Serie A

Pandev, Napoli knock off Genoa

Napoli's Goran Pandev
Goran Pandev set the tone for red-hot Napoli.
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MILAN

Napoli eased to a 2-0 win at Genoa to move provisionally top of the Serie A standings on Saturday, thanks to a double from Goran Pandev.

The Macedonia striker nabbed his first in the 14th, latching onto a poor pass from Juraj Kucka, racing forward and firing into the bottom right corner.

Pandev doubled his tally 10 minutes later as Lorenzo Insigne lifted a superb ball into the area for Pandev to smash across goal into the bottom left corner, with his weaker right foot.

Napoli, which lost its perfect record in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at bottom club Sassuolo, moved a point ahead of Roma, which hosts Bologna on Sunday.

''We really wanted these three points after the awful night against Sassuolo,'' Pandev said. ''We got over it really well.''

Coach Rafa Benitez rotated his squad, with key players Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik and captain Paolo Cannavaro starting on the bench.

Genoa has now lost four of its opening six games, raising speculation its young coach Fabio Liverani could be the first Serie A manager to be fired this season.

It has only had one worst start to the season, 30 years ago.

There were signs of improvement in the second half, however, and Genoa almost got one back in the 64th when Alberto Gilardino's header flashed just past the left post.

It also had strong claims for a penalty turned down three minutes later when Cannavaro brought down Gilardino in the area, but the Genoa striker was harshly flagged offside much to the displeasure of the home fans.

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