Apr 27, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stadio Adriatico
Pescara
0-3
Napoli

Rizzo (25'), Di Francesco (53'), Balzano (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Dzemaili (81'), Inler (46'), Pandev (58')
Britos (30')

Live Commentary: Pescara 0-3 Napoli - as it happened

Napoli forward Goran Pandev celebrates scoring against Genoa on April 7, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Serie A clash between Pescara and Napoli.

Napoli travelled to lowly Pescara this evening looking to consolidate their position ahead of AC Milan and Fiorentina in the fight for automatic Champions League qualification.

A frustrating first period saw Pescara keep the game goalless, but Gokhan Inler's deflected drive broke the deadlock just a minute after the interval.

Goran Pandev's composed strike doubled Napoli's advantage, before a stunning effort from Blerim Dzemaili completed a comfortable victory late on.

Look back at an efficient performance from Walter Mazzarri's side with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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7.17pmEvening Calcio fans. Thanks for joining Sports Mole's live coverage of a clash with implications at both ends of the table between Napoli and Pescara at the Stadio Adriatico. Both teams are desperate for three points tonight but for very different reasons.

7.19pmNapoli's quest to catch Juventus is mathematically still alive but effectively over, with the main aim for Walter Mazzarri's side now to consolidate second place and an automatic spot in next season's Champions League. With AC Milan cut adrift following their defeat last week the Azzurri have a chance to take an unassailable lead and confirm a return to Europe's elite club competition.

7.22pmFor Pescara tonight the equation is simple, anything but a win tonight will end their fading hopes of pulling off a late escape from the relegation zone. Christian Bucchi's side showed fight to earn a point against Roma last week, but remain bottom of the table and without a victory in 14 attempts!

7.24pmNapoli are without talisman Edinson Cavani tonight, with the striker suspended along with Valon Behrami. Anything but a victory for Mazzarri's men tonight will mean that Juve can clinch the Scudetto with victory in the Turin derby tomorrow!

7.26pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! Cavani's absence means that Lorenzo Insigne comes into the Napoli attack tonight against his old club. He will partner Goran Pandev in a new-look forward line, with Marek Hamsik providing support from midfield. A full look at both starting XI's will follow in just a few moments.

7.28pmNAPOLI: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Britos, Maggio, Dzemaili, Inler, Hamsik, Zuniga, Insigne, Pandev

7.30pmPESCARA: Pelizzoli, Zanon, Cosic, Capuano, Balzano, Togni, Rizzo, Di Francesco, Caprari, Sculli, Sforzini

7.32pmInsigne is handed a rare chance to impress from the start tonight and should be full of confidence following his dramatic late winner against Cagliari last time out. The youngster bagged 18 in Serie B for Pescara last season under Zdenek Zeman, but could effectively confirm the inevitable and relegate his former team tonight.

7.34pmGokhan Inler also returns for the visitors in place of the suspended Behrami, to partner the vastly improved Blerim Dzemaili in central midfield. Christian Maggio is also fit to start at wing-back, with Christian Zuniga preferred to Pablo Aremro on the other flank.

7.36pmOne more significant change for Napoli is the return of experienced goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis from suspension. The 36-year-old is back and like Insigne also returns to his former club tonight.

7.39pmTo compound Pescara's problems at the foot of the table they go into tonight's crunch clash with a growing injury list. Vladimir Weiss, Per Koldrup and Fernando Quintero are all on the treatment table for the home side, forcing Bucchi to field an inexperienced side.

7.41pmA notable inclusion for Pescara tonight is young midfielder Federico Di Francesco, the son of Roma legend Eusebio Di Francesco. His progress will be carefully monitored across Italy, but will likely continue in Serie B next season.

7.44pmPREDICTION! Despite Pescara's vast improvement at Roma last weekend I don't think they have enough quality to cause a shock this evening. Napoli may be without Cavani but Pandev and Insigne have both been on target in recent weeks and should have enough to secure all three points. I'll go for Insigne and Dzemaili to net in a 3-1 away win!

7.46pmWe are slightly late getting underway at the Stadio Adriatico, which just gives me time to bring you news of the two other matches played in Serie A earlier today. Atalanta drew 1-1 with Bologna in a mid-table clash, while Udinese continued their push for Europe with victory at Catania!

2 minWe eventually get underway at Pescara and almost immediately the visitors launch their first attack, with Zuniga coming close to picking out a clever run inside by Maggio.

4 minHamsik in next to stride forward in a bright start for Napoli, but his attempted pass into Pandev is a met by a poor first touch as Pescara clear their lines. Francesco takes the chance to drive into the final third and shoot under little pressure, but his effort flies well wide from 30 yards.

6 minA frantic start sees Napoli launch a quick counter through Insigne and Pandev, with the latter picking out an angled run from Zuniga. His shot from just outside the penalty area is eventually blocked as the home side regroup to clear their lines.

8 minBalzano shows pace to beat Maggio and reach the touchline for Pescara, winning a corner kick in the process. A curling delivery is headed clear by Campagnaro from the resulting set piece, but finally some signs of encouragement for the home side.

