SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 35 - 5 May 2013 (19.45 UK)
Napoli 3 - 1 Inter
Cavani 3, pen 33, 77 (N), Alvarez pen 23 (I)
Stadio San Paolo

Edinson Cavani bagged a hat-trick – his 101st goals for the club – to crush Inter and all but secure second spot for Napoli.

The Partenopei are now unbeaten at home to Inter in Serie A since October 1997, earning five wins and two draws. Cavani and Valon Behrami returned from suspension, but Hugo Campagnaro was out with a calf injury. Tommaso Rocchi was only fit for the bench, so they had no strikers at all, improvising with Fredy Guarin and Ricky Alvarez in attack. Esteban Cambiasso was back, but Javier Zanetti, Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano, Walter Gargano, Walter Samuel, Yuto Nagatomo and Dejan Stankovic among others were out.

It took all of three minutes for Cavani to break the deadlock, as he ran through the middle on a Goran Pandev pass to smash it past a helpless Samir Handanovic.

Morgan De Sanctis had his gloves stung by a fierce Guarin free kick and Juan Jesus turned the follow-up over. Samir Handanovic plucked a Christian Maggio header out of the air and Alvaro Pereira forced De Sanctis to palm a daisy-cutter round the upright.

Cavani flashed a ball across the six-yard box and Marek Hamsik was inches away from making contact as he came sliding in.

Moments later, Inter were awarded a penalty for a clumsy Juan Camilo Zuniga tackle on Alvarez. The Argentine got back up and converted despite De Sanctis getting an arm to it.

Handanovic parried a Blerim Dzemaili blockbuster and a Pandev angled drive at the near post. Having given away a penalty, Zuniga earned one too as he was bundled over from behind by Jonathan in another clumsy intervention.

Cavani took the penalty duties despite his poor recent record from the spot, but kept his cool to bury it into the bottom corner for his 100th goal in a Napoli jersey.

Hamsik surged forward only to blast over the bar and Cavani tested Handanovic again. Esteban Cambiasso came on for the second half, but Handanovic had to smother a Pandev snapshot and Ranocchia charged down a Hamsik effort.

Alvarez pounced on a loose ball to test De Sanctis with a powerful angled drive. Ranocchia risked giving away a penalty for a shove on Cavani, but fortunately for him the referee had already blown the whistle for an earlier foul on Pandev.

The crowd was up and screaming when Cavani got the Pandev pull-back from six yards, but prodded wide when anticipating Juan Jesus. Ranocchia was booked for a very bad studs-up tackle on Pablo Armero’s shins.

Cavani completed his hat-trick when he sparked a move and finished it, as he ran to the back post to slide on to a Pandev ball across Handanovic.


Napoli: De Sanctis; Gamberini (Rolando 63), Cannavaro, Britos; Maggio, Behrami, Dzemaili (Armero 66), Zuniga; Hamsik; Pandev (Insigne 85), Cavani
Inter: Handanovic; Ranocchia (Schelotto 83), Chivu, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Kuzmanovic (Pasa 83), Kovacic, Benassi (Cambiasso 46), Pereira; Guarin, Alvarez
Ref: Giannoccaro