Napoli continued their their 100 per cent start to the Serie A season last night, maintaining their place at the top of the table, after they beat Lazio 1-4 at Stadio Olimpico.
The Partenopei had gone behind in the first half before rallying in the second, to score 3 goals in five minutes, with the best of those coming from Dries Mertens. The Belgian got the highlight of the match with an audacious 25 yard lob from a seemingly impossible angle, something his manager recognised as a world class strike:
“Mertens scored a world class goal, one that was amazing, that gave such strong emotions,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia, via Football Italia.
“He just keeps getting better and is becoming truly world class. I want Mertens to be an animal starving for goals. I was frankly fortunate to discover him as a centre-forward, because I had to make the change when Arek Milik was injured last year, but we didn’t think he’d become like this.
“It’s honestly a pity that we only discovered Mertens as a striker at the age of 28, because he could’ve been at the top level in the world for years and years.”
Lazio had taken the lead in the first half through Stefan de Vrij, but after losing two defenders to injury, including their goalscorer in the second half, they fell apart.
In the end it was a game of two halves with Napoli taking advantage of Lazio's unfortunate injury situation during the game, to run our comfortable 4-1 winners, a result that Sarri himself said he was surprised at the magnitude of:
“I expected to run into more difficulties, as Lazio are a strong side in great shape. We went behind on a scuffed finish, but the team was always in the game," claimed Sarri.
“At half-time I told the lads we were well in it and if Lazio lost sharpness, we’d take over. We did even better than I expected, because we turned the match on its head in 10 minutes.”