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Napoli 2 Chievo 1: Milik and Diawara rescue Serie A title bid at the death

Napoli 2 Chievo 1: Milik and Diawara rescue Serie A title bid at the death

Rome, April 8: Amadou Diawara's superb last-ditch strike earned Napoli a dramatic 2-1 win over Chievo to keep their Serie A title bid alive at Stadio San Paolo.

The home side were facing a shock defeat when Stefano Sorrentino saved Dries Mertens' penalty and Mariusz Stepinski fired Chievo in front, before substitute Arkadiusz Milik nodded Napoli back level a minute from the end of normal time.

There did not look to be time for Maurizio Sarri's men to find the winner they so desperately needed but, with just seconds left, they snatched all three points.

The ball dropped for Diawara to finish coolly, sparking mass celebrations among the supporters as Napoli kept to within four points of champions and league leaders Juventus at the summit.

This was a nervy afternoon from the outset for Sarri's side.

Jose Callejon squandered a rare early chance, swiping over the crossbar from close range, and Sorrentino saved well from Mertens late in the first half. A tame Lorenzo Insigne effort after the restart prompted a simple stop.

Napoli ought to have made life easier for themselves when Fabio Depaoli escaped without a second yellow card after tugging Mertens down in the area, but the Belgium international saw his penalty parried clear by the inspired Sorrentino.

The Chievo goalkeeper brilliantly scooped a Mertens header away from the goal-line as their battle continued and he subsequently denied Milik as the striker ran clear.

And then, with Napoli still hurriedly chasing a winner, Chievo pounced in the 73rd minute. Some sloppy, tired defending presented Emanuele Giaccherini with the ball and he wisely squared for Stepinski to hammer high past Pepe Reina.

Lorenzo Tonelli's thumping header was kept out by a combination of Sorrentino and the crossbar at the other end, before Milik nodded Insigne's angled ball into the net to retain slim hopes of a home victory.

And with almost 93 minutes played, Diawara found himself free in the box and placed a shot inside the right-hand post to clinch a stunning triumph.

Source: OPTA/OmniSport

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    Story first published: Sunday, April 8, 2018, 21:00 [IST]
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