Napoli warm-up for Barcelona with Brescia comeback win


Milan (AFP) – Napoli warmed-up for next week’s Champions League clash with Barcelona with a comeback 2-1 win over lowly Brescia 2-1 on Friday.

Jhon Chancellor had put the northeners ahead after half an hour, before Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz hit back with two goals in a five-minute spell after the break for the visitors.

Napoli move up into sixth place before their Champions League last 16, first leg tie back in their San Paolo Stadium on Tuesday.

The Serie A runners-up have won four of their last five league games and occupy the final Europa League berth, but are nine points adrift of a return to the Champions League next season.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side threatened early with Dries Mertens, who is just one goal off the club’s scoring record of 121 goals, missing a chance after two minutes, hitting the woodwork.

But it was Brescia who broke through on their first opportunity with Chancellor getting his head to a Sandro Tonali corner to leave David Ospina without a chance in the Napoli goal.

It was the Venezuelan defender’s third goal since joining from Qatari club Al Ahli this season.

Mario Baotelli headed just wide before the break, again off a Tonali corner.

Captain Insigne pulled Napoli level four minutes after the break from the spot after a Ales Mateju handball, with Ruiz curling in a stunning winner from the edge of the box five minutes later.

Balotelli had chance for the equaliser on 72 mintues off a perfect Simon Skrabb cross but the Italy international sent the ball over in front of goal.

Brescia, second last in the table, extended their winless run to nine games going back to mid-December.

Leaders Juventus travel to SPAL on Saturday looking to extend their lead at the top of the table before next week’s Champions League trip to Lyon. 

Juventus are one point ahead of Lazio who play at Genoa on Sunday, with Inter Milan three points behind the champions before hosting Sampdoria.

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