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 By PA Sport

Dries Mertens records hat trick to help Napoli rout Bologna

NapoliNapoli
BolognaBologna
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Dries Mertens recorded a hat trick as Napoli cruiseed past Bologna.

Napoli closed the gap on Serie A leaders Juventus back to six points with a crushing 6-0 victory over Bologna.

Any hopes Napoli had of pipping Juve to the title surely disappeared with their loss to Inter Milan at the weekend but once again they were untouchable at home.

Manolo Gabbiadini's first-half double, a second-half hat trick from Dries Mertens and one from David Lopez made it 14 wins and no defeats from Napoli's 17 league matches at the Stadio San Paolo this season.

The hosts threatened from the off and it took only four minutes for Marek Hamsik to draw the first save from Antonio Mirante.

Ten minutes in, the hosts had the lead as Mertens played in Gabbiadini, who found the bottom corner.

The Bologna goal was under siege and somehow the visitors survived a period that saw Mirante pull off saves from Hamsik and Raul Albiol before the latter finally shot over after a succession of corners.

Mirante then kept out Gabbiadini and Mertens before Emanuele Giaccherini had Bologna's first real attempt in the 23rd minute.

Napoli got their second goal 10 minutes before the break from the penalty spot. Kevin Constant fouled Jose Callejon and Gabbiadini made no mistake.

The pattern continued after the interval as Mertens made it three in the 58th minute.

The Belgian forward came close to a fourth with a shot just wide in the 69th minute but 10 minutes from time he did strike again, turning home Omar El Kaddouri's pass.

Mertens was enjoying himself and he completed his hat trick in the 88th minute with a shot into the top corner from outside the box.

Bologna's night was about to get worse still as a minute later substitute Lopez made it six, converting from close range.

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