Son nets twice as Tottenham ease past Red Star

Napoli enjoy goal rush on way to victory over Benfica

28/09/2016

Napoli scored three times inside eight second-half minutes as they beat Benfica 4-2 to record a second successive victory in Group B of the Champions League.

Marek Hamsik headed the first-half opener before Dries Mertens' double, either side of a penalty from Arkadiusz Milik, wrapped up a convincing win in the early stages of the second period.

Substitutes Goncalo Guedes and Eduardo Salvio pulled two goals back for the visitors but they were well beaten in Naples.

The Portuguese champions had the better of the opening exchanges at Stadio San Paolo and Konstantinos Mitroglou twice threatened a breakthrough.

The Greece international striker saw a goalbound effort denied by a block on the line by Albanian defender Elseid Hysaj before Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina turned away another attempt following Alex Grimaldo's pull-back five minutes later.

Despite the away side's strong start and early chances, it was the Italians who went ahead with 20 minutes played.

Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam curled in an inswinging corner from the right for Slovakian Hamsik to flick home the ball at the near post to score for the second successive match.

There was little more goalmouth action ahead of the interval but six minutes after the restart Maurizio Sarri's Serie A side, who won at Dynamo Kiev in the opening round of the competition, took control of the contest.

Belgium international winger Mertens was brought down on the edge of the box by Lisandro Lopez and he picked himself up to curl the resultant free kick into the top left corner to claim his first Champions League goal.

Summer signing Milik quickly made it 3-0, slotting into the bottom left corner from the penalty spot three minutes later after Benfica keeper Julio Cesar upended Jose Callejon.

Mertens then made sure of the points in the 58th minute when he scrambled the ball in from close range after Cesar failed to collect Callejon's cross from the right.

Both sides were unbeaten this season going into the game and Benfica finally showed some fight with two goals in the final 20 minutes.

Teenager Guedes, a 67th-minute replacement for Andre Carrillo, grabbed the first of the consolations when Jorginho's wayward pass allowed him to race forward and slot in after rounding Reina.

Argentinian Salvio chested down Andre Almeida's pass and lifted the ball past Reina to complete the scoring four minutes from time.

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