Cavani shows clinical touch as Napoli warm up for Chelsea visit
Monday 20 February 2012
Napoli secured an excellent 3-0 away victory at Fiorentina in Serie A prior to their Champions League last-16 home tie with Chelsea tomorrow.
Forward Edinson Cavani was in clinical form, twice latching onto through balls from Marek Hamsik and finishing well – the Uruguayan now has 13 goals in his last 15 games and his strike partnership with Ezequiel Lavezzi, who scored Napoli's third in stoppage time, looks set to worry a nervy Chelsea defence, who themselves have conceded six goals in their past three matches.
The Napoli coach, Walter Mazzarri, has played down their position as favourites against the London club, and will watch from the stands over the two legs, after being handed a touchline ban for pushing Villarreal's Nilmar in a touchline spat during a Champions League group. "It is a terrible test against Chelsea," he said. "In order to pass it we must do something extraordinary."
Fresh from thrashing Arsenal, Milan stayed at the top of Serie A with a 3-1 win at bottom club Cesena yesterday, Sulley Muntari, Urby Emanuelson and Robinho getting their goals.
Ajax also enjoyed a comfortable domestic 4-1 home win over NEC Breda prior to their Europa League second-leg against Manchester United this week. The Eredivisie team showed little hangover from their 2-0 mid-week defeat to United, putting on an excellent first half display- Dmitri Bulykin opening the scoring before adding his second inside the half-hour mark after Jan Vertonghen had extended Ajax's lead.
Jose Mourinho has insisted that Real Madrid will not get carried away with their large lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga: "We're not looking to break records or other things the press talks about," he said. "Our cushion over the second-placed team is obviously good for us and it leaves Barcelona in a complicated spot but winning the league title by one point would be a success."
The comments came after Madrid swept aside Racing Santander 4-0 on Saturday, with Karim Benzema twice netting after Cristiano Ronaldo had opened the scoring after just six minutes. Angel Di Maria also marked his return to the side to score, but re-aggravated a thigh injury and will miss Real's Champions League match with CSKA Moscow tomorrow.
Barcelona had to come from behind to beat Valencia 5-1 at the Nou Camp last night, Lionel Messi getting four goals.
Valencia entertain Stoke in the Europa League and midfielder Ever Banega misses the game after injuring his ankle when run over by his own car as he stopped for petrol. Banegea failed to put on the hand brake and had surgery yesterday.
Porto, who face Manchester City in the Europa League, won 3-1 at Vitoria Setubal.
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