10 minAn open start continues with Inler picking out Maggio with a fine diagonal pass, but his low cross into the penalty area lacks power and is thumped into touch by Cosic.

13 minInsigne just fails to meet a long looping ball over the top as Napoli continue to probe without creating a clear-cut opportunity to score. At the other end Caprari's forward run is stopped abruptly on the edge of the area by a firm but fair challenge from Britos.

15 minNapoli think they have taken the lead as Insige smashes a superb low strike into the bottom corner, but after lengthy discussions with his assistant the referee decides he was offside. Mazzarri can't quite believe it but replays suggest Dzemaili got the last touch on a deflected pass, meaning Insigne was definitely offside.

18 minInsigne was quick to show that he did not want to celebrate scoring against his old club, and thanks to the linesman flag that honour is quickly taken away from him. Napoli continue to pile on the pressure as Hamsik's instinctive toe poke is tipped over by a scrambling Pelizzoli.

20 minAfter a bright opening Pescara are right up against it, with Dzemaili next to drive over from distance. The visitors continue to keep the ball in a sustained spell of pressure, which features Hamsik, Zuniga and Maggio.

22 minInsigne continues an eventful start by blazing over from 20 yards and shows visable disgust with a disappointing effort. Pescara are being swamped in midfield as Maggio wins a corner kick.

24 minSAVE! Insigne comes within inches of taking the lead as his powerful header is turned wide by a magnificent stop from Pelizzoli. Pescara are asleep again from the resulting corner kick as Britos launches a free header past the post.

26 minYELLOW CARD! Rizzo picks up a caution for his late challenge just outside the penalty area, but Napoli are unable to profit as Hamsik's cross is poor from the resulting free kick. Dzemaili then tries a clever pass inside two central defenders, but Insigne is once again caught offside.

28 minSHOT! Hamsik smashes wide from just inside the penalty area as Napoli again spurn a chance to break the deadlock. Clever work from Pandev and Insigne set up the chance, but Hamsik's thunderous drive falls well wide of the near post.

31 minYELLOW CARD! Capuano concedes a corner kick as Pescara struggle to clear their lines but somehow remain level. Britos then goes in with a needless late lunge as the home side break clear and picks up a caution for his cynical challenge.

33 minWith Pescara playing a high offside line the visitors need to show more patience in their approach. Maggio and Insigne have already been caught out, with the winger's crossing a real disappointment on the right flank so far this evening.

35 minZuniga is caught as he drives towards the penalty area after meeting a precise pass inside from Pandev. A challenge from behind stops the winger finding Hamsik but does present the visitors with a free kick 20 yards from goal!

37 minSAVE! Pelizzoli produces another fine low stop to parry a powerful free kick from Dzemaili. A packed penalty area look to follow up for the rebound but Capuano gets there first and finds touch with a vital interception.

39 minCompletely against the run of play Pescara create their best chance of the match by some distance. A quick counter attack finds Sculli in space at the far post, but a heavy first touch takes him wide of goal. He slides in and fires a shot just over the far post, much to Napoli's relief.

42 minCannavaro sends an aimless pass straight through to Pescara's grateful goalkeeper as Napoli's measured approach starts to falter just before the break.

44 minHamsik's touch lets him down in the final third just as space opened up thanks to a quick forward pass from Dzemaili. Without wishing to state the obvious Cavani's quality has been sorely missed in and around the penalty area so far tonight for the Azzurri.

8.32pmHALF-TIME Pescara 0-0 Napoli

8.35pmThe referee decides against adding any stoppage time as a frustating first period for Napoli comes to a close. The visitors have dominated possession and territory for much of the match but are yet to open the scoring against plucky Pescara.

8.37pmInsigne thought he had given Napoli the lead early, but despite an impressive clinical finish the forward was just offside as Dzemaili flicked the ball forward. Pandev and Hamsik have also gone close but so far the bottom side in Serie A are holding out for a credible point.

8.39pmMazzarri's side have just been able to deliver a killer pass when it matters in the final third, thanks largely to a high and brave offside line from Pescara. Although a point will not save the home team from relegation it would prove a huge morale boost and a rare highlight in an otherwise disappointing campaign.

8.41pmWithout Cavani the visitors have limited options to change the match from the bench. Calaiò is the only notable striker among the substitutes, with Armero's pace out wide another positive option.

8.43pmPescara have rarely left their own half tonight but did create one goalscoring opportunity, which Sculli thundered over the crossbar from close range at a tight angle. The home side must continue to defend doggedly and hope to counter late in the match.

8.45pmJust a quick reminder before the second half gets underway that unless Napoli can find a winning goal Juventus will clinch the title with a win over Torino tomorrow afternoon. More importantly for Mazzarri's men a victory is imperative to maintain their significant gap over Milan and Fiorentina in the race for Champions League places.

47 minGOAL! Pescara 0-1 Napoli (Inler)

49 minWithin a minute of the restart Napoli are ahead through Gokhan Inler, who saw a hopeful drive from distance take a heavy deflection and nestle into the bottom corner. Almost immediately the pressure is lifted for the visitors, who can now relax and wait for Pescara to respond.

