Soccer-Napoli thrash Salernitana to keep pace with Serie A leaders

23/1/2022 7:32:00 PM

Soccer-Napoli thrash Salernitana to keep pace with Serie A leaders

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Soccer-Napoli thrash Salernitana to keep pace with Serie A leaders

NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) - Napoli kept pace with Serie A leaders Inter Milan after thrashing lowly local rivals Salernitana 4-1 on Sunday, their third league victory in a row.

Against the run of play, with their only shot at goal in the match, Salernitana levelled through Federico Bonazzoli in the 33rd minute.That was only a brief reprieve for the visitors from across the Gulf of Naples, however, as Dries Mertens put Napoli back in front from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, before Amir Rahmani tapped home four minutes after the break to make it 3-1.

Salernitana's afternoon went from bad to worse moments later as Frederic Veseli was sent off for picking up a second yellow card when penalised for handball in the penalty area.Substitute Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot to seal a comfortable victory for Napoli who climbed to second on 49 points, one clear of AC Milan, who play Juventus later on Sunday, and four adrift of leaders Inter.

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The hosts started brightly and raced into 17th-minute lead through Juan Jesus, the defender's goal given after a VAR intervention, with the on-field referee having originally ruled it out for handball.The hosts were poor in the opening stages, with Venezia, who were without numerous first-team players after a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad this week, racing into a shock lead through French forward Thomas Henry in the 19th minute.Seeking a 13th successive victory, Pep Guardiola's side were rocked early on as Kyle Walker-Peters's superb finish gave Southampton a surprise lead.Sevilla moved on to 46 points from 22 games, three points behind Real Madrid and six ahead of Real Betis in third.

Against the run of play, with their only shot at goal in the match, Salernitana levelled through Federico Bonazzoli in the 33rd minute. That was only a brief reprieve for the visitors from across the Gulf of Naples, however, as Dries Mertens put Napoli back in front from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, before Amir Rahmani tapped home four minutes after the break to make it 3-1. A winner looked set to elude the champions as the match entered the dying stages, only for veteran Dzeko to climb highest to snatch all three points for Inter in the 90th minute. Salernitana's afternoon went from bad to worse moments later as Frederic Veseli was sent off for picking up a second yellow card when penalised for handball in the penalty area. City took charge after that with de Bruyne thumping a shot against the post but Southampton dug in for a well-deserved share of the spoils. Substitute Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot to seal a comfortable victory for Napoli who climbed to second on 49 points, one clear of AC Milan, who play Juventus later on Sunday, and four adrift of leaders Inter. (Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge) Article type: metered. Salernitana stayed rooted to the bottom of the standings on 10 points from 22 matches, eight points from safety.

(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond) Article type: metered . (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar) Article type: metered.