Napoli moves 18 points clear atop Serie A; Lazio held

MILAN (AP) — Runaway Serie A leader Napoli extended its advantage to 18 points after beating Atalanta 2-0 on Saturday.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Amir Rrahmani scored in the second half.

Lazio missed the chance to leapfrog second-placed Inter Milan when it was held to 0-0 at Bologna.

Atalanta’s fifth loss in seven matches diminished further its chances of qualifying for the Champions League. Atalanta was placed sixth, five points below fourth-placed Roma ahead of the Giallorossi’s match against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Napoli was looking to bounce back from losing to Lazio last weekend, its second league loss.

It plays Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, leading 2-0 from the first leg, but coach Luciano Spalletti opted not to rotate his squad.

Napoli dominated and almost broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion at the start of the second half but Victor Osimhen’s overhead kick was straight at Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso.

Instead, Kvaratskhelia scored an impressive opener on the hour mark when he collected the ball from Osimhen and weaved his way into the area, twisting and turning between defenders, before blasting into the roof of the net.

Rrahmani all but sealed the win in the 77th when he headed a corner into the far bottom corner.


Lazio could have moved into second on Saturday. Instead, it could end the round outside the top four.

The draw at Bologna left it third, a point behind Inter and two ahead of Roma and AC Milan ahead of the Rossoneri's match at home to lowly Salernitana on Monday.

Lazio hosts Roma in the city derby next weekend.

In Bologna, the host had the best chance of the match in the 28th minute when Giorgos Kyriakopoulos crossed from the left to the back post where Lewis Ferguson incredibly headed onto the upright from point-blank range.

Lazio went close shortly after but Bologna goalkeeper Łukasz Skorupski pulled off a double save to deny, first, Luis Alberto, and then Felipe Anderson.


Udinese got back to winning ways by 1-0 over Empoli.

Rodrigo Becão headed in early in the second half to help Udinese to its first win since January.


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Daniella Matar, The Associated Press