23 September 2014

Football: Italian Serie A - Catania Hit back to draw at Napoli

 - Monday, 26 March 2012, 00:00

Juventus beat Inter 2-0 to keep pressure on Milan

Catania came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Napoli in Serie A yesterday after late goals from Nicolas Spolli and substitute Davide Lanzafame.

Napoli appeared to be cruising to victory after second-half goals from Blerim Dzemaili and Edinson Cavani. But Spolli pulled one back in the 75th and Lanzafame equalised in the 80th, two minutes after coming off the bench.

The result is a blow to Napoli's bid for third place, especially after Modibo Diakite's late winner gave Lazio a 1-0 victory against Cagliari.

Lazio is third, three points above Udinese and Napoli.

At the other end of the table, Novara was held to a scoreless draw at home to fellow struggler Lecce, which will have helped neither side's hopes of avoiding the drop.

Napoli had several chances to go in front in an entertaining first half but were thwarted by a Catania's solid defense. Walter Gargano went closest, with a powerful right-footed effort which goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo did well to keep out at full stretch.

Napoli broke the deadlock on the hour mark from Dzemaili's volley that went in just under the crossbar.

The home side doubled its lead six minutes later. Goran Pandev sent a through ball to Cavani, whose shot hit the post. Spolli mis-kicked his clearance and the ball fell back for Cavani to slot home for his seventh goal in as many games.

Pandev could have extended the lead but his shot hit the post, a miss that Napoli was to soon regret. Spolli atoned for his earlier error by heading in Cristian Llama's corner.

It got worse moments later following another corner. Lanzafame's header was kept out by the Napoli defense but the ball fell back for the forward to fire home.

Lazio will be delighted with the result after managing to snatch all three points against Cagliari. Diakite scored the only goal of the game two minutes from time when he headed in Cristian Ledesma's free kick.

Substitute Antonio Candreva hit the post for Lazio in stoppage time.

Cesena was held to a 2-2 draw by Parma and unable to take advantage of Novara's draw.

Sergio Floccari gave Parma the lead five minutes from halftime after both he and Cesena counterpart Adrian Mutu had hit the crossbar.

Cesena leveled straight after the break when Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante dealt badly with Raphael Martinho's shot and Mario Santana fired in the rebound.

The home side went in front seven minutes later when Martinho found Simone Del Nero and he rounded two defenders before unleashing a fierce shot past Mirante.

Parma leveled shortly after the hour thanks to Gabriel Paletta, and almost went in front immediately afterward but Fabiano Santacroce hit the post.

Genoa was held to a 2-2 draw by Fiorentina. Riccardo Montolivo equalised for Fiorentina on the half hour after Fernando Belluschi had given the home side the lead.

Fiorentina went in front through Cesare Natali, but Rodrigo Palacio snatched a deserved share of the points a minute from time.

Elsewhere, Chievo Verona drew 1-1 with Siena, with Mattia Destro equalizing in the second half goal after Francesco Acerbi had given Chievo an early lead.

Atalanta ended Bologna's impressive recent run by winning 2-0 through goals by Manolo Gabbiadini and Simone Tiribocchi.

Gabbiadini headed into the net in the 50th minute, and Tiribocchi sealed the result in stoppage time to inflict Bologna's second loss of 2012.

Bologna midfielder Alessandro Diamanti went close to equalising, but his free kick crashed off the frame of the goal.

In the late match Alessandro Del Piero came off the bench to help Juventus to a 2-0 win over Inter as Antonio Conte's men kept the pressure on leader Milan.

Inter left Martin Caceres completely unmarked to head Juventus into the lead in the 57th minute and Del Piero – who had scored in midweek against Milan in the cup – sealed the result in the 70th.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a string of fantastic saves in the first half to keep his side level in the hotly contested match, known as Italy's Derby.

Milan, which beat Roma 2-1 on Saturday, leads second-placed Juventus by four points.

Inter slip to eighth and have now won just one of their past 10 league games.

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