MILAN – An electric San Siro helped Inter beat the
cold and a stubborn Napoli side to edge a hard-fought
encounter 2-1. Guarin and Milito grabbed the goals as the Nerazzurri
leapfrogged Napoli to move into second place in the standings.
Andrea Stramaccioni’s troops took an early lead with a training
ground move. Guarin made a late dart into the far side of the box to
meet Cassano’s corner first-time and power past De Sanctis at the
near post. San Siro erupted. Napoli attempted to muster a fightback
and offered an attacking threat in the shape of Insigne, Cavani and
Hamsik. But six minutes before the break Inter were two up and Guarin was again at the heart of things. The Colombian received a
headed clearance and played an inch-perfect ball into
the path of Milito, who showed poise to bring it under control while holding off his man before slotting past De Sanctis.
In the second period, Cassano had the chance to extend Inter’s lead further but was denied by the woodwork. Handanovic then thwarted Inler and
conceded the corner, from which Napoli pulled one back. Pandev knocked the ball towards the near post, Handanovic
saved, Maggio hit the bar and then had the chance to stab
in the rebound but Handanovic pulled off another miracle on the line
only to see Cavani sweep home the rebound. Replays showed Pandev was
offside at the start of the scramble but it was a tough call. Napoli
went close to finding an equaliser in the 75th minute as
Pandev freed Cavani: Handanovic saved then repeated
the feat from Maggio with three minutes of normal time remaining. Two
minutes later, Palacio did superbly to keep the ball in play and get
his shot away from a tight angle, firing inches wide of the far
post. There were to be no more goals. Inter beat Napoli 2-1 and overtook their rivals in the league table, moving up to second place on
Inter 2-1 Napoli (HT:
Scorers: Guarin 8, Milito 39,
Inter: 1 Handanovic; 23
Ranocchia, 19 Cambiasso, 40 Juan Jesus; 55 Nagatomo, 4 Zanetti, 21
Gargano, 14 Guarin, 31 Pereira; 99 Cassano (Palacio 60), 22 Milito
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 27
Belec, 6 Silvestre, 17 Mariga, 24 Benassi, 28 Pasa, 33 Mbaye, 41
Duncan, 52 Romanò, 88 Livaja.
Napoli: 1 De Sanctis; 55
Gamberini (Pandev 46), 28 Cannavaro, 5 Britos; 11 Maggio, 85 Behrami,
88 Inler (Dzemaili 58), 18 Zuniga; 17 Hamsik (Mesto 84); 24 Insigne,
Unused subs: 22 Rosati, 2 Grava, 4
Donadel, 6 Aronica, 8 Dossena, 9 Vargas, 14 Campagnaro, 15 Colombo,
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Bologna).
Booked: Handanovic 28, Gamberini 43, Gargano 58, Pandev 60, Behrami 61.
Added time: 3+3 minutes.