51 minThe home side nearly respond immediately as Napoli switch off in defence, with Di Francesco glancing a header just over the crossbar. Mazzarri is furious with his side and demands that they regain focus despite holding a narrow advantage.

54 minYELLOW CARD! Di Francesco picks up a caution after sliding into a tackle on Zuniga. Napoli quickly take the free kick as Hamsik breaks clear out wide before finding Pandev with a precise cutback. The forward has time but can only sidefoot a soft pass to a grateful Pelizzoli.

56 minThe match has opened up considerably, with Pescara finally starting to aim for adventurous forward passes in search of an equaliser. Sculli eventually rises to meet an angled cross at the far post and beats two Napoli defenders to head towards goal, but his high effort is palmed away by De Sanctis.

58 minGOAL! Pescara 0-2 Napoli (Pandev)

61 minWithin a minute of Pescara spurning their best chance the visitors push further ahead thanks to a clinical counter attack. Hamsik drove to the byline and picked out Pandev, who completely fooled his marker with a fantastic piece of close control. With the goal at his mercy the forward slotted into the bottom corner from close range to put Napoli in complete control of the match.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Pescara make a quick change as they look for an unlikely route back into the match, with Caprari replaced by Swedish forward Celik.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: The home side are forced into another replacement just a minute later as goalkeeper Pelizzoli goes down clutching his thigh. After receiving treatment the physio decides he cannot continue, with replacement Perin quickly introduced.

67 minNapoli keeper De Sanctis is forced into action at the other as he turns a curling corner kick away from two Pescara players making a run to the far post. The visitors decide to keep possession deep for a spell to take the sting out of any potential comeback for Pescara and regain control of a routine victory.

69 minA prolonged spell of possession has Napoli showing their superiority, with 6,000 travelling fans cheering every successful pass.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: Pescara make one final change as the hard working Sculli is swapped for Cascione heading into the last 20 minutes. Maggio finally gives the ball away and allows the home side to cross from deep, but Armero is on to cover out wide and clear.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: Mazzarri decides to counter than change by bringing on his own pair of fresh legs out wide, with Mesto taking Maggio's place on the right wing.

76 minNapoli exchange passes just outside the penalty area as they look for a killer third goal. Mesto and Hamsik are heavily involved, but the latter's attempted flick towards the onrushing Insigne is just short and allows Pescara to scramble clear.

79 minSAVE! Armero forces Perin into action for the first time with a powerful low drive at his near post. The replacement goalkeeper senses the danger and is quick to palm clear, but Pescara are really struggling to keep pace with Napoli all over the pitch.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: A final change of the night sees Pandev replaced by Calaiò after complaining of pain in his right hamstring.

83 minMISS! With time and space to pick his spot from 18 yards Insigne has somehow screwed a low shot wide under little pressure. The forward did brilliantly to rob possession from Cosic but failed to apply the composed finish when it mattered.

85 minGOAL! Pescara 0-3 Napoli (Dzemaili)

87 minAn absolute rocket from Dzemaili from range has wrapped up all three points for Napoli tonight in the closing stages. The midfielder has a reputation for striking from range and justifies it by allowing the ball to run across his body and smashing into the net from 25 yards. A memorable goal for the midfielder puts Napoli into an unassailable 3-0 lead.

89 minYELLOW CARD! With consummate ease Napoli see out the final few minutes in possession, with Balzano harshly judged to have fouled Inler despite making little contact and awarded a caution, forcing a brief break in play.

90 min+1An intricate Napoli attack sees Dzemaili teed up for an overhead kick, but his contact with the ball is minimal and sends a wayward shot past the far post. In added time Pescara break but De Francesco is unable to beat Armero to a curling cross at the far post.

90 min+3The final minute is played out with Campagnaro, Britos and Inler all exchanging passes from deep, before finding Insigne who drives into the final third with purpose. His pass inside finds Calaio, but his curling shot falls inches wide of the far post.

9.35pmFULL-TIME Pescara 0-3 Napoli

9.37pmWell in the end Napoli were able to complete a comfortable win despite being frustrated during a frantic first period. Edinson Cavani was barley missed for the visitors, with Inler, Pandev and Dzemaili stepping up to make the difference.

9.39pmMazzarri's side may still be eight points behind league leaders Juve, but their win tonight means that the Old Lady must wait at least another week before securing a second successive Scudetto.

9.42pmThat just about does it for Sports Mole's Serie A coverage this evening. Thanks for joining us and be sure to check in tomorrow for coverage of seven games from the Italian top flight, including the Turin derby. Goodnight!

Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli celebrates a goal against Milan on November 17, 2012
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2Inter Milan11003033
3Juventus11003033
4Napoli11003123
5AC Chievo VeronaChievo11002113
6Sampdoria11002113
7Roma11001013
8Bologna10101101
9Torino10101101
10Genoa10100001
11Lazio10100001
12SPALSPAL10100001
13SassuoloSassuolo10100001
14BeneventoBenevento100112-10
15Udinese100112-10
16Atalanta BCAtalanta100101-10
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
18CagliariCagliari100103-30
19Crotone100103-30
20Fiorentina100103-30