Tuesday, January 12, 2016, Poush 29, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 30, 1437 Hijri

Maradona offers praise on golden day for Napoli
Published :Tuesday, 12 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13

Milan, Jan 11: Diego Maradona offered glowing praise as Napoli boosted their hopes of a first Serie A title since 1990 by going two points clear of champions Juventus and Inter Milan.
The last time Napoli were top of the table at the halfway stage of the season in Italy was 26 years ago, when Maradona led the 'Partenopei' to the second of their two leagues titles in 1990.
But Fiorentina's shock 3-1 defeat to Lazio on Saturday whet Napoli's appetite, and it grew considerably earlier Sunday when Inter suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Sassuolo at the San Siro.
Napoli pounced on those setbacks to hammer league new boys Frosinone in a one-sided encounter that saw Gonzalo Higuain hit a brace, including one from the spot, to take his goals tally to 18 goals from 19 games.
Sarri has consistently played down Napoli's title hopes and has every reason after Juventus beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Genoa to claim their ninth victory on the trot to move two places up to second.
Paul Pogba broke the deadlock on 17 minutes with an angled strike and Sami Khedira found himself in acres of space to double the champions' lead on 46 minutes before Antonio Cassano hit a consolation just after the hour.
Inter dropped to third due to inferior goal difference, while Fiorentina are in fourth place at three points behind and Roma are seven points off the pace in fifth after being held 1-1 by AC Milan on Saturday.
Only four months ago Maradona publicly embarrassed Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri following an inauspicious start to the campaign.
On that occasion Sarri, a lifelong Napoli and Maradona fan, soaked up the criticism and on Sunday it was time for payback.
"It's with great joy that I heard about Napoli's result, which we've all been waiting on for many years," said Maradona in a message sent to Sky Sport Italia.
"Knowing that the city of Naples and my Neapolitan fans can enjoy such emotion makes me even more happy for them. Go on Napoli. Now I want us to win the league title."    ?AFP

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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