Hamsik header nets Napoli points
Napoli moved up into a share of second place in Serie A alongside Lazio thanks to a narrow win at Genoa tonight.
Marek Hamsik's 25th-minute goal was enough to decide an entertaining encounter at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and take Walter Mazzarri's side to within three points of league leaders AC Milan. Napoli ended the game with ten men after Michele Pazienza saw red in the 85th minute, but they held on for the victory.
Juan Zuniga tested whether Genoa goalkeeper Eduardo was alert with just 23 seconds on the clock when he tried to surprise him at his near post, but the Portuguese pushed the ball behind for a corner. It was a sign of things to come as Napoli showed no fear as they attacked a slightly disorganised looking Genoa.
The home side did have chances too, though, with Dario Dainelli heading over from a corner in the sixth minute and Marco Rossi lifting the ball over the crossbar after pouncing on a knock down from Luca Toni.
However, Napoli expressed their superiority on the ball and deservedly took the lead in the 25th minute. Walter Gargano swung in a free-kick from the right which was met with a bullet-header by Hamsik leaving Eduardo no chance at all.
Genoa coach Davide Ballardini responded by bringing Gergely Rudolf and Giandomenico Mesto on for the second half and this heralded a substantial improvement in his side.
Rudolf's free-kick in the 48th minute was enticing for three Genoa players inside the six-yard box, but Dainelli, Toni and Andrea Ranocchia all got in each other's way when all it needed was one to take charge of the situation and head the ball in.
Rudolf provided another chance for Mesto on the hour mark, but he shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post with only Morgan De Sanctis to beat. And the lively Hungarian gave Toni the chance to level matters two minutes later, but he shot wide at the near post.
Pazienza received his marching orders for a second yellow card in the 85th minute leaving Napoli with ten men for the last five minutes, but Genoa were unable to take advantage.