Football

Sarri pleased as Napoli regain top spot

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri was delighted with his side's second-half display as they defeated Lazio 4-1 to regain top spot in Serie A yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Juventus had gone top briefly after a 2-0 win over Fiorentina a day earlier.

Sarri told Calciomercato: "In the first half, (Lazio) had the physical edge over us, we were a little nervous because of the (Faouzi) Ghoulam injury."

He was referring to news that his left back had suffered a further setback in his comeback bid from a knee injury.

Lazio took the lead at the Stadio San Paolo after barely three minutes when defender Stefan de Vrij got between the Napoli defence to nudge Ciro Immobile's cross past Pepe Reina.

The visitors looked dangerous until Jose Callejon sprung the offside trap to latch on to Jorginho's through-ball and fire past Thomas Strakosha to equalise two minutes before half-time.

Napoli's nerves soon manifested as tension in a highly charged game.

A nasty challenge by Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic made Sarri so mad that he launched a tirade at the match officials, which resulted in his dismissal.

Sarri added: "At half-time, I tried to calm the players down a little since I was upset because of my sending-off.

"I told the referee that the Milinkovic foul deserved a red card and not only a yellow card."

Although Sarri was sent to the stands, his side ran riot in the second half, reported Reuters.

Lazio defender Wallace scored an own goal in the 54th minute before Mario Rui made it 3-1 two minutes later with a shot which deflected off Piotr Zielinski. Dries Mertens added the fourth in the 73rd minute.

Said Sarri: "In the second half, we started to play the right way and things opened up for us. I was lucky to watch the second half from the stands, I enjoyed it."

OTHER RESULTS

  • Crotone 1 Atalanta 1
  • Sassuolo 0 Cagliari 0
  • SPAL 0 AC Milan 4
Football