3 February 2013 01:51
Napoli have moved level with Juventus at the top of Serie A after Marek Hamsik inspired them to a 2-0 triumph over Catania.
Hamsik scored Napoli’s first goal at the Stadio San Paolo and then set up Paolo Cannavaro to double the home side’s lead before Catania fought back after half-time to ensure a nervy finish.
Saturday’s win sees Napoli join Juventus on 49 points, although the Turin-based club stay top on goal difference and have a game in hand.
Catania headed to Napoli looking for a club-record fourth straight league victory but Hamsik struck a blow against the Sicilian visitors when he scored in the 31st minute.
Camilo Zuniga’s shot was deflected across goal and Hamsik slammed the ball home having been left unmarked at the back post.
With half-time looming, Hamsik created Napoli’s second goal, collecting the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area after Catania failed to properly clear a corner and then passing to Cannavaro, who finished smartly from inside the six-yard box.
Catania put the ball in the net just after half-time but the referee denied the goal for a foul by Gonzalo Bergessio on Zuniga and although Napoli increasingly sat back in the second half, the home side held on for their fifth win in six matches.
In the other Serie A match on Saturday, Torino were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sampdoria.