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Inter End Napoli's Unbeaten Run In Five-Goal Thriller

Defending Serie A Champions Inter Milan handed Napoli their first league defeat of the season with a 3-2 victory at San Siro on Sunday night.

Serie A

Result: Inter Milan 3-2 Napoli

Date: 21 November 2021

Venue: San Siro

Inter were without defender Stefan de Vrij due to injury while Joaquin Correa started ahead of Edin Dzeko while Napoli welcomed back Kalidou Koulibaly and Hirving Lozano.

The visitors got off to good start after Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a screamer from outside the box after he was setup by Lorenzo Insigne.

Simone Inzaghi's charges quickly got back into the game eight minutes later after they were awarded a penalty by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a handball by Koulibaly, with Hakan Calhanoglu levelling matters from 12-yards out.

With the game was opening up in the closing phase of the first stanza. Ivan Perisic gave Inter the lead on the stroke of halftime with a header from Calhanoglu's corner.

Napoli were building up momentum coming from the halftime break but were dealt an injury blow ten minutes into the second stanza after star striker Victor Osimhen got injured and was replaced by Andrea Petagna.

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Soon after, Lautaro Martinez gave the home side a two-goal cushion on hour-mark with a clinical strike across David Ospina after a through ball by Correa.

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti responded with a double change 15 minutes before time as Dries Mertens replaced Insigne and Elif Elmas came on for Lozano.

The changes by Spalletti had the desired effect, as Mertens pulled a goal back 12 minutes before time with a stunning strike from outside the box that looped over shot-stopper Samir Handanovic.

Mario Rui was unfortunate not to make it 3-3 with a free header that Handanovic somehow parried just over the bar from a low position, while Mertens skied his volley over the bar as Inter held for the win to reduce the gap behind leaders Napoli to four points in third place.

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