Birthday boy Dries Mertens nets brace as Napoli go second
Napoli 3 - 1 Cagliari

Birthday boy Dries Mertens nets brace as Napoli go second

Dries Mertens marked his 30th birthday with two goals and an assist to help Napoli beat Cagliari 3-1 and move into second in Serie A on Saturday.

Napoli moved two points above Roma but will be mathematically out of the title race if Juventus beat city rivals Torino late on Saturday. Roma could hand Juventus the title if they fail to match or beat the Bianconeri's result when they visit AC Milan on Sunday.

There are just three rounds remaining.

Mertens took less than two minutes to celebrate his birthday with the opening goal, getting in front of his marker to fire home Faouzi Ghoulam's cross for Napoli's 100th goal in all competitions.

Napoli dominated and had several chances to take the lead, with delightful interplay between Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, and Jose Callejon.

Marek Hamsik almost scored an astonishing goal from near the halfway line as he spotted Cagliari goalkeeper Rafael off his line, but his cheeky lob landed on the roof of the net as the whole stadium applauded.

Mertens doubled his tally four minutes after the break, with a precise shot into the bottom left corner.

It was the Belgium international's 30th goal of the season.

Mertens turned provider in the 67th minute with a through ball to Insigne, who controlled it as he turned and then lifted it into the far side of the net.

Mertens and Insigne were given standing ovations when they were replaced in the final 15 minutes.

Substitute Diego Farias netted a consolation for Cagliari in stoppage time.


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22/10/2017
07:00 | MotoGP - Australian Grand Prix
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
11:00 | Karolina Pliskova v Venus Williams - WTA Finals - Singapore
12:00 | Villarreal - Las Palmas
13:00 | Damir Dzumhur v Ricardas Berankis - ATP 250 - Kremlin Cup Final
13:30 | Garbine Muguruza v Jelena Ostapenko - WTA Finals - Singapore
14:30 | Everton - Arsenal
15:00 | Grigor Dimitrov v Juan Martin Del Potro - ATP 250 - Stockholm Open Final
15:00 | Nice - Strasbourg
15:00 | Torino - Roma
15:00 | Milan - Genoa
16:15 | Celta Vigo - Atletico Madrid
16:15 | Diego Schwartzman v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - ATP 250 - European Open - Antwerp Final
17:00 | Troyes - Olympique Lyon
17:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
18:00 | Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
18:00 | Udinese - Juventus
20:45 | Lazio - Cagliari
20:45 | Real Madrid - Eibar
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - PSG
21:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
23/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
24/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
18:30 | Wehen Wiesbaden - Schalke 04
18:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Union Berlin
18:30 | Magdeburg - Borussia Dortmund
20:45 | Swansea City - Manchester United
20:45 | Inter Milan - Sampdoria
20:45 | Arsenal - Norwich City
20:45 | Leicester City - Leeds United
20:45 | Manchester City - Wolverhampton
25/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
20:45 | Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
20:45 | Bologna - Lazio
20:45 | Fiorentina - Torino
20:45 | Chelsea - Everton
20:45 | Chievo - Milan
20:45 | Genoa - Napoli
20:45 | Roma - Crotone
20:45 | RB Leipzig - Bayern Munich
20:45 | Juventus - SPAL
20:45 | FC Cartagena - Sevilla
20:45 | Elche - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Real Murcia - Barcelona
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20:45 | Real Zaragoza - Valencia
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
Derby of the week

22/10/2017
Derby of the week
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