Napoli's Dries Mertens reveals the reason for his weird celebration against AS Roma

AS Roma v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Napoli closed the gap on AS Roma on Saturday afternoon by claiming a vital three points in the Italian capital with a 2-1 win.

Gli Azzurri were third, five points off second-placed Roma prior to the game, but narrowed the margin to just two following their confidence-boosting win.

And it was also a warning to Juventus that, despite the reigning Serie A champions boasting a seven-point advantage at the top of the league, Napoli are strong enough to dethrone Max Allegri's men.


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Ultimately, the chances of either themselves or Roma dethroning the Old Lady at the top of Serie A remain very slim - with Juve boasting a game in hand with a trip to Udinese on Sunday.

But despite it seemingly still not being enough to help Napoli go one better than their second-place finish last season, they could now be on course to at least replicate where they finished in the table last campaign.

Roma had won eight of their last nine league games before Napoli arrived at the Stadio Olimpico, while the visitors had suffered a 2-0 home defeat to surprise package Atalanta just last weekend.

On paper, the odds were in the Giallorossi's favour, but thanks to Belgium forward Dries Mertens, Napoli were able to make up for defeat last weekend and close the gap on their second-placed opponents.

The Belgian headed over Marek Hamsik's cross early on, but the outcome of the game could have been very different had Diego Perotti's effort not have been ruled out for handball.

AS Roma v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Mertens then produced a clever chip to beat the onrushing Roma 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny, following Hamsik's defence-splitting pass, to give the visitors the lead.

However, again, Roma went close - this time seeing Kevin Strootman fire his shot over the bar - but after 50 minutes it was Mertens back in the spotlight again to double Napoli's lead.

But Strootman atoned for his miss earlier in the match with a final-minute goal to halve the deficit - although it was ultimately not enough.

Mertens' doggy-style celebration

The game produced a number of memorable moments, but none more so than Mertens' celebration for his opening goal.

AS Roma v SSC Napoli - Serie A

As can be seen in the clip below, the 29-year-old gets on his hands and knees at the corner flag and walks like a dog before pretending to wee on the corner flag.

We have seen some very bizarre, amusing and outrageous celebrations over the years and across the leagues, but this was baffling by the Napoli star.

However, after the game, Mertens simply explained his celebration with an Instagram post of himself and his dog, Juliette, simply writing: "#forzanapolisempre".

But while we could bet against Mertens recreating that celebration any time soon, we wouldn't want to doubt his chances of finishing as Serie A's top goalscorer this season - with his two goals on Saturday putting him just a single goal behind top scorer Edin Dzeko.

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