Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

John O'Donnell On May - 6 - 2013

Serie A Match Recap: Napoli v Inter

Napoli defeated Inter 3-1 at the Stadio San Paolo thanks to a hat-trick from the prolific Edinson Cavani who extended his tally to 101 goals in just three seasons for Napoli.

Going into the game Inter would be without a whole host of players as their injury crisis got even worse last week with captain Javier Zanetti’s injury meaning he joined the likes of Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio, and Yuto Nagatomo on the side-lines. Napoli meanwhile had Cavani and Valon Behrami back from suspension while they only had one absentee as defender Hugo Campagnaro failed to shake off a calf knock in time for the game against the Nerazzurri who Campagnaro is believed to be joining in the summer as his current deal with Napoli is due to expire.

It did not take long for Napoli and Cavani to get off the mark as the hosts took the lead after just three minutes. A great ball from Goran Pandev allowed Cavani to run through the centre of Inter’s defence and expertly finish past the helpless Samir Handanovic in the Nerazzurri goal.

Inter were offered a route back into the game as Ricky Alvarez was bundled over by Juan Zuniga as he made his way into the Napoli box and Alvarez himself took the spot kick and managed to score despite Morgan De Sanctis getting a hand to it.

Zuniga later made amends for giving away the penalty as he won one of his own for his team after he was brought down by Jonathan in a similarly clumsy challenge as the first penalty. Cavani then stepped up to the spot and he calmly slotted into the bottom corner to score his 100th goal for Napoli.

Cavani then completed his hat-trick after a flowing counter attack when he played the ball out to Pandev on the left who returned the ball into the middle and Cavani continued his run to steal in ahead of Juan Jesus to slide in and steer the ball home at the back post.

With this win Napoli look to have all but secured second place in the table as they now lead Milan by seven points with only three games remaining meaning they will earn that all important second automatic Champions League place for next season however it remains to be seen whether Napoli’s hat-trick hero Edinson Cavani will be there to lead the side into their latest European adventure with a number of top teams linked with Serie A’s top scorer.

Meanwhile Inter have bigger problems as this loss leaves them in 8th place five points behind Roma in the final Europa League qualifying position leaving the Nerazzurri facing the prospect of no European competition next season as they continue a massive fall from grace since winning the Champions League only three years ago under Jose Mourinho.

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