Ancelotti Hails Mertens After Belgian Passes Maradona's Napoli Scoring Record

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Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed Dries Mertens' record-breaking performance as "great" after the Serie A outfit edged Salzburg 3-2 in an entertaining Champions League clash in Austria.

Mertens put Napoli in front on two occasions before Lorenzo Insigne came off the bench to get the winner for Ancelotti's men in Group E action on Wednesday.

Belgium international Mertens has now scored 116 goals for Napoli, second only to former captain Marek Hamsik (121).

 

Mertens' brace saw him move past Napoli legend Diego Maradona on the club's list of all-time scorers and kept the Italian side on top of Group E, one point ahead of Champions League holders Liverpool.

"It's a great night for him, for us," Ancelotti told Sky Sports Italia. "We fought hard. It was a fascinating match and we stayed focused for 90 minutes. It's a great result.

"We started strong, took the lead, struggled a little and then got it back under control. Those who came off the bench gave an excellent contribution and it's a wonderful night for everyone."

 

Ancelotti also praised super-sub Insigne for his late, vital contribution.

"I had told before the game, 'You will play and decide the match, but I don't know if you'll play 10, 20 or 30 minutes'. I'm not a magician – but I told him that!"

The 32-year-old Mertens arrived at Napoli in 2013 from PSV.

His best season in front of goal for Napoli was the 2016-17 campaign, when he netted 28 times in the Serie A and added six more in cup competitions.

Mertens has already scored three goals in this season's Champions League after also netting in Napoli's 2-0 win over Liverpool last month.

Napoli host Salzburg in their next Champions League fixture on November 5.