Napoli missed a chance to move within three points of table-toppers AC Milan after they lost 2-1 at home to Udinese in the Serie A on Sunday.
AC Milan now sit six points clear at the top and with just five matches remaining, look to have the title sewn up after slip-ups from their nearest title rivals, Inter and Napoli.
Udinese entered the match missing the Serie A’s top scorer, Antonio Di Natale (26 goals in 31 matches) and strike partner Alexis Sanchez (12 in 24) due to foot and thigh injuries respectively and were only given an outside chance of victory against the title-chasing hosts at the Stadio San Paolo.
But they were able to get through the opening half unscathed and stunned the home crowd when Gokhan Inler found the back of the net just 10 minutes into the second half.
Buoyed by the goal, Napoli had the momentum and grabbed another six minutes later when German Denis scored on the hour-mark and although Giuseppe Mascara scored a consolation goal in the fourth minute of injury time, Walter Mazzarri’s side slumped to their first home loss since October.
A Mauro Zarate-inspired Lazio won 4-1 at Catania, thanks to a goal and two assists from the Argentine.
Zarate had to start on the bench after turning up late to training in mid-week, but was introduced after 14 minutes as Lazio took a 40th-minute lead through Hernanes.
Catania hit back straight after the break thanks to a Ezequiel Schelotto but Zarate started to dominate, setting up firstly Stefano Mauri for his 56th minute goal before he again provided an assist, this time for Sergio Floccari with 12 minutes to play.
Zarate had time to cap off a terrific day with a goal in the 89th minute as Lazio closed with three points of third-placed Inter, who occupy one of the automatic qualification spots for the Champions League.
In other matches, goals to Fabiano and Daniele Corvia in the last five minutes secured a 3-3 draw for Lecce at home to Cagliari while Genoa also scored three, routing Brescia 3-0 thanks to second-half strikes from Rafinha, Luca Antonelli and a Gaetano Berardi own goal.
Fiorentina and Juventus played out a goalless draw in a match that promised plenty but delivered little while Chievo played the entire second half with 10 men but won 2-0 at home to Bologna thanks to goals from Kevin Constant and Michele Marcolini.
Erjon Bogdani’s 48th minute strike was enough to lift newly promoted Cesena out of the relegation zone, as they won 1-0 at home to bottom-side Bari.
Cesena have now been replaced by Sampdoria in 18th, who after losing key strikers Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini to AC Milan and Inter in January, have now just won two of their last 17 Serie A matches.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!