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Italian Serie A

San Paolo (ATT 43,000) 6th May 2014 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: Davide Ghersini

Napoli Napoli vs Cagliari Cagliari

Napoli 3

D Mertens (pen 33)
G Pandev (43)
B Dzemaili (57)


Cagliari 0

M Silvestri (S/O 54)

Napoli guarantee third

Last Updated: 07/05/14 7:48am

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Dries Mertens of Napoli celebrates after scoring

Dries Mertens of Napoli celebrates after scoring

Coppa Italia winners Napoli guaranteed themselves the third and final Champions League qualifying spot on Tuesday with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over 10-man Cagliari.

Dries Mertens put Napoli ahead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute before Goran Pandev made it 2-0 before half-time.

Cagliari had goalkeeper Marco Silvestri sent off for a red card in the 54th minute after he brought down Pandev inside the area.

Pandev saw his resulting penalty denied by the crossbar before Blerim Dzemaili put the game beyond Cagliari's reach in the 57th minute.

The win has lifted Napoli 11 points clear of nearest rivals Fiorentina with two games remaining.

Cagliari, who had won their previous two league games, have dropped to 15th place.

Mertens had the first chance of the game early on when his 12-yard effort was kept out by Silvestri.

Cagliari's Nicola Murru forced Pepe Reina into action with a stinging drive which the Napoli goalkeeper saved.

At the other end, Silvestri twice denied Dzemaili's attempts as Napoli got closer.

The referee then pointed to the penalty spot after Cagliari's Daniele Conti fouled Pandev inside the area.

Mertens stepped up and calmly slid the penalty towards the bottom left corner of the goal and out of Silvestri's reach.

Napoli doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when Pandev scored with an easy tap-in after a perfect pass from Jose Callejon.

The home side picked up where they left off after the re-start. Pandev nearly made it 3-0 but his penalty hit the woodwork.

It did not take long for Napoli to strike again. Vlada Avramov was unable to hold onto Pandev's powerful strike and Dzemaili pounced on the loose ball and slotted home from close range.

Cagliari defended deeply in the final stages of the game to deny Napoli any more goals.

The hosts went into the game at the San Paolo stadium with heavy hearts with Napoli supporter Ciro Esposito fighting for his life in a hospital in Rome.

Esposito was shot prior Napoli's Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina on Saturday and is in a coma.

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Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 32 73
2 Lazio 32 59
3 Roma 32 58
4 Napoli 32 56
5 Sampdoria 32 50
6 Fiorentina 32 49
7 Genoa 32 47
8 Torino 32 47
9 Inter Milan 32 45
10 AC Milan 32 43
11 Palermo 32 41
12 Verona 32 39
13 Udinese 32 38
14 Chievo 32 37
15 Sassuolo 32 36
16 Empoli 32 35
17 Atalanta 32 31
18 Cagliari 32 24
19 Cesena 32 23
20 Parma 32 16