Ham­sik cel­e­bra­tions kept in check by Lazio draw

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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