazio defenders to curl home the opener, the Belgian sent a wonderful looping shot past Pepe Reina that left the Romans with a mountain to climb at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.