Football: Milik brace as Napoli close gap on Juve ahead of Liverpool clash

Sports Saturday 08/December/2018 20:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Football: Milik brace as Napoli close gap on Juve ahead of Liverpool clash

MILAN: Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik bagged a brace as Napoli warmed up for next week's Champions League clash with Liverpool by easing past promoted Frosinone 4-0 in Serie A to close the gap on champions Juventus to eight points.
Piotr Zielinski opened after just seven minutes in the Stadio San Paulo with Algerian Adam Ounas adding a stunning second from a distance in the first half before Milik's second half double.
Carlo Ancelotti's side consolidated second place and replied to Juventus who had pulled 11 points clear on Friday with a confident 1-0 win over Inter Milan.
Inter Milan, in third, lose ground on the top two, falling six points adrift of Napoli after their damaging Derby d'Italia defeat where Mario Mandzukic scored the only goal.
Napoli travel to Anfield next week needing a point to advance to the Champions League knockout rounds.
And the former Chelsea boss rang the changes against second from bottom Frosinone.
Italian goalkeeper Alex Meret got his first start after breaking his arm following his summer move from Udinese.
Algerian international Faouzi Ghoulam also made his comeback after more than a year out with ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments, and provided the assists for both Milik's goals.
The hosts got off to a lively start with Poland's Zielinski opening from an angle after seven minutes, for his third goal this season after a brace against AC Milan.
Ghoulam was denied by Marco Sportiello before Ounas doubled their advantage with a searing drive five minutes before the break that left the Frosinone goalkeeper with no chance.
Napoli squandered chances for a third with a Milik volley deflected away and Goulam sending over when alone of front of goal.
But Milik headed in the third after 68 minutes off a Ghoulam corner with the Algerian defender setting up the fourth five minutes from time. It gave Milik his seventh league goal this season and second brace.
The defeat piles the pressure on Frosinone, a club from outside Rome, who have won just one game this season against SPAL.
Later Saturday, Roma -- safely through to the last 16 in Europe -- need to bring points back from Cagliari to salvage their flagging Serie A campaign as they sit seventh -- 23 points behind Juventus.
Lazio, in fifth, host midtable Sampdoria after being held by bottom club Chievo last weekend.