Italian Serie A
NapoliNapoli4Inter MilanInter Milan2

Napoli 4-2 Inter Milan

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring in the Serie A win against Inter Milan

Napoli inflicted 10-man Inter Milan's second Serie A defeat of the season in a gripping match at Stadio San Paolo.

A five-goal first half saw Gonzalo Higuain volley Napoli in front only for Esteban Cambiasso to equalise.

Rafael Benitez's men went two-goals up after Dries Mertens and Blerim Dzemaili struck, only for Yuto Nagatomo to give Inter hope with a tap-in.

Ex-Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri's loss was secured when Jose Callejon pounced after Ricky Alvarez was dismissed.

Benitez, who was sacked by Inter after a difficult six-month spell in 2010, was also facing his former club

The Spaniard also had to deal with his side's midweek Champions League exit after being denied knockout stage qualification by Borussia Dortmund despite beating Arsenal 2-0.

Regardless, the result saw third-placed Napoli open up a seven-point gap to their fifth-placed opponents. This difference could prove valuable in the months ahead as third is the final qualifying spot for Europe's premier club competition in the Italian top flight.

Mazzarri's return to Naples after deciding to end a four-year spell in charge this summer appeared to be going well when his new team started the brighter, only for Higuain to volley in expertly after latching on to a sloppy Nagatomo header in the host's opening attack.

Cambiasso levelled things after sweeping home a flowing counter-attack, only for Mertens to fire in first time from the edge of the box and Dzemaili to double the advantage after reacting quickest to a fine Samir Handanovic save.

Nagatomo then made amends for his poor defensive error with a tap-in following a smart cross from the impressive Fredy Guarin, before the referee called time on a thrilling first 45 minutes.

Inter's push for an equaliser was tempered with 20 minutes to play as midfielder Alvarez was harshly dismissed for a second booking after handling the ball.

With the Nerazzurri now weakened, former Real Madrid forward Callejon found his seventh league goal of the season after being presented with the easiest of finishes by Lorenzo Insigne's drive across goal.

There was even time for ex-Inter man Goran Pandev to miss a penalty before the final whistle signalled an impressive victory for Benitez's challengers.

Line-ups

Napoli

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Barbosa
  • 11Maggio
  • 2RéveillereSubstituted forPandevat 90+1'minutes
  • 20Dzemaili
  • 21Fernández
  • 33Albiol
  • 7Callejón
  • 88InlerBooked at 32mins
  • 9HiguaínSubstituted forBehramiat 78'minutes
  • 14MertensSubstituted forArmeroat 86'minutes
  • 24InsigneBooked at 29mins

Substitutes

  • 3Uvini
  • 5Britos
  • 13Bariti
  • 15Colombo
  • 19Pandev
  • 22Radosevic
  • 25Reina
  • 27Armero
  • 28Cannavaro
  • 85Behrami
  • 91Zapata

Inter Milan

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Handanovic
  • 2Cicero Moreira
  • 55Nagatomo
  • 35Da Fonseca
  • 23RanocchiaBooked at 90mins
  • 14CampagnaroSubstituted forIcardiat 82'minutes
  • 21Sliti TaiderSubstituted forKovacicat 61'minutes
  • 11ÁlvarezBooked at 71mins
  • 8Palacio
  • 13Guarín
  • 19Cambiasso

Substitutes

  • 4Zanetti
  • 5Nunes Jesus
  • 6Andreolli
  • 7Belfodil
  • 9Icardi
  • 10Kovacic
  • 12Castellazzi
  • 16Mudingayi
  • 17Kuzmanovic
  • 18Wallace
  • 30Carrizo
  • 31Pereira
Referee:
Paolo Tagliavento

Match Stats

Home TeamNapoliAway TeamInter Milan
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home9
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Napoli 4, Inter Milan 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Napoli 4, Inter Milan 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Samir Handanovic.

  4. Post update

    Penalty saved! Goran Pandev (Napoli) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, left footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

  5. Booking

    Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan) after a foul in the penalty area.

  7. Post update

    Penalty Napoli. Goran Pandev draws a foul in the penalty area.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Napoli. Goran Pandev replaces Anthony Réveillere.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by José Callejón.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Napoli. Pablo Armero replaces Dries Mertens.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dries Mertens (Napoli) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by José Callejón with a cross following a fast break.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Inter Milan. Mauro Icardi replaces Hugo Campagnaro.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Napoli 4, Inter Milan 2. José Callejón (Napoli) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lorenzo Insigne.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hugo Campagnaro.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Napoli. Valon Behrami replaces Gonzalo Higuaín.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan).

  17. Post update

    Christian Maggio (Napoli) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Inter Milan. Andrea Ranocchia tries a through ball, but Jonathan is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Inter Milan. Conceded by Anthony Réveillere.

  20. Post update

    Fredy Guarín (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 15th December 2013

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