Serie A - Napoli stun 10-man Inter

Sat, 01 Oct 21:36:00 2011

Napoli moved top of Serie A with a 3-0 win over an indisciplined 10-man Internazionale in a breathless contest at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Maggio Hamsik Inter Napoli AP/LA PRESSE - 0

The visiting side reached the summit of the standings on 10 points - two ahead of Juventus and Udinese who have played one game less - courtesy of efforts from Hugo Campagnaro (43), Christian Maggio (56) and Marek Hamsik (75) in a match that saw Inter lose midfielder Joel Obi and their cool.

Inter were reduced to 10 men when Obi picked up a second yellow card after he fouled Maggio with the referee Gianluca Rocchi wrongly awarding a penalty to the visitors with half-time looming.

Replays showed that the foul had taken place outside of the area as Christian Chivu hobbled off injured to be replaced by Yuto Nagatomo.

Marek Hamsik's penalty was saved by Julio Cesar in the home goal, but Campagnaro reacted quickest to thump the rebound beyond the Inter keeper.

Inter were furious with the referee and their frustration boiled over as skipper Javier Zanetti and Cesar were booked for dissent.

Cesar was fortunate not be sent off after stopping just short of manhandling the referee as he stuck his head in the match official's face.

It was quite disgraceful conduct as the half ended with Ranieri shouting and bawling at the referee as the teams disappeared up the tunnel for some respite amid some ugly scenes.

Ranieri was sent off at the break, and could only watch in some discomfort from the stands as his 10 men collapsed in the second period with goals from Maggio and Hamsik earning Napoli their first points against Inter at the San Siro since 1994.

Inter will blame the referee for the nature of the defeat after Obi was wrongly booked for a perfectly timed tackle on Ezequiel Lavezzi in the first half, while Giampaolo Pazzini had a goal ruled out for offside that should have stood after Napoli keeper Morgan De Santis spilled Zanetti's shot from distance midway through the half.

Napoli never lost their focus as they benefited from an awful piece of defending to move 2-0 clear when Nagatomo allowed Maggio to bound beyond him from substitute Giuseppe Mascara's pass before slipping the ball past a hesitant Cesar.

Inter's defenders were looking at each other when Hamsik raced onto Lavezzi's pass to tuck the ball beyond Cesar with 15 minutes remaining as the returning Maicon appealed in vain for offside.

Inter had been on a run of eight consecutive wins at home against Napoli in the league, but that record was tore down quite spectacularly by the visiting side, whose fans are suddenly harbouring serious hopes of a first Italian title since 1990.


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