Mertens double helps Napoli close gap on Roma

Dries Mertens scored twice in the second-half to help inconsistent Napoli beat Sampdoria 2-0 in Italy's Serie A.

    Napoli's coach Rafael Benitez and players celebrate their 2-0 victory over Sampdoria [AFP]
    Napoli's coach Rafael Benitez and players celebrate their 2-0 victory over Sampdoria [AFP]

    Napoli's victory over Sampdoria has cut the gap on second-placed AS Roma to two points in Serie A.

    Belgian winger Mertens provided the breakthrough for the home team after 53 minutes when he volleyed in Gonzalo Higuain's cross, just as Sampdoria were threatening to take control.

    Manolo Gabbiadini blasted against the crossbar as the visitors almost grabbed a quick equaliser, only for Mertens to make the game safe by curling in a 25-metre free kick in the 62nd minute.

    Roma suffer 3-0 loss

    The win gave third-placed Napoli 39 points from 18 games, two behind Roma who lost 3-0 at leaders Juventus on Sunday.

    In their previous six games, Rafael Benitez's Napoli had lost 3-0 to Juve and 1-0 at home to Parma, beaten Lazio and
    Inter Milan and dropped points at home to Udinese in a 3-3 draw and in a 1-1 draw at Cagliari.

    It was sixth from bottom Sampdoria's first defeat in six games since Sinisa Mihajlovic took over as coach.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.