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Napoli beat Inter in six-goal thriller

Rome, Dec 16 (IANS) Napoli came back from their UEFA Champions League exit with a 4-2 win over Inter Milan in an Italian Serie A match at home.

Gonzalo Higuain put the hosts ahead with his 12th goal of the season. Esteban Cambiasso levelled before Dries Mertens and Blerim Dzemaili struck in the space of two minutes to stun Inter Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Yuto Nagatomo pulled a goal back just before half-time, but Ricky Alvarez was sent off for a second bookable offence as the Milan outfit suffered their first defeat in 10 games.

The win was wrapped up by Jose Callejon's late effort, while Samir Handanovic magnificently saved former Inter striker Goran Pandev's penalty in the dying minutes of the game.

Victory for Napoli moved them just two points behind second-placed Roma, who play AC Milan Monday, and gave Benitez a win against one of his former employers.

Benitez claimed that he was not surprised to see his players perform so well following their Champions League exit.

"We exited the Champions League with our heads held high, so I expected this performance. Clearly it is different, we played against a great side and did very well," he said.

Inte head coach Walter Mazzarri did not disguise his absolute disdain for referee Paolo Tagliavento, especially with regards to the Alvarez's dismissal.

"There was a series of terrible mistakes that changed the game. When we were in control and 2-3 down, Alvarez was harshly sent off. The first card was harsh too, as he tripped up," he said.

"I saw far worse challenges that were worthy of a card. I think with 11 men against 11 we could' ve got back on level terms," he said.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/SSCNapoli/

Update: 16-December-2013