Monday, October 27, 2014

Serie A - Gonzalo Higuain hits late hat-trick in Napoli win

Troubled Inter Milan scrambled a 1-0 win at Cesena thanks to a controversial first-half penalty and sending-off and leaders Juventus put their European problems behind them with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to a tame Palermo.
Elsewhere, thirty-seven-year old Antonio Di Natale scored his fifth goal of the season, an exquisite curled effort, and Cyril Thereau was also on target in Udinese's 2-0 home win over Atalanta whileFernando Torres started on the bench, coming on in the 80th minute, in AC Milan's 1-1 draw at home to Fiorentina.
Chile forward Mauricio Pinilla missed a second-half penalty but then scored an 84th-minute winner as Genoa beat Chievo 2-1, handing the home team's new coach Rolando Maran a losing start, andGermany forward Miroslav Klose gave Lazio a 2-1 win over Torino in Rome.
Seventh-placed Napoli, who have 14 points from eight games, went into their game under more pressure following a 2-0 Europa League defeat at Young Boys on Thursday when fans waited outside the stadium to protest as the team bus left the ground.
The hosts could not have made a worse start when Emil Hallfredsson volleyed Verona ahead in the first minute but Napoli responded well, took control and were rewarded when Marek Hamsik equalised just before halftime.
The Slovakian pounced again to give Napoli a 57th-minute lead and, although Nicolas Lopez levelled, it was the cue for Higuain to spring into action.
The Argentine intercepted a back pass by Panagiotis Tachtsidis to open his account, tapped in Raul Albiol's pass for his second and then converted a penalty, with Jose Callejon scoring the fourth in between.
Inter's win hinged on the 30th-minute incident when Inter forward Rodrigo Palacio went down under a challenge from Cesena goalkeeper Nicola Leali, although replays suggested the Argentine began his fall before any contact was made.
Amid furious protests, Leali was sent off, Inter awarded a penalty and Mauro Icardi beat replacement goalkeeper Federico Agliardi from the spot.
The gallant Sea Horses nearly levelled before halftime but were repeatedly caught on the break in the second half.
The win was a huge relief for Inter coach Walter Mazzarri, under intense pressure after three-goal defeats to Cagliari and Fiorentina and a draw with Napoli, and left his side on 12 points.