Rafael Benitez’s Napoli committed Serie A leaders Juventus to their only second defeat of the season on Sunday with a 2-0 victory to help blow the Scudetto race open, and should Roma, who have a game in hand beat Parma on Wednesday, the Old Lady’s lead will be decimated to eight points.
Juventus, who were unbeaten in 22 league games, headed into Sunday’s game at the Stadio San Paolo with their heads high, but goals from Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens secured third-placed Napoli the victory.
Roma trimmed the gap to the defending champions back to 11 points on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Sassuolo.
The Giallorossi took a half-time lead through Mattia Destro before Michel Bastos added a second deep into second-half stoppage time to ensure a
fourth straight win for Rudi Garcia’s men.
Elsewhere in the table, the race for the Europa League spots continued, as fourth- placed Fiorentina drew 0-0 at Sampdoria while sixth-placed Parma went down to a last-gasp goal at Lazio, who moved to within two points of their opponents with the 3-2 victory.
Parma forward Jonathan Biabiany had cancelled out Senad Lulic’s opener before Michael Ciani’s own-goal brought the visitors level once again following Miroslav Klose’s second-half effort.
Italy winger Antonio Candreva decided the outcome with a stoppage-time strike.
Also on Sunday, 10th-placed Torino took full advantage of Cagliari’s woeful away record to claim a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals in either half from Omar El Kaddouri and Alessio Cerci before Nene grabbed a rare consolation goal for Cagliari.
The Sardinians have not won away in Serie A since February last year – a run of 21 games – and their arrival was welcomed by a Torino side that had seen their European ambitions falter after five defeats in their past six games.
Luca Toni scored twice as 10-man Hellas Verona snapped a run of four straight Serie A defeats with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Genoa – despite playing half the match with a man less.
Verona ended their winless and goalless run since February 23rd after beating Livorno since February 23rd, which ducked them in 10th spot, but they ended that run thanks to Marco Donadel’s first-half goal and Toni’s late brace.
Toni’s goals came despite the fact Verona had been playing with 10 men since Michaelangelo Albertazzi’s dismissal on the stroke of half-time.