Seventh heaven: Napoli beats Fiorentina 2-1 to stay perfect

National Sports

MILAN (AP)Napoli bounced back from its first loss of the season to maintain its perfect start to the Serie A campaign.

Luciano Spalletti’s side rallied to win 2-1 at Fiorentina on Sunday, with Hirving Lozano and Amir Rrahmani scoring after Lucas Martinez Quarta had given the home side the lead.

Napoli has won its first seven league matches of the season and tops the Serie A table. It is four points above defending champion Inter Milan and five ahead of AC Milan, which plays at nearby Atalanta later.

Despite its domestic form, Napoli has struggled in Europe. It drew at Leicester in their Europa League opener and surprisingly lost 3-2 at home to Spartak Moscow on Thursday.

Napoli was looking to recover from that defeat but went behind in the 28th minute as a corner was knocked back across goal by Dusan Vlahovic and Martinez Quarta acrobatically volleyed it into the back of the net.

Martinez Quarta swiftly went from hero to villain as he bundled over Victor Osimhen as the Napoli forward ran into the area.

Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski did brilliantly to parry Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty and then get up and push the rebound away from the onrushing Napoli captain but Lozano fired in the loose ball.

Osimhen almost gave Napoli the lead in stunning fashion on the stroke of halftime but his overhead kick flew narrowly past the left post.

Napoli did go in front five minutes into the second half when Rrahmani headed a free kick into the bottom right corner.

SHOCK DEFEAT

Musa Barrow scored one and created the other two goals as struggling Bologna surprised Lazio 3-0.

Lazio was brimming with confidence after beating fierce rival Roma in the capital derby, while Bologna had lost two of its past three matches, conceding 12 goals.

But Barrow fired Bologna in front in the 14th minute with a spectacular solo effort and then curled in a corner for Arthur Theate to head in the second, three minutes later.

Bologna all but guaranteed the win in the 68th when Barrow found Aaron Hickey, who cut inside and fired in a shot which squirmed under the body of Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Lazio’s misery was completed eight minutes later when defender Francesco Acerbi was booked for a foul and received a second yellow for his subsequent protests.

Bologna moved up to ninth, level on points with Lazio.

CONTRACT CELEBRATION

Lorenzo Pellegrini marked his new contract by helping Roma to a 2-0 win over Empoli.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan set up the opener for Pellegrini three minutes from halftime and got on the scoresheet himself three minutes after the break, when he fired in the rebound after Tammy Abraham’s effort came off the crossbar.

Roma remained fourth, six points behind Napoli.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria drew 3-3 with Udinese, and Hellas Verona crushed 10-man Spezia 4-0.

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