Amir Rrahmani snatched a 2-1 win for Napoli against Serie A’s bottom team Salernitana on Saturday with a stoppage-time strike which ended the ailing champions’ winless run at four matches.
Kosovo captain Rrahmani capitalised on dreadful defending at a free-kick to poke home the winner and turn jeers into cheers at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Walter Mazzarri’s side moved up to sixth in Italy’s top flight after the win, 17 points behind league leaders Inter Milan who are at Monza in Saturday’s late match.
The hosts came back from going behind in the 29th minute to a stunning Antonio Candreva strike, with Matteo Politano pulling Napoli level from the penalty spot at the end of the first half before Rrahmani brought the house down with his late winner.
“It’s not an easy situation, because going from being Italian champions to having the kind of results we’re having this season is very hard,” said Rrahmani to DAZN.
“I’m happy with the goal. I hope I can be as lucky again in the future.”
Napoli are two points behind fourth-placed Fiorentina, who sit in the final Champions League spot and host Udinese on Sunday.
They take on Fiorentina on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the revamped, four-team Italian Super Cup which is being held in Riyadh.
“We absolutely had to win today after recent results. We played well and deserved the win,” said Mazzarri.
“It was a real team win, a hallmark of this team last season but something that we haven’t seen too much of this year.”
Saturday’s win brought euphoria to home fans who have watched a side which cruised to last season’s historic Scudetto put up a pathetic title defence.
But the three points came with a large slice of good fortune as Politano’s leveller came after a soft foul from Federico Fazio on Giovanni Simeone, given after a VAR check.
Supporters were resigned to a draw when Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has struggled this term, shot a great chance straight at Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with the clock ticking down.
Moments later Ochoa helped hand Napoli the win when he clattered into Fazio while trying to collect Giacomo Raspadori’s free-kick, the ball then squirmed to Rrahmani who rammed home the decisive goal.
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