De Guzman stars on debut
Last Updated: 31/08/14 10:08pm
Jonathan De Guzman earned Napoli a winning start to the Serie A season with a goal on his debut in the fifth minute of stoppage time breaking Genoa's hearts.The former Swansea City midfielder sprang from the bench to score the decisive goal at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and ensure Napoli bounced straight back from their Champions League elimination in midweek with a 2-1 victory.
Jose Callejon had given Rafael Benitez's men the led in an entertaining game which saw chances at both ends.
Mauricio Pinilla levelled before the break for the hosts, but that proved not to be enough for a point as De Guzman struck deep into stoppage time.
Napoli were straight onto the attack with Callejon giving them the lead after just three minutes, the quickest goal of the opening weekend of the Serie A season.
Gonzalo Higuain was picked out by Lorenzo Insigne and his cross was met with a sweet volley from the Spaniard, who left Mattia Perin no chance.
Napoli continued to pressure Genoa with Insigne looking particularly lively and Marek Hamsik getting into promising positions too, but not managing to provide a finish.
Genoa were not without their chances, though, and they almost levelled in the 20th minute when Rafael turned Pinilla's effort wide.
It was the same combination seven minutes later with Rafael again coming out on top with an even more spectacular save this time.
Pinilla's third shot in just a few minutes was again stopped by Rafael, but he could do nothing in the 40th minute to prevent the Chilean from finally bringing Genoa level.
The second half was an equally open affair with Napoli going close through Higuain and Juan Zuniga, but Genoa responded to enjoy their best spell of the match.
It lasted until 15 minutes from time, when De Guzman came on and the hosts appeared to run out of energy.
Napoli laid siege to Perin's goal with Dries Mertens twice going close and Higuain sending a shot agonisingly across the face of goal.
When it seemed there was no time left to find a winner, De Guzman ghosted in behind Higuain to take a free-kick down on his chest and tuck it inside Perin's post as Genoa waited for a linesman's flag which, rightly, was not raised.