By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Partenopei were dominant in the game and had many chances to score but luck seemed to have deserted them until the second half.
A counter-attack led to Marek Hamsik making a quick turn and seemingly entering the penalty box but an outstretched leg brought down the midfielder before he could get a shot on goal. The referee subsequently brandished a red card for Gastaldello's challenge although doubts lingered amongst the Sampdoria players who felt that Hamsik was outside the penalty area and was not denied a clear goalscoring opportunity to warrant such a harsh punishment.
Mazzarri, who had earlier been sent off for his animated gestures from the sidelines, felt the referee got it right and praised his side for demonstrating the maturity needed to grind out the result on the day.
"It was on the line and the line is part of the penalty area,'' the Italian said.
"We have matured compared to last year, when we would've lost a game like this."
And he denied causing any problems during the game and commented, "The red card? My only fault was waving my arms about."
Sampdoria coach Ciro Ferrara, on the other hand, was much more critical as he told reporters: "Was Daniele Gastaldello’s tackle outside the box? It’s all nonsense.”
"It was an unbalanced encounter, as our team had so many youngsters. We put in a great performance in the circumstances."
Napoli are impressing in the Serie A and Cavani's sixth goal of the season sees them level on points with defending champions Juventus at the top of the table.
The two sides will square off in Turin for the season's first high-profile title clash on October 20.