Napoli continued their dominant streak by beating Palermo 2-0, having also hit the woodwork three times.
The Partenopei were in spectacular form, winning eight of their last nine games in all competition with 25 goals scored and three conceded. The Sicilians were fresh from a 1-1 draw with Inter, but missed Francesco Bolzoni, Michel Morganella and Uros Djurdjevic.
Palermo had only ever won this fixture once, 2-1 back in December 1951, along with five draws and 15 defeats. Last season Napoli lost 3-1 in Sicily and were held to an epic 3-3 draw at the San Paolo.
Only Allan and Kalidou Koulibaly were rested, so Gonzalo Higuain tried to continue his scoring record and forced an early save from Stefano Sorrentino with his header. On the resulting corner, Marek Hamsik curled wide.
Higuain had one daisy-cutter smothered, another turned just wide deflected off Giancarlo Gonzalez, then Sorrentino fingertipped a Lorenzo Insigne strike on to the far post.
Pipita did get his goal eventually, as this time the angled drive from the edge of the box flew into the far bottom corner past Sorrentino’s gloves. It means he has scored in each of the last six Serie A games at the San Paolo.
Higuain almost doubled his tally on the stroke of half-time, but Sorrentino flew to deny the Argentine, as it was one-way traffic.
Sorrentino used his feet to deny Marek Hamsik, then the goalkeeper made an incredible double save. First he tipped Higuain’s daisy-cutter on to the upright, then got back up to deny Jose Callejon’s follow-up.
Dries Mertens smacked the base of the near post after a mazy run, the third time Napoli had rattled the frame of the goal this evening.
The Belgian made up for it soon after with an almost identical move, except this time he curled into the far bottom corner.
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