History for Dries Mertens as Napoli reaches Copa Italia Final

History for Dries Mertens as Napoli reaches Copa Italia Final

Belgian attacker Dries Mertens made history in Napoli’s Saturday 1-1 draw against Inter Milan.

The draw, after a 1-0 win in the first leg, ensured that Napoli made it to the Copa Italia final at the expense of the Antonio Conte men where they will be up against Juventus who dethroned AC Milan on the away goal rule.

Mertens converted Lorenzo Insigne's square pass to score his 122nd goal for the club; a move that moved him clear of Marek Hamsik to sit alone in the top spot as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Fabian Ruiz's goal at San Siro in the first leg prior to the coronavirus outbreak had put Napoli in control of the semi-final tie at the halfway stage, only for Inter to erase the deficit inside two minutes of the return meeting through Christian Eriksen after some error from keeper David Ospina.

Ospina, however, saved himself from any blame by making a string of saves to deny Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Candreva before setting up the equaliser late in the first half when his well-directed clearance triggering a swift counter-attacking move that caught Inter cold.

His precise kick picked out the run of Insigne, who unselfishly passed the ball across for the advancing Mertens to make history four minutes before half-time.