Hamsik celebrations kept in check by Lazio draw
MAREK HAMSIK’S (below) celebrations at hitting his 50th Napoli goal at the San Paolo were tempered by a 1-1 draw with Lazio in Serie A yesterday.
Napoli welcomed on-form Lazio looking to bite into their seven-point deficit to leaders Juventus, compounded by their 2-1 defeat to the champions in Turin last week.
But despite thrilling fans with a dominant first-half display that saw Belgian international Dries Mertens notably miss a series of chances, Maurizio Sarri’s men are in danger of trailing Juventus by nine points.
Hamsik was hitting only his third goal of the campaign but his 103rd in Napoli colours, as he chases Diego Maradona’s club record of 115.
But he lamented to Premium Sport: “We played well and created a lot. It’s a shame we conceded the goal but we have to keep on working to get better.
“We have to get a decent runs of wins under our belt to stay near the top of the able.”
Napoli remain in fifth, with Lazio a point ahead in fourth after claiming a valuable third draw in a sevengame unbeaten streak that stretches back to a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan on Sept 20. Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi had adopted a more disciplined 3-5-2 and admitted: “Napoli are a difficult team to face, they have great movement off the ball and it’s hard to cover. But we played the game we had to, it’s a good point for us.” Earlier, England goalkeeper Joe Hart narrowly avoided a goal-line howler as an Andrea Belotti brace inspired a rampant Torino to a 5-1 win over Cagliari that took their goals tally to a leagueleading 27. “It’s our best game of the season so far. The lads were great, they played with a boxer’s spirit,” Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic told Sky Sport. “At the end of the first half we took our foot off the pedal, and conceded another headed goal. But we have the best attack in Serie A, and we’re playing some nice football.” Hart was rarely troubled, although the Englishman fumbled a Gianni Munari shot that went over his head and, after bouncing behind him, came dangerously close to going over the line before he plucked it to safety. Goal-line technology declared no goal. – AFP