Napoli vs. Hellas Verona, final score 5-1: Hosts put on a show

Giuseppe Bellini

Last week, Napoli more or less put on a training match against Sampdoria, running out 5-2 winners at the Marassi. This weekend, to finish out the Serie A season in style, they did much the same.

José Callejón kicked off the scoring after just five minutes. Dries Mertens split the Verona defense with a through ball, and Ziggy had no trouble getting on the end of it. The goal was Callejón's 15th in the league but, more importantly, it was Napoli's 100th goal in all competitions, setting a new record for the club.

Duván Zapata, in his sixth Serie A start, bagged the next two. Despite Verona still being in contention for the last Europa League spot, the visitors looked as though they'd barely turned up. Again, it was Mertens providing the assist. Duván had ample space to take his shot, giving Napoli a 2-0 lead with less than fifteen minutes played.

And that goal meant Napoli beat last season's tally of 73 goals in the league. In case there are still lots of Rafa Benítez doubters out there.

The third goal was a tussle between Callejón and Duván. Callejón hit the post, and Zapata headed home.

Napoli weren't really trying in the second half, yet managed to score two more anyway. The Verona defense made the foolish decision to pass back to Nicolas, not realizing that Mertens was nearby. The Belgian snuck in, stole the ball, went around the keeper and put it in the back of the net.

The hosts then felt a bit bad about being up 4-0, and decided to let Verona have a go. They meant to allow Luca Toni a goal, but instead it was Juan Iturbe, who put his free kick off Camilo Zúñiga and into the back of the net.

Then the partenopei went right back to target practice. Lorenzo Insigne, racing up the left, slid the ball over to Mertens. The Belgian went to take a shot, slipped, but still managed to send his curving shot over Nicolas and into the back of the net.

The five goals put Napoli on 104 for the season, 77 scored in the league. That's just three goals behind Juventus, who had the best attack in Serie A, and five above Roma, who'd looked like they were set to outscore everyone at the start of the season.

Napoli: Doblas; Ghoulam, Britos, Henrique, Maggio; Dzemaili, Jorginho; Insigne, Mertens, Callejon (Radosevic 45); Zapata

Goals: Callejon 5'; Zapata 13', 25'; Mertens 62', 77'

Hellas Verona: Nicolas; Agostini, Marques, Moras, Cacciatore, Halfredsson, Donadel, Sala; Marquinho, Toni, Iturbe

Goals: Iturbe 66'

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