MILAN Napoli rediscovered their scoring touch as they brushed aside Inter Milan 3-0 on Friday, sending their opponents' new coach Stefano Pioli back to the drawing-board.
The result was never in doubt after Piotr Zielinski and Marek Hamsek put Napoli 2-0 ahead after six minutes. Lorenzo Insigne completed the scoring early in the second half.
Napoli had scored only 13 in their previous 11 games in all competitions and it was by far their best performance since striker Arkadiusz Milik suffered a long-term knee injury while playing for Poland in early October.
Inter had given Pioli his first win in three games as coach when they beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday but were quickly sent back into crisis mode.
Napoli's win took them into sixth place with 28 points, five behind leaders Juventus. Inter are eighth with 21.
"Of course, this is a step backwards in relation to our last game," said a disappointed Pioli. "We made mistakes at the start and it's always more difficult when you go two goals behind.
"We gave them too much space and when we created our own chances, we missed them. There were more negatives than positives... there are difficulties and we have to solve them."
Inter scored three goals in the first 19 minutes against Fiorentina on Monday but found themselves on the wrong end of a similar start by Napoli.
The hosts went ahead in the second minute when a flowing move ended with Hamsik chipping the ball to Jose Callejon, who knocked it down for Zielinski to volley in from 12 metres.
Four minutes later, Hamsik broke clear of the Inter defence and placed his shot wide of Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Napoli were playing some flowing football and threatened to add a third against shell-shocked opponents.
Although Inter enjoyed more possession in the second half, Napoli scored again in the 51st minute when Insigne volleyed in a loose ball.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Toby Davis)