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Napoli hit back twice, cut Juve's lead

  • Published at 05:19 am April 19th, 2018
Napoli hit back twice, cut Juve's lead
Napoli added a new twist to the Serie A title race when they twice came from behind to beat Udinese 4-2 Wednesday and cut Juventus' lead to four points after the Turin side were held 1-1 at relegation-threatened Crotone. Crotone striker Simy scored with a bicycle kick that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of to peg back leader Juve who host second-placed Napoli in a potential title showdown Sunday. Fiorentina forward Jordan Veretout scored a hat-trick but was on the losing side in a 4-3 home defeat by Lazio in which two players were sent off in the first 15 minutes, visiting coach Simone Inzaghi was dismissed and a penalty was revoked by VAR. Juve, chasing a seventh successive title, lead with 85 points, followed by Napoli on 81 with AS Roma and Lazio on 64 in the other two Champions League places. At one point in the evening, it looked as if Juve could go nine points clear as they led and Napoli fell behind. Alex Sandro scored with a glancing header in the 17th minute for the champion but they were stunned by Simy's second-half effort. A loose ball bounced up into the area and the Nigerian, with his back to goal, leapt into the air and acrobatically fired past Wojciech Szczesny. Crotone remained in the drop zone, one point adrift of SPAL who drew 0-0 at home to Chievo. Udinese, who had lost their previous nine league games, stunned Napoli with a goal by Jakub Jankto four minutes before halftime. Lorenzo Insigne levelled in first-half stoppage time only for Svante Ingelsson to put the Friuli back ahead early in the second half. Defender Raul Albiol headed Napoli level a second time before goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Tonelli ensured three points for the host. There was an astonishing opening in Florence where Fiorentina goalkeeper Marco Sportiello was sent off for handling outside his area in the seventh minute. Lazio defender Alessandro Murgia followed seven minutes later for tripping up Federico Chiesa when he had a clear run on goal and Veretout curled home the resulting free kick. Already angry over that decision, Lazio were livid when Fiorentina were awarded a contentious penalty in the 31st minute for a trip by Luiz Felipe on Cristiano Biraghi, calmly dispatched by Veretout. Disgruntled Lazio coach Inzaghi was sent off for one protest too many and missed a stunning comeback by his team as Luis Alberto curled in an exquisite free kick in the 39th minute before Martin Caceres headed Lazio level before halftime. Veretout put Fiorentina back in front with an individual goal before Lazio were awarded a penalty which was revoked by VAR for offside in the build-up. Felipe Anderson and Luis Alberto scored twice in four minutes to give Lazio the points but there were plenty of bad-tempered exchanges as Fiorentina pressed for a winner and the visitor wasted time. In other games, Champions League semi-finalist Roma beat Genoa 2-1 while Torino and AC Milan drew 1-1 after Andrea Belotti missed an early penalty for the host. RESULTS Benevento 0 Atalanta 3 (Freuler 21, Barrow 49, Gomez 67) Sampdoria 1 (Zapata 90+3) Bologna 0 Crotone 1 (Nwankwo 65) Juventus 1 (Sandro 16) Torino 1 (De Silvestri 70) Milan 1 (Bonaventura 9) Roma 2 (Under 17, Zukanovic 52-og) Genoa 1 (Lapadula 61) SPAL 0 Chievo 0 Napoli 4 (Insigne 45+2, Albiol 64, Milik 70, Tonelli 75) Udinese 2 (Jankto 41, Ingelsson 55) Fiorentina 3 (Veretout 16, 31-P, 54) Lazio 4 (Alberto 39, 73, Caceres 45, Anderson 69) Verona 0 Sassuolo 1 (Lemos 38)   POINTS TABLE Teams P W D L GD Pts Juventus 33 27 4 2 59 85 Napoli 33 25 6 2 47 81 Roma 33 19 7 7 25 64 Lazio 33 19 7 7 36 64 Inter 33 17 12 4 32 63 Milan 33 15 9 9 7 54
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