Football

Seventh heaven for Napoli

Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens both scored hat-tricks as Napoli demolished Bologna 7-1 away yesterday morning (Singapore time), after a wild first half which saw five goals, two red cards and a missed penalty.

Bologna's Mattia Destro saw his spot-kick saved by Pepe Reina when Napoli were only 2-0 up, while Napoli's Jose Callejon and Bologna's Adam Masina were sent off within minutes of each other.

Mertens then scored his first two goals, either side of a Vasilis Torosidis strike as Napoli led 4-1 at half-time.

Hamsik and Mertens then completed their hat-tricks after the break as Napoli moved into second place with 48 points, three behind leaders Juventus, who hosted Inter Milan this morning.

Despite the mauling, Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri was still thinking about their previous game - a 1-1 draw with Palermo. He said: "I feel a little angry as we created fewer scoring opportunities tonight than we did against Palermo. We scored one then and tonight seven."

Meanwhile, AC Milan's hopes of returning to European football were further hit after last night's 1-0 loss to Sampdoria saw them slip to eighth spot. - REUTERS

Italy