Napoli crushes Sassuolo 6-1 to end miserable run

·2 min read

MILAN (AP) — Napoli salvaged some pride as it crushed Sassuolo 6-1 on Saturday to consolidate third place in Serie A and bounce back from a miserable run.

Dries Mertens scored twice, while there were also goals from Kalidou Koulibaly, Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano and Amir Rrahmani in a rampant display from Napoli, which was 4-0 up after 21 minutes.

Maxime Lopez netted a late consolation for mid-table Sassuolo.

Napoli was battling with the Milan clubs for the Serie A title until recently but a run of two defeats and a draw saw its scudetto bid all but evaporate. The win over Sassuolo left it four points below league leader AC Milan, which hosts Fiorentina on Sunday, and four points above Juventus, which entertains bottom club Venezia.

Napoli was still reeling from last week’s match at Empoli, where it was leading 2-0 before three goals in the final 10 minutes saw the home side win 3-2.

It started the match with a point to prove and Koulibaly headed in a corner. The lead was doubled in the 15th minute with another Lorenzo Insigne corner and another header, this time from Osimhen that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Osimhen set one up just two minutes later. Mertens won the ball in midfield and threaded it to Osimhen, who rolled it across for Lozano to slot in from six yards.

Mertens got on the scoresheet in the 21st and scored again early in the second half following a one-two with Fabián Ruiz.

Osimhen had a goal ruled out for offside before Amir Rrahmani got Napoli’s sixth, 10 minutes from time.

RELEGATION BATTLE

Cagliari is sliding closer to the relegation zone after a seventh defeat in eight matches.

A 2-1 defeat at home to Hellas Verona left Cagliari three points above the bottom three. Genoa could move level on points with the Sardinian side if it beat fellow struggler Sampdoria in a late derby.

Lazio was also at Spezia late.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Daniella Matar, The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting