Mertens brace takes Napoli up to second in Serie A

If we win at home, even though Roma still have to play the next day, we will be closer to one of our objectives.

'I swapped my shirt with Mbappé because when I was young nobody wanted to do that with me and I hated it'.

Second place earns a spot in the Champions League group stage next season while the third-placed team have to go into the play-off round where Italian sides have a poor record.

Dries Mertens marked his 30th birthday with two goals and an assist to help Napoli beat Cagliari 3-1 and move into second in Serie A on Saturday.

But it was still on the brink of an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title.

"Now, we recover. We have to win against a Monaco team with great talent and quality".

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Torino keeper Joe Hart couldn't keep out Gonzalo Higuain's late strike.

With the goals of Higuain, the power of Mario Mandzukic, the wing play of Juan Cuadrado and Alves and, above all, the creative sorcery of Dybala, Juve are good enough going forward to trouble any defence. "The derby is an important fixture, but it's more important to us because it gives us the chances to edge even closer to the scudetto".

"It's unlikely that Marchisio will play against Torino, but Claudio's physical condition has improved immeasurably over the last two weeks and so I'm delighted for him." - said Allegri in his Press conference.

Although the odds are stacked in favour of Juventus, who have beaten Torino three times in succession since a rare defeat at the end of the 2015 season, Torino fans can realistically dream of an upset.

Mertens doubled his tally after the break, his 30th goal of the season, and turned provider with a through ball to Insigne, who controlled it as he turned and lifted it into the far side of the net.

Striker Andrea Belotti, a reported target for Manchester United and Chelsea, is battling Roma striker Edin Dzeko for the coveted "Capocanoniere" top scorer's award. "Before, we needed four points, now we need three". Roma could hand Juventus the title if it fails to match or beat the Bianconeri's result when it visits AC Milan on Sunday.

  • Lawrence Cooper