Napoli hit back to beat Brescia with stunning Ruiz goal


  • Football
  • Saturday, 22 Feb 2020

(Reuters) - Napoli continued their revival when they came from behind to win 2-1 at lowly Brescia with a stunning Fabian Ruiz effort in Serie A on Friday that boosted their hopes of booking a European spot.

Brescia, who extended their winless run to 10 games and are second-bottom in the table, took a shock lead with a Jhon Chancellor header in the 26th minute before Lorenzo Insigne, with a penalty, and Spaniard Ruiz replied after halftime.

Napoli, who host Barcelona in their Champions League last 16, first leg tie on Tuesday, rose to sixth on 36 points, one more than Parma, Verona and AC Milan who play at the weekend.

Having lost four of their first six matches under coach Gennaro Gattuso, Napoli have now won six of their last seven.

"I like the team now, there is a different spirit," said Gattuso. "We were taken by surprise today and fell behind, but the important thing was the reaction."

"Now it seems easy, but it's not. We know it will always be hard, we have to be ready," added Gattuso, who said he was suffering with a high temperature.

"For a long time I was afraid because I saw a fragile team with no security. I've been in the world of football for years and I know that when the lights go out it becomes very difficult."

Napoli's first-half attacks were too predictable and they fell behind when Venezuelan defender Chancellor scored with a towering header from a corner.

The visitors levelled five minutes after the break with a penalty awarded after a VAR review.

Dries Mertens' cross hit Ales Mateju's arm and, although the defender was clearly trying to move it out of the way, the referee had no option but to point to the spot and Insigne sent Jesse Joronen the wrong way.

Four minutes later, Ruiz collected the ball on the edge of the area and curled a magnificent shot into the far corner.

Brescia's best chance to equalise fell to Mario Balotelli who got away from the Napoli defence to meet Simon Skrabb's cross but was off-balance and sent his shot over the bar.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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