Milan: Gonzalo Higuain ended his league drought for Napoli in Serie A with a hat-trick, including a late penalty, in an entertaining 6-2 win over Verona in which Marek Hamsik also scored a brace to open his Napoli account this season.Jose Callejon grabbed Napoli’s other goal to claim his seventh of the campaign and go top of the scorers’s charts ahead of Keisuke Honda (Milan) and Carlos Tevez (Juventus).Napoli’s fourth win of the campaign moved Rafael Benitez’s men up to seventh, eight points adrift of Juventus and only two points off third-placed Udinese, 2-0 winners earlier over Atalanta.
Higuain had been goalless in seven previous league outings and his frustration grew earlier this week when Napoli suffered a 2-0 Europa League defeat to Young Boys in Berne. Benitez on Friday compared Higuain to a “lion in a cage” and joked after the match: “We let Higuain out of the cage tonight, so we can put him away again until Wednesday.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Atalanta, Benitez believes Napoli’s shaky start to the season is now firmly behind them.
“I think this game sent an important signal of what the team can do,” added Benitez.Lazio’s resurgence continued with a precious 2-1 win at home to Torino with Miroslav Klose, making a rare appearance for Stefano Pioli’s side, claiming a 60th minute winner for the hosts that moved the Biancocelesti up to fifth.“I’ve always maintained that Klose is an added bonus for us whether he plays or is simply in the dressing room boosting the rest of the team,” said Pioli.
A 32nd minute penalty from Mauro Icardi proved enough for Inter in a precious 1-0 win away to 10-man Cesena that will ease the pressure on under-fire coach Walter Mazzarri as the Nerazzurri moved up to seventh.Milan, meanwhile, spurned the chance to move up to third following a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina at San Siro.Having missed out on Europe this season, new Rossoneri coach Filippo Inzaghi is under pressure to claim a third-place finish but insisted: “We can’t go about talking about (reaching) third place.
“We are still growing as a squad and have to take things slowly, game by game.“You can’t build a title-winning team in two months. We’re in front of Inter (Milan), Napoli and Fiorentina, which has probably surprised a few people.”...