It took another Napoli comeback to get the job done, with three second-half goals -- including a record-tying brace from Gonzalo Higuain -- overturning Genoa's 10th minute opener from Thomas Rincon to earn a 3-1 win and keep pace in the Serie A title race.
It wasn't a pretty sight to open things up with, with Rincon beating Pepe Reina with frightening ease. It was a goal reminiscent of some of the ones he gave up in his first go-round with Napoli that lead to the club not wanting him back, but thankfully it was one that's been an outlier this season.
Napoli responded with their usual fight-back, largely dominating Genoa from the moment Rincon's shot snapped the back of the net. It took them an age to actually find their equalizer, though, when Gonzalo Higuain scored his 28th goal of the season to level the score in the 51st minute. Napoli kept battering away at Genoa's defense, and the cracks slowly widened, eventually giving Napoli the opening they needed to score the winner, a beauty from Higuain in the 81st.
That goal broke what little of Genoa's will was left. They'd only managed one shot on target after their goal was scored, and while they'd had some brief spells of action between the waves of Napoli attacks, going down after holding on for so much of the game completely took the wind out of Genoa's sails. That left the opening Napoli needed for one last goal, and from a surprising source -- a stoppage-time strike from substitute Omar El Kaddouri, who had been on the pitch for all of 90 seconds when he took a pass from fellow sub Manolo Gabbiadini and snapped the back of the net with it.
It would be nice if the "Napoli comes back from an early goal" schtick was something we saw less of, but as long as they keep getting wins in these situations in, Napoli fans can put up with it. In the long run, the important part is that they kept pace with Juventus in the title race -- and as long as they keep winning games, they still have a shot at the scudetto.
Now it's time to focus on Napoli's trip to Udinese. On to the next.
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon (Mertens 59'), Higuain (El Kaddouri 89'), Insigne (Gabbiadini 74')
Goals: Higuain (51', 81'), El Kaddouri (90'+1)
Genoa: Perin; Izzo, Burdisso (Fiamozzi 17'), de Maio; Silva, Rincon, Dzemaili, Rigoni (Tachtsidis 65'), Laxalt; Pandev, Pavoletti (Cerci 58')
Goal: Rincon (10')