Cavani The Saviour As Napoli Win Thriller At Torino

by
Reuters
Napoli's Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani proved to be their hero again on Saturday when he came off the bench to strike twice in the last six minutes and secure a 5-3 win at Torino in Serie A.

Napoli's Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani proved to be their hero again on Saturday when he came off the bench to strike twice in the last six minutes and secure a 5-3 win at Torino in Serie A.

On any other day Blerim Dzemaili's sublime hat-trick for second-placed Napoli would have grabbed all the headlines but Cavani was the big story after a turbulent last few days.

The forward returned late from international duty and was dropped to the bench for the match, which Napoli had to win to stay within range of Juventus who have a nine-point lead on top.

Jet-lag looked to have got the better off Cavani when he needlessly gave away a penalty with a silly handball with 16 minutes to go and his side looking good for their 2-1 lead.

But he showed his class by completing an incredible comeback with a stunning free kick and got a pure striker's goal in added time, vindicating manager Walter Mazzari's to put him on the bench.

"I said to him that I would give him half an hour, and that I wanted him fresh, because he's been travelling around the world and If I'd have played him from the start then in the second half he would have given up the ghost and I would have had to sub him anyway," said Mazzari.

"I made that choice because other players seem ready. He always wants to play. I explained my intentions and the logic behind it and he accepted it."

Despite the heroics of Cavani, who has been linked with several of Europe's top clubs including Real Madrid, Napoli must show they can win ugly to consistently compete with Italy's best.

 

REDUCE MISTAKES

"We can't concede three goals like that if we want to become a great side," said upstaged hat-trick hero Dzemaili.

"We have the chance to become great, but if we really want it we have to have a good look at ourselves and stop committing the same mistakes as we did tonight.

"We have to do like AC Milan did at (Chievo) Verona - score one goal and defend that lead," he added after Milan held on to Riccardo Montolivo 25th minute goal to win 1-0 on Saturday.

Mazzari said Napoli had improved on last season but still had to learn how to close out matches when they had the lead.

"We played well, but also made defensive errors that were completely avoidable," he added.

"I think we've grown a lot compared to last year. There are eight games left and they said to me that we have eight more points compared to the same time last season.

"However, I believe that a more mature team playing the way we did in the first half would have won 2-0 and wouldn't have conceded. We too often put ourselves in danger."