Serie A – Dries Mertens double keeps Napoli in Champions League contention
Dries Mertens scored twice to help Napoli stagger to a 3-2 win over relegated Cesena on Monday which kept them in contention for a place in the Champions League next season.
Gregoire Defrel stunned the San Paolo when he fired Cesena in front with a powerful left-foot drive after being given too much space in the 15th minute and the home fans were growing restless untilNapoli replied with two goals in a minute.
Mertens equalised in the 19th minute when Jose Callejon’s shot was deflected into his path and the Belgian midfielder immediately set up a second when he weaved his way into the area to leaveManolo Gabbiadini with an easy finish.
Napoli, who have made a habit of dropping points at home to opponents from the lower half of the table, failed to capitalise and Defrel brought the Sea Horses level with his second goal on the stroke of halftime.
Napoli’s fans were again growing impatient and coach Rafael Benitez began to look uncomfortable when Mertens turned the ball in from Marek Hamsik’s pass just before the hour.