Napoli, Juventus close in on Roma, Milan booed
ROME (Reuters) - Napoli and Juventus both won in Serie A to move within two points of leaders AS Roma as AC Milan lost 2-0 to Fiorentina with jeers and whistles from their fans echoing round the San Siro on Saturday.
Rafael Benitez's Napoli narrowly beat Catania 2-1, with Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik both scoring their sixth goals of the season, to join Juventus on 28 points and leapfrog them into second place on goal difference.
Paul Pogba scored the decisive goal in Juve's 1-0 win at Parma, while Fiorentina went fourth after condemning a dismal Milan to their fifth defeat in 11 league matches, leaving Massimiliano Allegri's side in 10th place on 12 points.
"This is the worst moment of my three and a half years at Milan," said a dejected Allegri, who also announced the team would be at a training camp ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Barcelona.
"Tonight was really bad psychologically and we need to be stronger than the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in.
"It's down to me to find a solution for Wednesday and above all against Chievo (next Sunday)."
Both of Napoli's goals were pearls, with Spaniard Callejon rifling home the opener from distance in the 15th minute after a neat passing move.
Hamsik doubled the home side's lead five minutes later when he raced on to Lorenzo Insigne's lay-off and smashed an unsaveable shot past Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar.
Lucas Castro brought the away side back into it in the 25th minute when he finished off a impressive team goal, only their seventh of the season so far, which included a stunning backheeled pass from Maxi Lopez.
Only a superb display by Argentina international Andujar prevented Napoli from winning by a bigger margin and Catania remain second bottom on six points.
"There were three or four clear chances that we couldn't do anything about because the goalkeeper did so well," said Benitez, who will be hoping Napoli's finishing is more clinical at home to Marseille in the Champions League on Wednesday.
"But with the number of chances that we had we could have finished the match earlier and I would have been a lot calmer on the bench."
Fiorentina jumped above Inter Milan and Hellas Verona into fourth place on 21 points after Juan Vargas's heavily deflected 25th minute free kick and a Borja Valero tap-in 17 minutes from the end.
French midfielder Pogba struck for Juve in the 76th minute of a scrappy affair at the Ennio Tardini stadium, finishing well after Fabio Quagliarella's brilliant looping shot rebounded to him off the bar.
However, Antonio Conte's side had to thank their former striker Amauri for missing from close range eight minutes after the break when he inexplicably chose to backheel Jonathan Biabiany's cross instead of shooting normally.
Napoli and Juve will be hoping Roma fail to get their 11th straight win at Torino on Sunday (1945 GMT), which would put Rudi Garcia's leaders five points clear of their title rivals again. (Editing by Rex Gowar)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
Rafa Nadal's announcement on Friday that he will miss the ATP World Tour Finals because of appendicitis ended a difficult year for the Spaniard during which he has endured injury, illness and worrying defeats. Full Article