Dzeko & Salah sinks Napoli as Roma charges ahead in Serie A

Edin Dzeko’s brace hands Napoli their first home defeat since May 2015, as Roma’s 3-1 victory move them up to second place in the Serie A table.

It was the visitors who went ahead two minutes before the break in a thrilling encounter between the two sides at Stadio San Paolo. Mohamed Salah won the ball off Kalidou Koulibaly on the edge of the area, and his subsequent cross was swept home by Edin Dzeko from 12 yards.

Dzeko then doubled Roma’s tally with a header when he rose unmarked at the far post to head in Alessandro Florenzi’s free-kick nine minutes after the restart. It was his seventh goal of the season, just one short of his record last reason.

“I congratulate him for the brace but it’s not just about the goals,” said Roma coach Luciano Spalletti. “In Italy, players only get judged on how many goals they score and people tend not to pay attention to the rest of the match. Dzeko has to do better in terms of being clinical and ruthless.”

“In the first half, there were four or five occasions where he could have caused them damage. He is an exceptional player but he could do more with his physical prowess and technical ability.”

Koulibaly tried to make amends for Napoli when he headed in from a corner four minutes after Dzeko’s second, and Napoli had appeared capable of grabbing an equalizer even after the Bosnian’s brace. Instead, Daniele De Rossi sent Salah clear of the Napoli defence and the Egyptian guided his shot wide of Pepe Reina to seal Roma’s 3-1 win.

The result lifts Roma to 16 points, five behind Juventus, who narrowly defeated Udinese by 2-1.

Napoli, who lost top scorer Arkadiusz Milik to a serious knee injury last week, have 14 points after what was a second successive defeat, and fell to fourth place after Milan won 3-1 against Chievo.

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