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Serie A

  • 18 May 2014
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
  • Referee: L. Pairetto
  • • Attendance: 10000

Napoli 5-1 Hellas Verona: Zapata & Mertens end season in style

Napoli 5-1 Hellas Verona: Zapata & Mertens end season in style

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The Partenopei duo exchanged doubles as Rafa Benitez's side finished their Serie A campaign with a crushing victory

Napoli rounded off their Serie A campaign in style as they claimed a 5-1 home victory over Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Rafa Benitez's side came out of the blocks quickly and were ahead within five minutes thanks to Jose Callejon. Duvan Zapata added two others in a first half which the hosts dominated.

Napoli made a fast-paced start to the match and the writing was on the wall from the off, when Lorenzo Insigne's tame effort forced Nicolas Andrade into a routine save.

Minutes later, however, and they had the breakthrough. Dries Mertens gathered the ball in midfield and slipped a lovely through ball into the path of Callejon, who finished coolly.

Napoli were visibly the dominant team and it was not long before their lead was doubled. Once again, Mertens was involved, playing in Zapata, who recovered from a poor first touch to drive the ball home.

Verona had paid the price for their poor start but started to show some signs of life, with Luca Toni having an effort saved at the other end of the pitch, but it made little difference as Napoli continued to threaten every time they went forward.

Insigne looked like he could have been set to make it three, but slipped up when racing towards the visitors' goal, but his missed opportunity made little difference. Soon enough, Callejon found space on the left and sent in an exquisite cross to Zapata, who headed home at the far post.

An untimely mistake from Andrade could have led to an own goal, but for the intervention of a defender and Toni was left blasting the officials' decision to rule out a close-range effort for offside - correctly - in a rather tame end to a thrilling first half.

The visitors needed to respond quickly after the break if they were to get anything out of the game and Juan Iturbe was presented with an excellent opportunity to get his side a foothold in the match but sent a tame strike straight at Toni Doblas.

Soon after, they were punished. Capitalising on a backpass, Mertens got a richly-deserved goal, rounding Andrade and tapping the ball home.

However, the four-goal lead did not last long Iturbe's free kick flying into the top corner via a hefty deflection.

Napoli were still in control and Juan Zuniga almost restored the hefty advantage with a ferocious effort that Andrade tipped over but Mertens soon got his second, driving home a ferocious effort from the edge of the box.

The Belgian missed a great chance to complete his hat-trick six minutes from time, forcing the keeper into a fine save but it made little difference - Napoli had done enough to secure a fine victory.