SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 34 - 28 Apr 2019 (11.30 UK)
0 - 2 Napoli
Mertens 19 (N), Younes 49 (N)
Stadio Benito Stirpe

Dries Mertens curled in a marvellous free kick and Amin Younes scored a fine goal as Napoli emerged from Frosinone with a 2-0 win.

The Canarini were virtually relegated and missing suspended top scorer Camillo Ciano, plus injured Federico Viviani and Bartosz Salamon. Lorenzo Insigne, Allan, Vlad Chiriches and Amadou Diawara were on the treatment table, but this win puts the Partenopei eight points clear of third-placed Inter.

Arkadiusz Milik came sliding in, but unable to make contact with a Jose Callejon cross-shot, but Frosinone had the first big chance on eight minutes when Luca Valzania pounced on a Kalidou Koulibaly slip to go on the counter, Andrea Pinamonti skimming the upright.

Amin Younes was a surprise pick rather than Simone Verdi, but he cut inside from the left and his right-foot curler was palmed away by Marco Sportiello.

Younes was looking lively and earned a free kick just outside the box with another mazy run, from which Dries Mertens curled a sublime set piece into the near top corner to give Napoli the lead. It was a very special goal, allowing him to match Diego Armando Maradona’s tally of 81 in Serie A with the Partenopei jersey.

Mertens tried a repeat free kick from another foul on Younes and went for the exact same spot, but this time was just over the bar. Callejon also scuffed from a promising position, then on the counter seconds later Valzania had penalty appeals rejected by going over under pressure from Kevin Malcuit.

Younes was a livewire all day and confirmed his Man of the Match status with a marvellous individual goal. He again cut in from the left for a mazy run, completed the give and go with Milik to rifle into the far bottom corner.

David Ospina was finally tested by a Mirko Gori strike and the Valzania follow-up whistled wide, but Napoli were extraordinarily unlucky on 64 minutes.

First Callejon’s right-foot strike bounced off the base of the near post, then Fabian Ruiz blasted the follow-up on to the underside of the crossbar from 12 yards.

Milik’s free kick sailed wide, Callejon, Mertens and Adam Ounas also tested Sportiello from distance, but there was still time for Raul Albiol to make his comeback three months after knee surgery.

It just wasn't Callejon's day, because in stoppages he managed to drill his finish on to the upright yet again.

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: Sportiello; Brighenti, Ariaudo, Goldaniga; Ghiglione (Paganini 56), Gori, Maiello, Valzania (D Ciofani 76), Beghetto; Trotta (Dionisi 66), Pinamonti
Napoli: Ospina; Malcuit (Albiol 87), Koulibaly, Luperto, Ghoulam; Callejon, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski, Younes (Verdi 73); Mertens, Milik (Ounas 78)
Ref: La Penna