SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 8 - 18 Oct 2015 (14.00 UK)
Napoli 2 - 1 Fiorentina
Insigne 46 (N), Kalinic 73 (F), Higuain 75 (N)
Stadio San Paolo

Napoli won the big showdown at the San Paolo and took down surprise Serie A leaders Fiorentina 2-1.

These are the form teams in Serie A and they went head-to-head at the San Paolo. Paulo Sousa’s Viola were two points clear at the top of the table coming in, winning six of their seven games, but missed Manuel Pasqual and Ante Rebic. The Partenopei were fresh from a 4-0 demolition of Milan and welcomed back Lorenzo Insigne after he pulled out of international duty with a knee injury.

Fiorentina have an aggressive start and Jakub Blaszczykowski forced Pepe Reina into a one-handed save at full stretch with his snapshot.

Insigne’s curling free kick was plucked out of the air by Ciprian Tatarusanu. Napoli were furious with the referee in first half stoppages, as Allan had shrugged off a Davide Astori foul, but the advantage was not played.

When the free kick was eventually taken, Gonzalo Higuain’s header went wide from six yards.

The deadlock was finally broken just 43 seconds after the restart by on-form Insigne, who burst past Nenad Tomovic down the left on to a defence-splitting Marek Hamsik pass and cut in to curl round Tatarusanu into the far bottom corner.

It was almost 2-0, but Raul Albiol’s free header from a corner skimmed the bar, but Reina rushed out to deny Nikola Kalinic sent clear by Josip Ilicic, while Jose Callejon drilled wide after Allan robbed Gonzalo Rodriguez.

Fiorentina got their equaliser to silence the San Paolo, as Kalinic ran on to a long Ilicic ball over the top, out-sprinted the centre-backs and placed the finish past Reina with the outside of his right boot. It was his fifth goal in just eight Serie A games.

It didn’t last long, as Higuain first forced a save from Tatarusanu, then moments later surprised Ilicic, combined with Dries Mertens and at full stretch anticipated the goalkeeper.

Mertens picked up a muscular problem and had to be substituted, while in the final minute Higuain wanted a penalty for his collision with Tatarusanu as they both went for a Faouzi Ghoulam cross.

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Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan (David Lopez 91), Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Higuain, Insigne (Mertens 61) (El Kaddouri 79)
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Tomovic (Babacar 78), Gonzalo Rodriguez, Astori; Blaszczykowski, Vecino, Badelj, Alonso (Roncaglia 55); Bernardeschi (Ilicic 52), Borja Valero; Kalinic
Ref: Banti