Thursday, June 29, 2017

Napoli held by Lazio as Keita cancels out Hamsik opener

SoccerNews in Serie A 5 Nov 2016

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Napoli were dealt another blow in the Serie A title race as Balde Keita cancelled out Marek Hamsik’s second-half opener to earn Lazio a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s encounter at the Stadio San Paolo.

Maurizio Sarri’s men were looking to get back on track after losing 2-1 at defending champions Juventus last week.

And the hosts made a strong start as Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne called Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti into action in the opening 45 minutes.

Ciro Immobile was Lazio’s main dangerman going forward and the striker twice went close to breaking the deadlock early in the second half – goalkeeper Pepe Reina keeping out his first attempt, before he aimed just wide from a narrow angle shortly after. 

Hamsik then opened the scoring in the 52nd minute after a fine piece of skill, dancing past Wallace and Dusan Basta before beating Marchetti with a low left-footed shot in the far corner.

Lazio hit back less than two minutes later, though. Keita shrugged off Vlad Chiriches and surprised Reina with a low shot in the near corner to make it 1-1.

Napoli poured forward in a bid to restore their lead, but there would be no more goals as Marchetti frustrated Hamsik, Elseid Hysaj and Manolo Gabbiadini to help Lazio to a hard-fought draw.

The result sees Lazio remain in fourth position with 22 points from 12 games, while Napoli are one place and one point below in fifth.

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