Wednesday, January 19 2022

Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski scored as Serie A leaders Napoli overcame lowly Salernitana 1-0 away from home on Sunday.

Zielinski claimed his second goal of the season with half an hour left at the Arechi Stadium as both sides finished with 10 men.

Napoli moved three points clear of second-placed AC Milan as Salernitana remained second from bottom with just two wins this season.

Milan can draw level on points if they beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the final game of the day.

Napoli were without in-form Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen due to injury, with captain Lorenzo Insigne on the bench, and failed to create a clear first-half chance.

“Insigne has a muscular fatigue, he was at risk of getting hurt,” Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said.

“I decided to keep him out, avoiding any risk,” Spalletti added before Thursday’s Europa League trip to Legia Warsaw.

Zielinski claimed the crucial goal on 61 minutes as he rifled home after a goalmouth scramble.

Salernitana’s Grigoris Kastanos was sent off with 20 minutes left for a rash challenge on Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Napoli lost Kalidou Koulibaly eight minutes later as the Senegal centre-back was dismissed for denying Nigeria’s Simy a goal-scoring opportunity.

Earlier, Joaquin Correa’s slick second-half double earned Inter Milan a 2-0 win over Udinese to consolidate the defending champions’ hold on third place.

The Argentina international joined Inter on loan from Lazio in August and made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his debut against Verona.

He repeated the feat, after missing three games this season through injury, against Udinese, who reached the interval having survived a seven-shot onslaught from Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella, and a goalmouth scramble.

“Things weren’t going well for me in the first half today, but I never stop trying,” Correa told Sky Sport Italia.

“Now we have to continue along this path, because everyone in the team wants the same thing,” he added.

Correa finally got the breakthrough goal on the hour, running through afer Ivan Perisic’s dummy to sidestep Udinese centre back Bram Nuytinck and shoot inside the near post.

The visitors should have been further behind when Eden Dzeko was allowed a free run with Udinese assuming, mistakenly, he was offside only for goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to save the point-blank shot.

Correa doubled up on the 68th minute, blasting the ball into the roof of the net with Denzel Dumfries providing a neat assist from the right.

Inter held on but only after their keeper and captain Samir Handanovic tipped a shot from Gerard Deulofeu over the bar, with the Spanish forward then having a goal disallowed for offside eight minutes from time.

Udinese extended their winless run to eight matches.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Serbia attacker Dusan Vlahovic scored a hat-trick to take his goal tally for the season to 10 in 12 games as Fiorentina beat Spezia 3-0.

Genoa and Venezia drew 0-0 while Polish midfielder Szymon Zurkowski opened his account for the campaign with a 92nd-minute winner to help Empoli edge Sassuolo 2-1.

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