Napoli Work Their Way Back into Scudetto Contention with Win vs. Genoa

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Napoli Work Their Way Back into Scudetto Contention with Win vs. Genoa
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Napoli made a huge statement Sunday against Genoa. After a sketchy run over the last few weeks, in which Napoli gave away two points against Torino and fell to Atalanta, Napoli needed a win in the worst way.

They almost didn't get it. 

Immobile opened the scoring for struggling Genoa. Napoli leveled it after the half when Mesto scored from an incredibly sharp angle. Napoli's enthusiasm following Mesto's goal was short-livedBertolacci pulled Genoa ahead again just one minute later.

From that point, however, it was all Napoli. Cavani leveled the score with his eighth goal of the season. He now sits at the top of Serie A in scoring, along with Roma's Erik Lamela and AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy.

In the 90th minute, Hamsik torpedoed a header past Sebastien Frey after a beautiful cross from Mesto in what was easily the most inspired goal of the week! With literally the last kick of the game on the counter attack in extra time, Neapolitan youngster Insigne put the game out of reach. 

Elsewhere in Serie A, in a stroke of good fortune for the Partenopei, Atalanta beat Internazionale 3-2, which moved Napoli within one point of Inter. Additionally, Napoli is five points behind league-leading Juventus.

Napoli have to hope Sunday's result is a sign of things to come. After Cavani's remarkable four-goal performance against Dnipro in San Paolo and the resilience shown against Genoa, fans have to feel that the tide has turned in a positive direction for Walter Mazzarri's side.

Looking ahead, they host AC Milan November 17th. Juve host Lazio, who are sure to be still buzzing after their huge win over archrival Roma in the Derby della Capitale. A day later, Inter host the mediocre Cagliari and Fiorentina host Atalanta in a slate of interesting matchups that could see Napoli making yet another significant move in the table if they can hold off AC Milan at home. 

Can Napoli continue to contend for the Scudetto this season?

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Napoli's biggest challenge moving forward will be to find consistency in scoring chances. 

The first step? Get Insigne into the starting XI every week.

He's shown a lot of creativity and explosive speed in his relief appearances this season. Having that added speed to complement Cavani for a full 90 minutes could create a ton of chances for Napoli and keep the pressure on the Old Lady and Inter as the season wears on. At 21, playing week in and week out could give him a ton of great experience at a young age and develop him into a future star alongside Cavani.

What have they got to lose? 

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