With a three-goal burst in the space of five minutes, Napoli showed why many believe they have the potential to win their first Serie A title in nearly three decades.
Overturning an early deficit, Kalidou Koulibaly, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens scored early in the second half of a 4-1 win over Lazio on Wednesday to extend Napoli’s perfect record.
Ciro Immobile set up Stefan de Vrij for Lazio’s opener as Napoli appeared in difficulty at the Stadio Olimpico.
But one defensive lapse was all the visitors needed to level.
Raul Albiol was left unmarked at the far post for a corner and while his shot was parried by Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, Koulibaly put in the rebound.
Callejon then found the target with an angled shot from inside the area and Mertens rounded out the rapid-fire scoring with a long-distance lob after Strakosha was drawn out of position.
Lorenzo Insigne nearly added another, but his effort hit the post a few minutes later.
Jorginho added a penalty for Napoli in added time.
‘I wasn’t worried at half-time. The team was doing well, but so were Lazio and they went ahead on one of the few chances conceded,’ Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said.
‘The lads did well in the second half. We turned things around.
‘This is a big win, because they had beaten Juventus (in the Italian Super Cup) and AC Milan. This was a high-risk match,’ Sarri added.
It’s the third time Napoli have relied on a second-half burst this season, having also scored three goals after the break in a 3-1 win over Atalanta and again in a 3-0 victory over Bologna.
The results have Napoli fans dreaming of their first Scudetto since Diego Maradona led the club to its only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990.