Sports

Napoli holds off Cesena behind Mertens

Naples, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Napoli continued its chase for a spot in the Champions League on Monday as Dries Mertens scored a pair of goals to lead the club to a 3-2 home victory against relegated Cesena.

Gregoire Defrel scored both goals for Cesena in the opening half, and he put the visitors in front 15 minutes into the game with a nice strike from 25 yards that found the bottom left corner of the net.

The hosts responded within four minutes when a shot from Jose Callejon was blocked, leaving Mertens with a simple tap in from close range.

Mertens then set up a goal for Manolo Gabbiadini two minutes later when he crossed the ball to Gabbiadini at the top of the six-yard box, allowing the striker to finish off the play.

Defrel answered for Cesena in first-half stoppage time with his second goal of the contest after being set up by Massimo Volta to pull his side level at the break.

However, Mertens made the difference in the second half with his goal in the 57th minute when he tucked home the winning goal from close range after a pass from Marek Hamsik.

The other match in Serie A on Monday saw Fiorentina roll to a 3-0 win over last-place Parma with goals from Gonzalo Rodriguez and Alberto Gilardino in the opening 30 minutes.