Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Hamsik tops Maradona

Published:Sunday | December 24, 2017 | 12:16 AM
Napoli's Marek Hamsik (right) celebrates after scoring during a Serie A match between Napoli and Sampdoria at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy yesterday. Napoli won 3-2.

 

NAPLES, Italy, AP - Marek Hamsik became Napoli's all-time leading scorer with his 116th goal as the Serie A front-runners beat Sampdoria 3-2 yesterday.

Napoli were behind twice before Hamsik surpassed Argentina great Diego Maradona's tally with the winner shortly before halftime.

Inter Milan are five points behind Napoli after Mauro Icardi had a penalty saved in a 1-0 loss at Sassuolo.

Inter had not lost a match before last weekend's defeat to Udinese.

Samdoria got off to a perfect start in Naples as Gaston Ramirez curled a free kick into the top left corner with less than two minutes on the clock.

Napoli levelled in the 16th as Emiliano Viviano could only parry Jose Callejon's volley and Allan fired home the rebound.

Fabio Quagliarella restored Sampdoria's lead in the 27th with a penalty after Elseid Hysaj brought down Ramirez.

It was Quagliarella's first time back at Napoli since he revealed a stalker nightmare forced him to leave his hometown club in 2010.

Lorenzo Insigne was back from injury and he marked his return with a goal in the 33rd, volleying Dries Mertens' chipped pass into the bottom left corner.

Hamsik made history six minutes later.

Allan dribbled through three players in the area before picking out Mertens, who rolled the ball across for Hamsik to tap in from close range.

The only negative note for Napoli was the dismissal of defender Mario Rui 13 minutes from time following a second yellow card.

FREEFALL

Little more than a week ago, Inter were top of the table and the only unbeaten team in the league.

They could find themselves fourth at the end of the round after a second successive defeat.

Diego Falcinelli scored the only goal of the match 11 minutes from halftime, heading in a cross from Matteo Politano, who had ran almost the entire length of the right flank.

Other results: Genoa 1 Benevento 0; Spal 2 Torino 2; Udinese 4 Verona 0.