Arkadiusz Milik broke his duck in style, bagging both Napoli goals to beat Hellas Verona 2-0, although Alex Meret was decisive too.
The Partenopei needed to get back on track after some misfiring recent performances, particularly in front of goal, so Amin Younes and Arek Milik were drafted in. Mario Rui, Elseid Hysaj, Nikola Maksimovic and Lorenzo Tonelli missed out, so Giovanni Di Lorenzo was surprisingly moved across to left-back. Hellas missed Daniel Bessa and Emmanuel Badu, but the main concern was their terrible record of 10 consecutive Serie A defeats at the Stadio San Paolo.
Marco Silvestri bravely got his fingertips to a low Kevin Malcuit cross, taking it off the toes of Milik for what would’ve been a tap-in.
Koray Gunter made a decisive glancing header to stop both Milik and Jose Callejon getting on the end of a Lorenzo Insigne cross.
However, Verona were extremely dangerous and denied only by Alex Meret heroics on 17 minutes. He made three saves in one move, on Darko Lazovic from the tightest of angles, then both the Mattia Pessina and Mattia Zaccagni follow-up.
Meret was called into action again after Zaccagni skipped past Allan to shoot at the base of the near post, while Verona scored a goal only after Lazovic had wandered offside.
Milik had penalty appeals waved away, as he went down too easily after a tussle with Marco Davide Faraoni.
Di Lorenzo drilled wide and Faraoni’s free header was over the bar, but the deadlock was broken from a corner that wasn’t fully cleared. Callejon’s through ball sent Fabian Ruiz down the left and he rolled it across for Milik to tap in from six yards, the Pole’s first goal of the season.
Insigne’s inspired through ball released Younes, who fired straight at Koray Gunter, then Fabian Ruiz drilled off target.
Silvestri had his gloves stung by Fabian Ruiz and Younes saw his finish deflected inches wide of the near post after another inspired Insigne assist.
Milik had not scored all season, only to get two at once against Verona, as he got in front of defenders at the near post and stuck up a foot to flick Insigne’s free kick in from the tightest of angles.
Faraoni’s volley from the edge of the box flashed just past the upright, while Eddie Salcedo had penalty appeals for a nudge in the back from Malcuit and Marash Kumbulla couldn’t keep a free header on target.
Fernando Llorente and Dries Mertens came off the bench, almost combining to score a goal. Llorente saw his header from six yards parried by Silvestri and the rebound from a tight angle had Mertens clatter the ball against the inside of the far post.
Napoli-owned local lad Gennaro Tutino came on and really should’ve scored for Verona, but fired over from a yard after a deflected Samuel Di Carmine cross. Rrahmani’s looping header also grazed the far upright.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk