Mertens brace puts Napoli top
Bologna 1 - 3 Napoli

Mertens brace puts Napoli top

28/01/2018

A brace from Dries Mertens took Napoli straight back to the top of Serie A with a 3-1 win over Bologna on Sunday while Inter Milan conceded a last-minute goal at SPAL to extend their winless run to nine games.

The video replay system (VAR) denied Crotone a last-minute winner at home to 10-man Cagliari, the game ending 1-1, and a bizarre miss by Genoa forward Luca Rigoni cost his team a point at home to Udinese as they lost 1-0.

Napoli, briefly dislodged by Juventus who played on Saturday and won 2-0 at Chievo, now lead with 57 points from 22 games, one ahead of the Turin side.

Napoli were stunned when Rodrigo Palacio took advantage of dreadful marking to give Bologna the lead after 25 seconds but they were gifted an equaliser by Ibrahima Mbaye who turned an attempted clearance into his own goal.

The hosts were then awarded a soft penalty which Mertens converted in the 37th minute but there no questions about the Belgian's second goal in the 59th when he cut inside a defender and curled an exquisite effort into the net.

Inter, leaders in early December, slipped further behind after a game in which both goals were scored by their opponents.

SPAL's Francesco Vicari turned Joao Cancelo's cross into his own net to gift Inter the lead and the visitors were on the verge of their first win in all competitions since Dec. 3 until Alberto Paloschi's diving header levelled the scores.

The VAR system was used three times at Crotone, firstly to award the hosts a penalty which was converted by Marcello Trotta in the 29th minute and then to confirm a red card for Cagliari's Fabio Pisacane for a late tackle.

Luca Cigarini levelled for the Sardinians with the last kick of the first half and they held out until the final minute when Federico Ceccherini headed in for Crotone but the referee changed his mind and disallowed the goal after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Valon Behrami's second-half goal gave Udinese a 1-0 win at Genoa although they had to cling on after Samir was sent off shortly afterwards -- the referee changing the card from yellow to red after checking with the VAR.

Genoa should have equalised in the 88th minute when Adel Taarabt's cross found Rigoni who only had to tap the ball in at the far post but instead contrived to clear it off the line.

Fiorentina's season took a turn for the worse with a 4-1 home defeat by next-to-bottom Verona and Torino thumped bottom club Benevento 3-0 in the other afternoon game.

Related news

Juventus see off Chievo Verona to restore nine-point Serie A lead

Juventus see off Chievo Verona to restore nine-point Serie A lead

Juventus eased to a 3-0 win against Chievo Verona on Monday night in Turin to extend their lead in Serie A over the chasing pack.

Milan beat Genoa to move up to fourth place in Serie A

Milan beat Genoa to move up to fourth place in Serie A

AC Milan moved back into the Serie A Champions League places when second-half goals from Fabio Borini and Suso gave them a 2-0 win at Genoa at a half-empty Luigi Ferraris stadium on Monday.

Callejon, Milik goals help Napoli hang on for win over 10-man Lazio

Callejon, Milik goals help Napoli hang on for win over 10-man Lazio

Napoli scored twice before half-time and hit the woodwork three times before clinging on for a 2-1 victory over 10-man Lazio in Serie A on Sunday.

Inter draw a blank vs. Sassuolo in front of crowd of school children

Inter draw a blank vs. Sassuolo in front of crowd of school children

Inter Milan's poor run against Sassuolo continued on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 home draw in Serie A in front of a crowd of school children.

Roma edge Torino in five-goal Serie A thriller

Roma edge Torino in five-goal Serie A thriller

AS Roma survived a second-half fightback to end Torino's unbeaten Serie A away record with a 3-2 win thanks to Stephan El Shaarawy's late goal at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo secures Italian Super Cup glory for Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo secures Italian Super Cup glory for Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo's second-half goal secured a record eighth Italian Super Cup victory for Juventus as they beat AC Milan 1-0 in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday.

Arkadiusz Milik sets up Napoli win over Sassuolo in Coppa Italia

Arkadiusz Milik sets up Napoli win over Sassuolo in Coppa Italia

Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik scored one goal and provided an assist for another as his side beat Sassuolo 2-0 in a Coppa Italia round of 16 tie on Sunday.

Inter Milan thump Benevento in Coppa Italia match behind closed doors

Inter Milan thump Benevento in Coppa Italia match behind closed doors

Antonio Candreva and Lautaro Martinez scored two goals apiece as Inter Milan thumped Benevento 6-2 on Sunday in a Coppa Italia match played behind closed doors following racist insults aimed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly last month.

Ronaldo starts from bench as Juventus ease into Coppa Italia quarters

Ronaldo starts from bench as Juventus ease into Coppa Italia quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo was among several regular players who didn't start though defending champion Juventus nevertheless eased into the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia on Saturday.

RELATED NEWS

Juventus see off Chievo Verona to restore nine-point Serie A lead
Juventus 3 - 0 Chievo Verona

Juventus see off Chievo Verona to restore nine-point Serie A lead

Juventus eased to a 3-0 win against Chievo Verona on Monday night in Turin to extend their lead in Serie A over the chasing pack.

Milan beat Genoa to move up to fourth place in Serie A
Milan 2 - 0 Genoa

Milan beat Genoa to move up to fourth place in Serie A

AC Milan moved back into the Serie A Champions League places when second-half goals from Fabio Borini and Suso gave them a 2-0 win at Genoa at a half-empty Luigi Ferraris stadium on Monday.

Callejon, Milik goals help Napoli hang on for win over 10-man Lazio
Napoli 2 - 1 Lazio

Callejon, Milik goals help Napoli hang on for win over 10-man Lazio

Napoli scored twice before half-time and hit the woodwork three times before clinging on for a 2-1 victory over 10-man Lazio in Serie A on Sunday.

Inter draw a blank vs. Sassuolo in front of crowd of school children
Inter 0 - 0 Sassuolo

Inter draw a blank vs. Sassuolo in front of crowd of school children

Inter Milan's poor run against Sassuolo continued on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 home draw in Serie A in front of a crowd of school children.

Roma edge Torino in five-goal Serie A thriller
Roma 3 - 2 Torino

Roma edge Torino in five-goal Serie A thriller

AS Roma survived a second-half fightback to end Torino's unbeaten Serie A away record with a 3-2 win thanks to Stephan El Shaarawy's late goal at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo secures Italian Super Cup glory for Juventus
Juventus 1 - 0 Milan

Cristiano Ronaldo secures Italian Super Cup glory for Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo's second-half goal secured a record eighth Italian Super Cup victory for Juventus as they beat AC Milan 1-0 in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday.

Arkadiusz Milik sets up Napoli win over Sassuolo in Coppa Italia
Napoli 2 - 0 Sassuolo

Arkadiusz Milik sets up Napoli win over Sassuolo in Coppa Italia

Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik scored one goal and provided an assist for another as his side beat Sassuolo 2-0 in a Coppa Italia round of 16 tie on Sunday.

Inter Milan thump Benevento in Coppa Italia match behind closed doors
Inter Milan 6 - 2 Benevento

Inter Milan thump Benevento in Coppa Italia match behind closed doors

Antonio Candreva and Lautaro Martinez scored two goals apiece as Inter Milan thumped Benevento 6-2 on Sunday in a Coppa Italia match played behind closed doors following racist insults aimed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly last month.

Ronaldo starts from bench as Juventus ease into Coppa Italia quarters
Bologna 0 - 2 Juventus

Ronaldo starts from bench as Juventus ease into Coppa Italia quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo was among several regular players who didn't start though defending champion Juventus nevertheless eased into the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia on Saturday.