SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 4 - 17 Sep 2016 (19.45 UK)
Napoli 3 - 1 Bologna
Callejon 14 (N), Verdi 56 (B), Milik 67, 78 (N)
Stadio San Paolo

Arek Milik came off the bench to bag another decisive brace after Jose Callejon’s opener, as Napoli pushed past Bologna 3-1 to go top of the table.

The Partenopei were seeking a fourth consecutive victory in all competition, resting Arek Milik and Dries Mertens after the 2-0 Champions League victory away to Dynamo Kiev. Roberto Donadoni missed Mattia Destro, Antonio Mirante, Alfred Gomis, Umar Sadiq and Federico Viviani.

It was a strong start from Bologna, who forced Pepe Reina into a very tricky one-handed save on ex-Napoli midfielder Blerim Dzemaili.

Lorenzo Insigne surged forward to drill just wide, then created the opening goal with a marvellous assist to the back post for Jose Callejon’s cushioned header. The Spaniard again timed his run perfectly to sneak behind Vasilis Torosidis. It was his 50th goal in a Napoli jersey, the fifth of the Serie A season so far.

Insigne sprung the offside trap for a half-volley that Angelo Junior Da Costa palmed out from under the bar, while Manolo Gabbiadini also forced a save.

Insigne seemed to have a point to prove and his sensational right-foot curler skimmed the far top corner.

Marek Hamsik, Insigne and Saphir Taider had fierce shots smothered after the restart, but Napoli seemed a little complacent considering it was only 1-0.

That proved to be an accurate concern, because Simone Verdi unleashed a ground to air right-foot missile from 30 metres out that flew under the bar with Reina only flapping helplessly, as it seemed to take a wicked swerve at the last second.

Maurizio Sarri hauled off an ineffective Gabbiadini for Arek Milik, who immediately had a chance when the Elseid Hysaj cross was crucially intercepted.

Milik was fresh from a brace in Kiev and scored with his first touch, running on to a divine Hamsik through ball to dink it over the on-rushing Da Costa into the empty net.

Bologna did not give in, as Dzemaili blasted just over after a Federico Di Francesco back-heel flick, but Insigne wasted a golden opportunity to put the game beyond them when ballooning over the bar from five yards.

However, moments later Milik completed his third brace of the season, gathering a poor clearance and drilling it into the near bottom corner to take Da Costa by surprise.

Zielinski capped off an excellent performance by sprinting clear on goal until he was unceremoniously barged over by Emil Krafth and the referee considered it to be a straight red card offence.

With the last kick of the game, Allan's right-foot curler from the left side skimmed the far top corner.

This result sent the Partenopei top of the table and they remained there after the round was completed, alone on 10 points and the only unbeaten side after four games.

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Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Strinic (Ghoulam 67); Zielinski, Jorginho (Allan 74), Hamsik; Callejon, Gabbiadini (Milik 61), Insigne
Bologna: Da Costa; Krafth, Gastaldello, Oikonomou, Torosidis (Masina 83); Dzemaili, Nagy (Donsah 61), Taider; Di Francesco, Verdi, Krejci (Rizzo 74)
Ref: Doveri

Sent off: Krafth 80 (B)