With Serie A playing through the Christmas holidays for the first time in nearly 30 years, Napoli's players showed signs of fatigue with Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne missing several chances. The visitors started Friday's game in Calabria with a badge on their sleeves marking Hamsik's 116 goals and they counted on him to pull them through. Hamsik opened the scoring after 17 minutes with a low finish from inside the box after a pass from Allan with the Brazilian playing a key role. Crotone's new coach Walter Zenga was furious his side were not awarded a penalty for an apparent Mertens handball on 65 minutes.
0 - Napoli are the only team in the Top 5 European Leagues who haven't lost an away game in 2017 (W18 D2). Commuter. pic.twitter.com/dT8cZEtk3q— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 29, 2017
Napoli could have pulled further ahead but were wasteful in front of goal, while Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz saved shots from Amadou Diawara and Jose Callejon. And the Napoli coach praised 26-year-old Allan's role on the night. "I think Allan deserves a Brazil call-up," said Sarri. "I also hope they don't call him up, as we need him. It's a real problem with the South American sides, as the journeys and logistics are complicated."
Marek Hamsik celebrates scoring a goal for Napoli on the day Napoli honoured him for becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer ? pic.twitter.com/QAM4k2Eq5oDecember 29, 2017