Dries Mertens nets sensational brace as fabulous Napoli honour Diego Maradona with Lazio hammering
Serie A, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona – Napoli 4 (Zielinski 7’, Mertens 10’, 29’, Fabian 85’) SS Lazio 0
NAPLES, ITALY - NOVEMBER 28: Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and SS Lazio at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on November 28, 2021 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco
Napoli provided a performance fit for the anniversary of Diego Maradona's death with a 4-0 victory over Lazio at the Stadium which now bares his name.
A statue was unveiled before kick off, and the players wore shirts with his face on. Napoli went on to score three first half goals, adding a fourth towards the end, on a night where they sent out a message and climbed three points clear at the Serie A summit.
It was open from the start and il Partenopei took the lead through Piotr Zielinski, who fired home from the edge of the area after the ball fell to him perfectly. on seven minutes.
Napoli's Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Naples (Napoli) and Lazio Rome at Diego-Armando-Maradona stadium in Naples, on November 28, 2021. (Photo by Alb
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Less than three minutes later, it was two. Dries Mertens finished off a scintillating passing move by manoeuvring into the area and picking out the bottom corner.
Lorenzo Insigne was in inspired form and he never really stopped throughout. There were more chances for both sides, with Ciro Immobile causing problems for Lazio.
Just shy of the half hour mark, Mertens, in for the injured Victor Oshimhen, added a third with the best of the night.
He was constantly dropping deep and fading left and right, and when he came short for a pass from Hirving Lozano, he showed the presence of mind to open his body and bend the ball across goal and past Pepe Reina.
Lazio struggled to offer anything after the break, and despite the home side dropping off somewhat, they still created chances.
Fabian Ruiz added a fourth to cap the night off in style, driving low from 25 yards as Napoli cruised back to winning ways.
TALKING POINT - Napoli overpower Lazio on an emotive night
That one was for El Diego. Napoli were phenomenal from start to finish, playing the sort of football they did under Maurizio Sarri, who just so happened to be in the opposing dugout.
It was clear to see that they took inspiration from the Maradona tributes, and both Insigne and Lozano played with the shackles off. The timing could hardly have been better, after defeat to Inter last week was followed up by another in the Europa League. Could this be their year to end a 32-year wait for a Scudetto? Don't bet against them on this evidence.
Luciano Spalletti dà indicazioni ai suoi durante Napoli-Lazio - Serie A 2021/2022
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MAN OF THE MATCH - Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Mertens was only in the side as a result of Oshimhen's horrific injury, but he absolutely made his mark. It wasn't just his two spectacular goals which caught the eye, but he set the tone for Napoli's intensity and constantly confused the Lazio defence with his movement. A stellar performance all round.
Napoli's Belgian forward Dries Mertens celebrates scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Naples (Napoli) and Lazio Rome at Diego-Armando-Maradona stadium in Naples, on November 28, 2021. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by