Napoli 1 Genoa 0: Albiol goal maintains pressure on Juve

Raul Albiol's first Serie A goal since January 2016 earned Napoli a 1-0 win over Genoa at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday.

Napoli defender Raul Albiol   -  Getty Images

Raul Albiol celebrated 200 games for Scudetto-chasing Napoli by scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Genoa after a pre-match presentation to honour his achievement.

The 32-year-old defender, playing his 202nd match for the club, rose to meet Jose Callejon's corner in the 72nd minute at Stadio San Paolo and scored to the relief of a home crowd that had seen their side struggle to break Genoa down.

The result takes second-placed Napoli back to within two points of Serie A leaders Juventus, but for over an hour they looked set to drop two points against Davide Ballardini's well-drilled Genoa side on Sunday.

Dries Mertens went into the game having scored twice in his previous three Napoli outings but he squandered two early opportunities to score as Maurizio Sarri's men piled the pressure on their mid-table opponents.

Marek Hamsik was replaced after 20 minutes with a muscle strain and Napoli's frustrations deepened as Allan blazed over the crossbar from five yards out before Lorenzo Insigne hit the frame of the goal just before half-time.

Mertens crashed a shot onto the post early in the second-half before Albiol's near-post header from Callejon's in-swinging corner broke the deadlock, and Napoli closed out the match the clinch their third Serie A win in five games.

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