Defending champion Napoli scores in stoppage time for win over Salernitana in regional derby
ROME (AP) — It was back to business as usual for Inter Milan after a draw at Genoa and a late winner against Hellas Verona a week ago.
This time, the Serie A leader won convincingly 5-1 at neighboring Monza on Saturday with braces from Hakan Calhanoglu and Lautaro Martinez.
“We did our job today,” Calhanoglu said. “It was a good response after what happened against Verona.”
The Nerazzurri moved provisionally five points clear of Juventus, which hosts Sassuolo on Tuesday.
Up next for Inter is an Italian Super Cup semifinal match against Lazio on Friday in Saudi Arabia.
Defending Serie A champion Napoli, which beat Salernitana 2-1 earlier, faces Fiorentina in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Inter was backed by strong support with fans making the short trip from Milan by scooter — towing huge banners and leaving a trail of fire and smoke along the way.
Calhanoglu put Inter ahead 12 minutes in by converting a penalty after Roberto Gagliardini’s hand touched a header from Lautaro.
Driving his spot kick in decisively to the right corner, Calhanoglu improved to a perfect seven for seven on penalties this season.
Two minutes later, Lautaro finished off a counterattack by redirecting in a cross from Federico Dimarco.
Monza then had a goal from Matteo Pessina wiped off by the VAR after replays showed that his buttock was offside.
Calhanoglu was set up by Marcus Thuram for his second, Pessina pulled one back with a penalty, Lautaro restored the three-goal advantage with another penalty and Thuram scored, too.
Defending Serie A champion Napoli scored in stoppage time for the win over Salernitana in a regional derby to end a four-match winless streak.
Defender Amir Rrahmani found the target six minutes into added time after Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa collided with a teammate.
Ending a turbulent stretch for Napoli, Rrahmani celebrated by taking his shirt off and running toward Napoli’s hard-core “ultra” fans behind the goal bare-chested.
Earlier in the week there was a spat between the agent of Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and the club’s center forward Victor Osimhen, who is away with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Napoli moved up to sixth place, two points below the Champions League spots with most of the teams ahead still to play this weekend.
Salernitana, which remained in last place, put up a fight at the Stadio Diego Maradona.
Antonio Candreva put Salernitana ahead with a long, curling shot into the top corner near the half-hour mark. It was Candreva’s sixth score from outside the box since the start of last year — more than anyone in Europe’s five biggest leagues.
Matteo Politano equalized for Napoli with a penalty before the break following a foul on Giovanni Simeone.
Then Ochoa kept the visitors in the game until Rrahmani’s strike.
Also, Genoa and Torino drew 0-0 and Verona beat Empoli 2-1.
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