Napoli reduced the gap on Roma with a tense 1-0 win at the Stadio San Paolo last night, leaving Rafa Benitez’s Napoli just three points behind second-paced Roma in the battle for an automatic Champions League spot.
The match was meandering towards a goalless draw before Faouzi Ghoulam sent over a cross that was met by Jose Callejon who headed into the top right corner on the 81st minute.
Roma did find the back of the net in the 24th minute when Alessandro Florenzi’s free-kick was headed home by Mehdi Benatia but it was correctly disallowed for offside.
It was a frustrating match for Roma, who had attempted four shots on target in the first half.
Meanwhile, Juventus won the first of three games against Fiorentina over the next 12 days thanks to Kwadwo Asamoah’s goal.
The Juve winger struck just before half time to cement the Old Lady’s position at the top of Serie A. Furthermore, it gives Antonio Conte’s men confidence for their next two meetings with the Viola in the last 16 of the Europa League.
Juve stamped their authority on the game, leaving Fiorentina chasing shadows, and the ball. Conte’s men failed to do much with their possession, however, and a long ball which just touched the toe end of a full-stretch Carlos Tevez was indicative of how they were not getting to that final ball.
Asamoah had two good chances with a volley deflected behind and another shot just missing the far post, and it was a case of third time lucky for the Juve winger, who scored just before half-time. Asamoah skipped into the penalty area with a trick taking him past three Fiorentina defenders before his shot deflected into the far corner, off the inside of the post.
Also, Rodrigo Palacio’s first-half header gave Inter a narrow 1-0 victory over Torino. Palacio nodded in the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark as Inter returned to winning ways after draws in their previous two league games.
Sampdoria came from two goals down to beat Livorno 4-2 with a rousing second-half display. Ibrahima Mbaye scored his first goals in Serie A to crown one of Livorno’s best halves of football this season, but that was still not enough to ease their relegation worries.
Instead, Domenico Di Carlo’s men capitulated in the second half with Nenad Krsticic bringing Samp back into the game before a Federico Ceccherini own goal drew them level. Stefano Okaka and Manolo Gabbiadini then sealed the win for the Blucerchiati.