Mario Balotelli scored his first Serie A goal for 1,468 days but Napoli hung on to claim a narrow victory over Brescia at Stadio San Paolo.

Dries Mertens opened the scoring with his fourth league goal of the season before Kostas Manolas headed in the second on the stroke of half-time.

Brescia rallied after the break but Sandro Tonali’s stunning goal was ruled out by VAR for a foul in the build-up.

Balotelli headed home to set up a tense finale, but Napoli held on.

The 29-year-old last found the net in Italy’s top flight on 22 September 2015 in AC Milan’s 3-2 win at Udinese, before spells at Nice and Marseille in France.

He returned to Italy to join hometown club Brescia in August on a three-year deal.

The result sees Napoli strengthen their grip on fourth place in Serie A, while Brescia remain 14th.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side resume their Champions League campaign at Genk on Wednesday, 2 October (17:55 BST), before Brescia face Sassuolo in Serie A on 4 October (19:45 BST).

Line-ups

Napoli

  • 25Ospina
  • 22Di Lorenzo
  • 44ManolasBooked at 19minsSubstituted forLupertoat 65′minutes
  • 19MaksimovicSubstituted forHysajat 76′minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 31Ghoulam
  • 7Callejón
  • 5Marques Loureiro
  • 8Ruiz
  • 20Zielinski
  • 14Mertens
  • 9LlorenteSubstituted forElmasat 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Meret
  • 2Malcuit
  • 6Mário Rui
  • 11Lozano
  • 12Elmas
  • 13Luperto
  • 23Hysaj
  • 24Insigne
  • 27Karnezis
  • 34Younes
  • 70Gaetano
  • 99Milik

Brescia

  • 1Joronen
  • 2SabelliBooked at 33mins
  • 15Cistana
  • 14Chancellor
  • 26MartellaSubstituted forMatejuat 68′minutes
  • 25Bisoli
  • 4Tonali
  • 27DessenaSubstituted forOrestes Caldeiraat 72′minutes
  • 7SpalekSubstituted forMatriat 85′minutes
  • 9Donnarumma
  • 45Balotelli

Substitutes

  • 3Mateju
  • 5Gastaldello
  • 8Zmrhal
  • 18Aye
  • 21Matri
  • 22Alfonso
  • 23Morosini
  • 28Orestes Caldeira
Referee:
Gianluca Manganiello

Match Stats

Home TeamNapoliAway TeamBrescia
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home20
Away16
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Napoli 2, Brescia 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Napoli 2, Brescia 1.

Attempt missed. Eljif Elmas (Napoli) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Dries Mertens following a corner.

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Ales Mateju.

Attempt blocked. Fabián Ruiz (Napoli) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Elseid Hysaj.

Attempt saved. José Callejón (Napoli) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Piotr Zielinski.

Corner, Brescia. Conceded by Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Attempt saved. Elseid Hysaj (Napoli) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by José Callejón.

Attempt blocked. Alessandro Matri (Brescia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Brescia. Conceded by Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Attempt blocked. Alfredo Donnarumma (Brescia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mario Balotelli with a headed pass.

Foul by Eljif Elmas (Napoli).

Sandro Tonali (Brescia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Piotr Zielinski (Napoli) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dries Mertens.

Foul by Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Andrea Cistana (Brescia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Alessandro Matri (Brescia) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stefano Sabelli with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Brescia. Alessandro Matri replaces Nikolas Spalek.

Dries Mertens (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ales Mateju (Brescia).

Corner, Brescia. Conceded by Elseid Hysaj.

Attempt blocked. Dimitri Bisoli (Brescia) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Mario Balotelli.

Attempt missed. Mario Balotelli (Brescia) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sandro Tonali with a cross following a set piece situation.

Hand ball by Eljif Elmas (Napoli).

David Ospina (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfredo Donnarumma (Brescia).

Booking

Elseid Hysaj (Napoli) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Elseid Hysaj (Napoli).

Rômulo (Brescia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Napoli. Elseid Hysaj replaces Nikola Maksimovic because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Mario Balotelli (Brescia) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Stefano Sabelli with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Napoli. Eljif Elmas replaces Fernando Llorente.

Substitution

Substitution, Brescia. Rômulo replaces Daniele Dessena.

Attempt missed. Dries Mertens (Napoli) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Piotr Zielinski with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Brescia. Ales Mateju replaces Bruno Martella.

Goal!

Goal! Napoli 2, Brescia 1. Mario Balotelli (Brescia) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Sandro Tonali with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brescia. Conceded by Nikola Maksimovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Napoli. Sebastiano Luperto replaces Kostas Manolas.

Attempt missed. Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Nikola Maksimovic with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Jhon Chancellor.

goal