Verona vs Napoli: Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored two goals to help Napoli beat Hellas Verona 3-1 in a Serie A match played on Saturday at the Stadio M. A. Bentegodi to relaunch The Blues’ title defence, Kvaratskhelia, netted a goal on either side of halftime. Matteo Politano set both of those up and also scored the opener to take his goal tally to five goals and three assists in his last seven matches for club and country.
The Georgia winger was a revelation last season and was named Serie A player of the year after helping Napoli to the title but had not scored since March before ending his goal drought in September.
Napoli remained fifth but cut the gap to Serie A leaders AC Milan to four points. Inter Milan can move a point above their city rivals with a win at Torino later. Milan hosts third-place Juventus on Sunday.
With only four wins in the opening eight rounds, Napoli manager Rudi Garcia, who replaced title-winning coach Luciano Spalletti in the offseason, was already under pressure and had met several times with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis recently.
Napoli was also without Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen who got injured while with Nigeria’s national team.
Napoli withstood a promising start from the home side before taking the lead in the 27th minute. Giacomo Raspadori did well to get in a cross from the left to the back post, where Politano volleyed the ball into the bottom corner.
Politano turned provider two minutes before half-time as he sent Kvaratskhelia down the left and the winger inside, feinted and then squeezed a shot between Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipò and the near post.
The Napoli duo combined again 10 minutes after the break as Kvaratskhelia sprinted from inside his own half onto a long Politano ball and raced clear before cutting inside past a defender and placing a precise effort into the bottom right corner.