Mertens double puts Napoli within sight of Roma
Napoli`s 12th win of the campaign left them in third with a 10-point deficit to leaders Juventus, who went eight points clear of Roma with a 3-0 rout of the Giallorossi on Sunday.
Sampdoria travelled to the San Paolo hoping to continue the revival that began following the appointment of former Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic in December.
But despite a spirited performance the visitors were denied twice by the woodwork, notably when an angled strike from distance by Manolo Gabbiadini rattled off Rafael Cabral`s crossbar.
Mertens broke the deadlock seven minutes after the restart when he first-timed Gonzaqlo Higuain`s cut-back on the right past flailing Samp goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa.
The Belgian grabbed his second from a freekick that found its way over the defensive wall to beat Da Costa at his near post nine minutes later.
The remainder of the Serie A fixtures, including AC Milan v Atalanta and Lazio v Inter Milan, will be played later Monday.
AFP ------------------------- ZEENEWS.com