Watch: Mertens clips in swerving stunner as Napoli spank Empoli

Oh he'll be pleased with that! The Belgian hit his sixth, seventh and eighth goals of the season as Napoli closed the gap on Juve...

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Napoli have had a rough old time of it this year, losing their inspirational manager to Chelsea after the Scudetto slipped through their fingers in the closing weeks of last season.

But one thing they can still count on is the sumptuous striking talent of Belgian Dries Mertens.

The 31-year-old hit the net 18 times in Serie A last season after 28 goal campaign the year before – stepping in to fill the considerable gap left by Gonzalo Higuain’s backside in the Neapolitan frontline.

And he’s back on the same pace again this season. He lashed in a hat-trick last night as the Partenopei high-fived Empoli in a thrashing at the San Paolo.

This swinging screamer from the edge of the box was the pick of the bunch, arching and looping over Ivan Provedel and into the side netting to make it 3-1 to the home side.

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As ever, respect to Eleven Sports for sharing.

Just for good measure, he sealed his hat-trick with a sweeping counter in injury time.

Not a bad night’s work.

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