MX23RW : Sunday, December 9 22:20:16
Jan 28, 2018 at 2pm UK at ​Stadio San Paolo
Attendance: 37,227
Napoli
3-1
Bologna
M'baye (5' og.), Mertens (37' pen., 59')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Palacio (1')

Result: Dries Mertens ends goal drought as Napoli go top of Serie A

Result: Dries Mertens stars as Napoli go top
© SilverHub
Napoli winger Dries Mertens ends his nine-game goal drought on Sunday with a brace of goals to help the Azzurri defeat Bologna 3-1 in Serie A.

Napoli winger Dries Mertens ended his nine-game goal drought on Sunday with a brace of goals that helped the Azzurri defeat Bologna 3-1 in Serie A.

Mertens, who had not scored in 910 minutes previous to this encounter, netted his first to equalise following Bologna's shock opener after just 29 seconds.

The Belgian then curled an effort past Antonio Mirante in the second half to seal a sixth consecutive league win for the hosts, and send them above Juventus to the summit of the Italian top flight.

An action-packed first 10 minutes, which featured two goals and an injury, saw the game explode into life in its early stages.

Bologna striker Rodrigo Palacio, who had not found the net since September, rose above Mario Rui in the Napoli box inside the first 30 seconds and headed past Pepe Reina from Federico Di Francesco's cross.

The visitors suffered a setback moments later, however, when Simone Verde - who recently rejected a move to Napoli in favour of his current employers - pulled his hamstring and was duly replaced by Ladislav Krejci.

Palacio was then involved in Napoli's equaliser after putting his side in front. Mario Rui's cross deflected off the forward, which sent the ball looping over Mirante. Ibrahima Mbaye, who was credited with an own goal, could do nothing to stop the ball crossing the line.

Both sides settled into the tie after the frantic opening, with Palacio continuing to cause Napoli problems in attack. The Argentine was played through and beat Vlad Chiriches for pace, but his weak effort was parried by Reina.

Napoli then took the lead through a Mertens penalty. Jose Callejon squirmed his way behind Bologna defender Adam Masina, before the latter player was adjudged by a VAR referral to have pushed Callejon - Mertens made no mistake with the spot kick.

The two clubs sparred early on in the second half, without producing any real chances.

Mertens made it 3-1, however, when a counter-attack led by Allan was finished off by the Belgian, who cut inside and whipped a shot into the far corner that left Mirante stranded.

The game petered out following Napoli's third, but the hosts made sure of the win with solid defence to move one point above Juve into top spot.

NAPOLI (4-3-3): Reina, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Rui; Jorginho (Diawara, 74), Allan, Hamsik (Zielinski, 66); Callejon, Insigne (Rog, 80), Mertens

BOLOGNA(4-2-3-1): Mirante; De Maio, Helander, Mbaye, Masina; Poli (Zapata, 82), Pulgar; Verdi (Krejci, 5), Dzemaili, Palacio (Destro, 73); Di Francesco

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Juventus1514103282443
2Napoli15112232141835
3Inter Milan1592427131429
4AC Milan157532418626
5Lazio157442218425
6Torino155731916322
7Atalanta BCAtalanta156362920921
8Parma156361619-321
9Roma155642620621
10SassuoloSassuolo155642422221
11Sampdoria155552319420
12Fiorentina154742116519
13CagliariCagliari153841519-417
14Genoa154472030-1016
15Empoli154471926-716
16SPALSPAL154381424-1015
17Udinese153481321-813
18Bologna152581324-1111
19FrosinoneFrosinone151591133-228
20AC Chievo VeronaChievo150691232-203

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