Napoli overcame an early scare to beat Chievo 3-1 and move level on points with Juventus at the top of Serie A.
Maurizio Sarri’s team had only picked up two points from their previous three games and got off to a dreadful start at Stadio San Paolo when Vlad Chiriches gave away possession in a dangerous area, allowing Nicola Rigoni to score in the second minute on Saturday.
Napoli made a prompt response in the sixth minute, though, with Gonzalo Higuain slotting home Faouzi Ghoulam’s cut-back for his 26th Serie A goal of a magnificent campaign.
Chiriches then redeemed himself seven minutes before the break when he lost his marker to head in Jorginho’s cross.
Higuain was denied a second goal by Albano Bizzarri’s super save, but the win was sealed when former Real Madrid winger Jose Callejon converted Allan’s pass with 20 minutes remaining.
The win sees Napoli join Juve on 61 points at the summit, with Massimiliano Allegri’s men facing an away game against Atalanta on Sunday in their game in hand.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria eased their relegation hopes with a comfortable 3-0 win at bottom club Verona.
Roberto Soriano and Antonio Cassano both scored from rebounds early on and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ excellent volley had the visitors three goals up within 30 minutes, which was how the score remained.
After a second straight victory, Samp now have an eight-point cushion over the bottom three, while Verona are nine points adrift of safety having only won two of their 28 games.
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