Pandev double earns Genoa 2-1 win over Napoli

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(Reuters) - Two goals from veteran striker Goran Pandev gave mid-table Genoa a shock 2-1 victory against Napoli as the visitors' stuttering Serie A form continued on Saturday.

The 37-year-old was left unmarked in the box twice in the first half and finished calmly on both occasions to give Davide Ballardini’s side a comfortable lead before the break.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side eventually broke through in the 79th minute when Matteo Politano rifled home after a poor defensive clearance but it was too little too late.

The defeat leaves Napoli fifth with 37 points from 20 games, three points behind fourth-placed AS Roma with a match in hand.

It was Napoli's third loss in six league games, after setbacks against Spezia and Hellas Verona in the last month.

Gattuso's job has come under scrutiny as a result, and the Napoli coach was again left frustrated after seeing familiar mistakes from his players.

"Today there's little to say, it's the same game we played against Spezia," he told DAZN.

"Mistakes can happen, but it's true that we're paying a high price for them. We're not training much, there isn't time, we're always playing."

Genoa scored with their only two shots on target as Pandev’s brace took his season's tally to three goals, making him the oldest player to register at least two goals and two assists in one of Europe’s 'top five' leagues this season.

At the other end, Napoli were frustrated as Andrea Petagna’s header rattled the bar, Mattia Perin pulled off a string of excellent saves and Lorenzo Insigne volleyed against the post.

"Today I can only compliment the team, we did everything, we gave away two goals," added Gattuso. "There's a lot of regret, this year we're conceding a lot of identical goals."

Genoa climb to 11th place on 24 points from 21 games after going unbeaten in their last five league matches.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)