Victor Osimhen’s Napoli made life far more difficult than it needed to be in their dramatic 4-3 win over relegation-threatened Crotone who paraded Simy Nwankwo.
Kalidou Koulibaly was suspended, with David Ospina, Diego Demme and Faouzi Ghoulam injured, but Victor Osimhen was revitalised after impressing on international duty and Dries Mertens had a new role for rested Piotr Zielinski. Arkadiusz Reca and banned Jacopo Petriccione missed the trip, as Crotone were increasingly desperate to avoid the drop.
Tiemoue Bakayoko turned wide from a very promising position, but the pressure finally paid off when Giovanni Di Lorenzo burst down the right and pulled back for Lorenzo Insigne’s deflected strike.
Napoli doubled their lead almost immediately, Fabian Ruiz floating a ball over the top for Insigne’s spectacular volleyed assist back across the face of goal, finding Victor Osimhen for the tap-in.
However, the Partenopei shot themselves in the foot with some comical defending to give it away inside their own penalty area, Ahmad Benali’s cross allowing Simy to score undisturbed at the far post.
Mertens restored the two-goal cushion with a magnificent free kick from the edge of the box into the near top corner.
Adam Ounas wanted to prove a point against his former club with a solo run, but Alex Meret made the decisive save.
It should really have been 4-1 before half-time, as Alex Cordaz made a remarkable save on Osimhen, but Mertens only hit the woodwork on the follow-up.
Crotone got back into it again after the restart, as a corner was not cleared effectively and Simy got in front of Kostas Manolas to turn in from 10 yards.
Napoli have been very vulnerable when playing out from the back and it happened again for 3-3, as Junior Messias caught Nikola Maksimovic in possession.
Di Lorenzo had already provided an assist, but he added a goal with his solo effort, cutting inside from the right for a left-foot daisy-cutter into the far bottom corner.