RB Salzburg 2-3 Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne hits winner and Dries Mertens scores brace as Napoli prevail in enthralling contest despite Erling Haaland double
- Napoli edged past Salzburg to retain top spot in Champions League Group E
- Lorenzo Insigne struck the winner just a minute after Erling Haaland’s equaliser
- Haaland and Napoli forward Dries Mertens both netted twice
Lorenzo Insigne scored the winner as Napoli beat RB Salzburg 3-2 in an enthralling contest.
Napoli took the lead through Dries Mertens’ 17th minute goal, but a penalty from Erling Haaland pulled Salzburg level.
Mertens scored again in the 64th minute but Haaland then made it 2-2 before Insigne’s goal ensured victory for Napoli.
Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after he scored the winner for Napoli against RB Salzburg
Insigne rushed to celebrate with Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti after scoring
Dries Mertens scored a brace as Napoli survived a scare to secure victory against RB Salzburg
Mertens is now level with the legendary Diego Maradona on 115 goals for Napoli
Erling Haaland is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the equaliser for RB Salzburg
Mertens’ goal saw him move ahead of the legendary Diego Maradona on Napoli’s all-time top scorers list.
Napoli remain top of Group E with seven points, one more than defending champion Liverpool, who beat Genk 4-1/ Salzburg are next with three points while Genk trail with one.
Haaland showed excellent composure as he pulled RB Salzburg level from the penalty spot
Although Haaland added another goal for RB Salzburg, Napoli still managed to prevail
RB Salzburg: Stankovic (Carlos 33); Kristensen, Andre Ramalho, Wober, Ulmer; Junuzovic, Mwepu (Koita 89); Daka (Ashimeru 68), Minamino, Hwang; Haaland
Subs: Vallci, Onguene, Okugawa, Szoboszlai
Goals: Haaland 40, 72
Napoli: Meret; Malcuit, Koulibaly, Luperto, Di Lorenzo; Callejon (Elmas 80), Allan, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski; Mertens (Llorente 76), Lozano (Insigne 65)
Subs: Gaetano, Milik, Younes, Ospina
Goals: Mertens 17, 64, Insigne 73
Booked: Malcuit, Lozano, Llorente
Haaland, who has 20 goals in all competitions this season, also had a goal disallowed early on by VAR for offside.
Mertens then ran onto a headed pass from Jose Callejon and completed a counter-attack by scoring from a sharp angle.
Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret produced a series of stunning saves before Kevin Malcuit was penalised for taking down Hwang Hee-chan to set up a penalty for Haaland – the first goal Napoli have conceded in this season’s competition.
Mertens is congratulated by Napoli team-mate Kevin Malcuit after scoring his first goal
Mertens put Napoli ahead in their clash against RB Salzburg as he scored in the 17th minute
Mertens’ second came from the centre of the area after a deflected cross came his way. The Belgium international now needs only six more goals to break Marek Hamsik’s club record of 121.
Maradona scored 115 goals for Napoli in all competitions, and led the club to two Serie A titles and the 1989 UEFA Cup trophy – three decades later still the team’s only major championships.
Amid a span of three goals in 10 minutes, Haaland made it 2-2 by taking advantage of his 6ft 4inches frame for a precise header.
Insigne then was set up by Mertens for a deflected shot that looped in.
After scoring, Insigne immediately ran over and embraced Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti amid reports of a rift between the pair since Insigne was left out of the side for a 0-0 draw with Genk.