AAP Soccer

Napoli splash their way to Serie A win

By AAP Newswire

Napoli have splashed their way to a 2-1 defeat of Genoa in Italy's Serie A, defying a pitch made almost unplayable by a torrential downpour early in the second half.

Christian Kouame gave hosts Genoa a halftime lead but, after play was halted for 10 minutes early in the second half until the rain stopped, Fabian Ruiz levelled and Genoa's Davide Biraschi put through his own net.

It was a morale-boosting win for Napoli who showed tremendous character and adapted impressively to a pitch where the ball repeatedly got stuck in pools of water.

"Proud of my players who pushed through less than desirable conditions and competed well until the last minute. Bravo!" Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti posted on Twitter.

Napoli moved above Inter Milan and into second place with 28 points from 12 games, three behind leaders Juventus who visit AC Milan on Sunday.

Lorenzo Insigne hit the post for Napoli but Genoa went ahead against the run of play in the 20th minute with a header from Kouame.

The pitch deteriorated rapidly after halftime and, although it seemed the conditions would hamper Napoli's passing game, the visitors came back stronger from the interruption.

They managed to level with a typical slick passing move as Dries Mertens backheeled Allan's pass into the path of Fabian, who planted a left-foot shot past Ionut Radu in the 62nd minute.

Four minutes from the end, Mario Rui fired a low free kick into the area and Biraschi, under pressure, turned the ball into his own net.

Genoa players protested furiously, claiming Biraschi was pushed, but the referee confirmed the goal after a video assistant referee review.

Ancelotti did not speak to the press after the match but his son and assistant manager Davide Ancelotti did.

"The coach needs squad rotation too!" Davide said.

"Winning in this weather and atmosphere was really difficult, especially after going behind.

"The pitch was practically unplayable."

Earlier in Turin, Parma stunned hosts Torino 2-1 to draw level with Il Toro and Fiorentina in mid-table.

Gervinho scored from a tight angle and Roberto Inglese turned in a Riccardo Gagliolo cross on 25 minutes before Daniele Baselli pulled one back for the hosts.

Cagliari rallied to draw 2-2 at SPAL after the Ferrara hosts were two up with 19 minutes.