SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 38 - 18 May 2014 (19.45 UK)
Napoli 5 - 1 Verona
Callejon 5 (N), Duvan Zapata 13, 25 (N), Mertens 62, 77 (N), Iturbe 66 (V)
Stadio San Paolo

Napoli made very short work of Hellas Verona with a 5-1 demolition job, as Duvan Zapata and Dries Mertens bagged braces.

This game was played behind closed doors due to crowd trouble at the Coppa Italia Final, so only children were allowed into the stands with free tickets, but they more than made up for it with their cheering.

Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik, Valon Behrami, Raul Albiol and Rafael missed out, while Verona were without Raphael Martinho, Romulo, Massimo Donati and Pillud. Jorginho faced the club he left in January. Hellas still have plenty to play for, as Luca Toni went in only two goals shy of Ciro Immobile’s Capocannoniere tally, while there was a slim chance of qualifying for Europe. They needed to win here, plus Torino lose at Fiorentina with Parma and Milan failing to get all three points.

It was Napoli who took the lead within six minutes, as a Dries Mertens through ball released Jose Callejon for his angled drive past debutant Nicolas. That was Napoli’s 100th goal of the season, a new club record.

Mertens set up another goal, as he rolled through for Duvan Zapata, who spun on the spot to fire in from just inside the area.

Toni Doblas also had work to do after that initial easy start, as he beat away a Marquinho effort and controlled Toni’s header.

However, the defence was all at sea when Callejon sprung the offside trap and flicked up a ball to the back post for Duvan Zapata’s free header.

Verona risked an own goal on a Mertens cross when it squirmed under Nicolas, but Fabrizio Cacciatore dived in to clear off the line.

Toni had the ball in the back of the net, but he was in an offside position, so it didn’t count.

Mertens had been inspirational in the first half and got his name on the scoresheet in the second, pouncing on a dreadful Michelangelo Albertazzi backpass in the box.

Verona did get one back moments later when Juan Iturbe’s free kick took a decisive deflection off the wall.

Mertens completed his brace, gathering from Insigne to smash in from the edge of the box with his right foot.


Napoli: Doblas; Maggio, Henrique, Britos, Ghoulam; Dzemaili (Zuniga 59), Jorginho (Lasicki 79); Mertens, Callejon (Radosevic 46), Insigne; Duvan Zapata
Verona: Nicolas; Cacciatore (Gomez Taleb 55), Marques, Maietta, Agostini (Albertazzi 58); Sala, Donadel, Hallfredsson; Iturbe, Toni, Marquinho (Rabusic 69)
Ref: Pairetto