Napoli made short work of Chievo and ended their five-match winless streak thanks to Uruguayan duo Miguel Angel Britos and Edinson Cavani.
The Partenopei were under pressure after a series of poor results, including Thursday’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg defeat to Siena, and were without a win in five League games. Paolo Cannavaro was suspended, so Gianluca Grava stepped in for his first start of the season and Miguel Angel Britos allowed Hugo Campagnaro to rest. Chievo won here last term and earlier this season in Verona, so were something of a taboo for Napoli.
Napoli took the lead with their first real opportunity, as Britos met a corner with a bullet header from seven yards. The defender was left completely unmarked for this free header, his first goal in an Azzurri jersey.
A splendid Edinson Cavani volley was only kept out by Drame’s hip to charge it down from point-blank range. Gokhan Inler fired off target, while Salvatore Aronica bravely charged down a Pellissier strike with his crotch. Morgan De Sanctis smothered a Pellissier daisy-cutter from the edge of the box.
Alberto Paloschi had complaints when Aronica swung out an arm as they went shoulder-to-shoulder, catching him in the jaw.
Marek Hamsik placed a through ball that Cavani sprinted on to past Dramé, but he slipped at the crucial moment. Getting back up, he tried to turn and was hacked down from behind by goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino for a penalty. Cavani has failed to convert two spot-kicks this season, but had no problems sending Sorrentino the wrong way to drill in at the near bottom corner.
Chievo went very close to pulling one back, as Gennaro Sardo’s stop and shot on the volley from a corner was beaten away by De Sanctis.
A Walter Gargano screamer from distance almost took Sorrentino by surprise, but the goalkeeper managed to palm it out of the near top corner after the restart.
Luciano skipped past Britos to set up Pellissier, who horribly fired well over, while De Sanctis smothered at the feet of a sliding Thereau. Inler pounced on a Michael Bradley error to unleash a long-range snapshot that stung Sorrentino’s palm.
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