Kvaratskhelia's late strike gives Napoli win over Verona

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's late strike saw Napoli beat Verona and climb into 7th in the Serie A.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored a stunning late goal to give Napoli a 2-1 home win over struggling Hellas Verona in Serie A on Sunday, after the defending champions went behind in the second-half.

Napoli move up to seventh in the standings on 35 points, while Verona drop into the relegation zone, in 18th place on 18 points.

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It was a frenetic start by Napoli, as they went on an all-out attack on the Verona area in the opening minutes, and the visitors' keeper Lorenzo Montipò made two excellent saves from Kvaratskhelia.

In the 10th minute Stanislav Lobotka's pass found Kvaratskhelia on the edge of the area and the Georgia international took one touch to into the box before letting fly but Montipo at full stretch parried away for a corner.

Three minutes later, a clearance from a corner fell to Kvaratskhelia outside the area and his first time shot looked bound for the net until Montipo got down to smother the effort at his near post.

Napoli's early promise fizzled out and with Victor Osimhen still involved in the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria, they sorely missed his poacher's instinct up front.

Instead it was the visitors who grew in confidence after the break and they took the lead in the 72nd minute when Diego Coppola's shoulder met a free kick floated into the box by Tomas Suslov.

"In the first half we were good on the pitch, then in the second we got up and put Napoli in trouble. I'm sorry for the result, but what we need is this performance," Verona manager Marco Baroni told DAZN.

Montipo continued his heroics with a spectacular double-save from Pasquale Mazzocchi and Jesper Lindstrom, but he was finally beaten a few minutes later by  Cyril Ngonge.

Ngonge, who joined Napoli from Verona in January, came off the bench to score against his former club seven minutes after they went behind, getting on the end of a pass from Lindstrom.

"It's hard to describe the goal and the emotion, unbelievable," Ngonge told DAZN. "I came in with the desire to change this game and we all did it together."

Just as it looked like Verona would take a valuable point away from Naples, Kvaratskhelia struck a curling shot from distance in the 87th minute and this time Montipo had no chance against the Georgia star.