Serie A league leaders Napoli beat Roma 2-1 at the Diego Armando Maradona
Stadium to open up a 13-point gap at the top of the table in an enthralling contest on
It looked like the spoils would be shared after Stephan El Shaarawy’s late equalizer,
but the striker had other ideas as he moved his side 13 points clear in top spot.
The hosts forced Rui Patricio into a smart early save through Khvicha Kvaraskhelia’s
low shot, before they were nearly left red-faced shortly afterward when Kim Min-Jae
came close to netting an own goal with a flicked header that clipped the post.
That was as perilous as things got all evening for Luciano Spalletti’s side though, as
they took the lead shortly afterwards through a stunning Victor Osimhen volley that
hundred into the roof of the net.
Piotr Zielinski forced a further stop out of Patricio before the break, another fierce
strike that was beaten away, while Alex Meret was forced into a fine stop by Roma’s
Leonardo Spinazzola in injury time at the other end.
Both teams wasted chances at the start of the second half, Kvaratskhelia for Napoli
and Nicola Zalewski for the visitors, before Meret was called into action once more as
he made a full-stretch save from Bryan Cristante.
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Patricio then prevented Hirving Lozano from making it 2-0 as he tipped over the bar
after a rapid counter-attack, and he was made to pay when substitute El Shaarawy
levelled from Nicola Zalewski’s deep cross on 75 minutes remaining.
That looked enough to earn the visitors a point, but Simeone, who had only been on
the field for 10 minutes, bagged the winner when he turned and curled into the top
corner from just inside the box.