Napoli advanced to the quarter-final stages of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday evening with a 3-1 home win over Atalanta.
The Partenopei's second goal came when a ball was played through to Gonzalo Higuain, who was clearly offside. Rather than continuing until play has finished like he is paid to do, Atalanta defender Christiano Del Grosso looked away and stuck his hand in the air to appeal to the linesman while the ball was still coming towards him. The ball duly hit him on the back, falling to the feet of Lorenzo Insigne, who slotted home.
Since Higuain was not interfering with play, the goal was allowed to stand and Del Grosso was ultimately punished for not playing to the whistle—something his coaches have probably been telling him to do since he was five years old.
Atalanta's Mario Yepes kicked up such a stink about the goal that he was sent off, but this is clearly a schadenfreude-tinged victory for those who are irritated by defenders automatically throwing their hands in the air in the hope that it will influence the linesman's decision.
The highlight of the game, however, was Napoli's first goal. Jose Callejon will probably never hit a sweeter volley again...
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- Sports & Recreation
- Gonzalo Higuain
- Del Grosso