MILAN (Reuters) – A bad-tempered Napoli overcame their frustration to grind out a 2-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Verona on Sunday, continue their charge up the table and complete five Serie A matches without conceding a goal.
Napoli needed 67 minutes to prise open the Verona defence before Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain, with his tenth Serie A goal of the season, scored in quick succession to give them their seventh win in their last eight league games.
The win took Napoli, at least temporarily, top of Serie A with 28 points, one ahead of Fiorentina and Inter Milan who were both playing later Sunday.
Verona have six points from 13 games, level at the foot of the table with Carpi who were at home to Chievo in an afternoon match.
Verona have not won all season and quickly made their intentions clear as they packed their defence and invited Napoli to come at them.
The visitors struggled to make any headway and were in danger of letting their frustration get the better of them as they were repeatedly caught offside.
Higuain, in particular, looked as if he was carrying the world on his shoulders, gesticulating angrily at every decision which went against him or whenever a team mate failed to pass him the ball.
Insigne was booked for thumping the ball into the stands after he was given offside and Allan protested so furiously at another decision that he was warned that he would be sent off if he did not calm down.
But it all changed in the 67th minute when Marek Hamsik cut in from the left and found Insigne, who was left unmarked in the penalty area are rolled his shot inside the foot of the left-hand post.
Insigne then set up the second for Higuain, getting free on the left and sending in a low cross which the Argentine turned into the net from close range.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Alan Baldwin)