Mon, Feb 06, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Hamsik, Mertens score hat-tricks as Napoli win 7-1

AFP, ROME

Napoli’s Marek Hamsik celebrates a goal against Bologna at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in Bologna, Italy, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

Slovakian international Marek Hamsik and Belgian star Dries Mertens both hit hat-tricks as SSC Napoli routed Bologna 7-1 on Saturday to go second in Serie A, three points behind leaders Juventus ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.

Napoli have now scored 55 goals in 23 league games this season, although Maurizio Sarri’s men are still outsiders to pip Juve for the title with the defending champions having two games in hand.

Hamsik’s goals included a fine diving header and a sublime long-distance drive as he took his Napoli career total to 108 goals, passing Attila Sallustro, a star of the 1930s.

Only Diego Maradona has scored more goals for Napoli than Hamsik.

Hamsik said that the victory is a huge boost for his side, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League later this month.

“Real Madrid will think we are a strong side and if we play like this, we can fight it out with anyone,” Hamsik said.

“We are all players who focus on movement and that can hurt opposition defenses,” he said,

Mertens took his season total to a league-leading 16 goals, with 12 of those coming in the past eight matches. He has scored a remarkable three hat-tricks this term.

Napoli’s other goal on Saturday came from Lorenzo Insigne, who hit the target from the penalty spot.

“We have scored many goals, yes, but in the last 12 games it’s 10 wins and two draws. This is why we have to focus only on what we do and ignore the other results,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“After a game like this I feel a little angry, as we created perhaps fewer scoring opportunities tonight than against [US Citta di] Palermo, but then we scored one and tonight seven,” he said.

The only drawback for Napoli was a red card for Jose Callejon, while Bologna’s Adam Masina was also dismissed.

Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni said he knew it would not be his night when his team found themselves 2-0 down within six minutes at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

His mood did not improve when Mattia Destro had a penalty saved.

“Our evening started badly and it was all downhill from there,” Donadoni said.

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