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2021-22 Italian Serie A
  • Piotr Zielinski (7')
  • Dries Mertens (10', 29')
  • Fabián Ruiz (85')

Serie A leaders Napoli mark Maradona anniversary with dazzling win over Lazio

Napoli players celebrate after scoring a goal against Lazio in Serie A. Getty Images

Napoli put on a dazzling display to mark the first anniversary of Diego Maradona's death when they stormed to a 4-0 win over Lazio on Sunday to move three points clear at the top of Serie A.

Club great Maradona died on Nov. 25 last year and to mark the anniversary, Napoli unveiled a statue inside the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium prematch and wore shirts with the Argentine's face on them for the Lazio clash.

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The performance was befitting of the man, too, with the home side blowing away Lazio with a stunning show of attacking football, racing into a 3-0 lead inside 29 minutes thanks to goals from Piotr Zielinski and a double from Dries Mertens.

"It is our best performance, especially as it comes after a couple of performances that were not up to our standards, so it means something that we beat a big club like Lazio this way," coach Luciano Spalletti told DAZN.

"Mertens brings that quality to the finishing but it would be reductive just to praise him. The whole team was wonderful, it had been a long time since we had this possession football with short, quick passes."

With the job done, Napoli took their foot off the gas in the second half but Lazio did not register a single shot on or off target in response. Fabian Ruiz put the icing on the cake with a pinpoint fourth goal late on.

The result moved Napoli three points clear at the top of the standings after second-placed AC Milan slipped to a surprise defeat at home to Sassuolo earlier on Sunday, while Lazio dropped to eighth following their second successive league loss.