MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 11:50:25
May 18, 2015 at 8pm UK at ​Stadio San Paolo
Napoli
3-2
Cesena
Mertens (19', 57'), Gabbiadini (20')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Defrel (15', 45')

Result: Champions League-chasing Napoli make hard work of relegated Cesena

Champions League-chasing Napoli come from behind against a spirited Cesena side to secure a hard-fought 3-2 win in their Serie A clash at the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli's quest to make the Champions League remains alive after the Partenopei came from behind against a spirited Cesena side to secure a hard-fought 3-2 win in their Serie A clash at the Stadio San Paolo.

Dries Mertens of Napoli celebrates after scoring goal 1-1 during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli - AC Cesena at Stadio San Paolo on May 18, 2015© Getty Images

Gregoire Defrel opened the scoring for the already-relegated visitors on the quarter-hour mark when he latched on to Andrea Tabanelli's incisive through-ball and fired into the bottom-left corner.

It didn't take long for Rafael Benitez's charges to equalise, however, as just four minutes elapsed before Dries Mertens blasted the ball home from two yards out.

Napoli were then ahead just four minutes later when the Belgian goalscorer turned provider to cut the ball back towards the goal, where Manolo Gabbiadini was on hand to slot past Federico Agliardi.

Just as it seemed like the hosts would take a one-goal lead into the break, Defrel struck again right on the stroke of half time after collecting Massimo Volta's pass and firing into the bottom-right corner.

The Partenopei regrouped following the restart and, following several forays forward, edged themselves back into the lead just before the hour mark when Marek Hamsik played in Mertens, who bombed down from the left flank and slotted home.

To their credit, Cesena never capitulated and almost pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute as an audacious overhead kick from Franco Brienza was saved by Mariano Andujar.

Napoli, however, managed to repel their increasingly tired opposition and were able to hold on until the final whistle as they secured all three points.

The result means that the Partenopei sit just three points behind third-placed Lazio with two games to go, while Cesena's fate has already been sealed.

Share this article now:
Napoli's coach Rafa Benitez reacts during the Italian Serie A football match Palermo vs Napoli on February 14, 2015
Read Next:
Half-Time Report: Napoli, Cesena level with two goals apiece
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Juventus19172038112753
2Napoli19142337172044
3Inter Milan19123431141739
4Lazio199552821732
5AC Milan198742620631
6Roma1986534241030
7Sampdoria198563223929
8Atalanta BCAtalanta1984739271228
9Torino196942419527
10Fiorentina196852518726
11Parma197481723-625
12SassuoloSassuolo196763032-225
13CagliariCagliari194871725-820
14Genoa195592535-1020
15Udinese194691623-718
16SPALSPAL1945101527-1217
17Empoli1944112237-1516
18Bologna1927101529-1413
19FrosinoneFrosinone1917111237-2510
20AC Chievo VeronaChievo1918101435-218

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account