23.09.09 / 22:55
MILAN - Italian champions Inter move top of the Serie A table with a first-half display of attacking football against Napoli.
Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito had the Azzurri in all sorts of trouble with goals in the opening five minutes.
Lucio opened his scoring account for the Nerazzurri to seemingly kill off the encounter shortly after the half-hour, but Ezequiel Lavezzi pulled one back ten minutes the break.
Inter, whose second half form won them the games against Parma and Cagliari, handed out a lesson in sprint starts to the Neapolitans.
Eto'o gave Inter the best possible start, prodding home from close range in the third minute after De Sanctis fumbled Samuel's header from a corner.
Just two minutes after the Cameroonian's fourth competitive goal in black and blue, Milito added his fifth. Maicon powered past four opponents and played an inch-perfect pass through to the Argentine who coolly sidefooted home.
Brazil captain Lucio got in on the goal fest in the 32nd minute, rising in the area to nod home Sneijder's perfect corner kick.
It looked like game over but Napoli regrouped and Lavezzi pulled one back with his first goal since March. Hamsik swung in a corner from the right, Contini drove across the area and the Argentine fantasista was on hand to lash home a lifeline.
There were fewer chances after the break as Inter defended their two-goal cushion, restricting Napoli to speculative long-range efforts and looking to sting them on the break.
Our best chance fell to Walter Samuel who brought a fine one-handed save from De Sanctis after pouncing on Cannavaro's loose clearance.
On the evidence of this performance José Mourinho, disqualified after his sending-off against Cagliari, has reason to be pleased. So do the 300 children from the 19 participating nations in the Inter Campus World Cup, who met their heroes before kick-off after a parade around the Meazza.
Inter 3-1 Napoli (HT: 3-1)
Scorers: Eto'o 3, Milito 5, Lucio 32, Lavezzi 38.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio (2 Cordoba 89), 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 5 Stankovic; 10 Sneijder (11 Muntari 46); 22 Milito, 9 Eto'o (30 Mancini 90).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 14 Vieira, 39 Santon, 45 Balotelli.
Coach: Giuseppe Baresi.
Napoli: 26 De Sanctis; 13 Santacroce (6 Aronica 60), 28 Cannavaro, 96 Contini; 11 Maggio (19 Denis 68), 23 Gargano, 18 Bogliacino (5 Pazienza 85), 16 Zuniga, 17 Hamsik; 27 Quagliarella, 7 Lavezzi.
Subs not used: 1 Iezzo, 2 Grava, 9 Hoffer, 21 Cigarini.
Coach: Roberto Donadoni.
Referee: Matteo Tefoloni (Siena).
Booked: Stankovic 55, Contini 55, Bogliacino 58, Maicon 74.