Naples (Italy), Dec 30 (IANS) Napoli needed a last-minute goal to defeat relegation bound Bologna 3-2 and reach the mid-point of the Serie A season in second place, 9 points behind defending champions Juventus and five ahead of Inter Milan.
The hosts were coming off a 1-0 loss Wednesday in Milan to Inter in a bad tempered affair marked by racist chants directed at Napoli’s Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, reports Efe.
Fans at the San Paolo for Saturday’s match held up posters bearing Koulibaly’s face and the slogan “Stop Racism,” though the player was absent, serving a suspension after being ejected from the contest with Inter.
Napoli went ahead in the 15th minute on the first of two goals by Arkadiusz Milik, but 18th-place Bologna pulled level in the 37th minute thanks to Federico Santander, who left the game with an injury five minutes later.
The home side regained the lead six minutes into the second half with Milik’s second and appeared to be in full control of the match until the 80th minute, when Bologna’s Danilo Larangeira got his head to Erick Pulgar’s free kick and put the ball in the back of the Napoli net.
With two minutes left in regulation and the score knotted 2-2, Fabian Ruiz got the ball to Dries Mertens as he flew forward and the Belgian surprised the Bologna keeper with a shot from 18 yards out, securing all 3 points for Napoli.