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Italian Serie A

San Paolo (ATT 42,000) 9th March 2014 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: G Rocchi

Napoli Napoli vs Roma Roma

Napoli 1

J Callejon (81)


Roma 0

Napoli close on Roma

Last Updated: 09/03/14 9:57pm

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Gonzalo Higuain fends off Leandro Castan

Gonzalo Higuain fends off Leandro Castan

Napoli moved to within three points of second-paced Roma, opening up a 10-point gap over Fiorentina in fourth thanks to a 1-0 win over the Giallorossi on Sunday evening.

Jose Callejon scored the only goal of the game nine minutes from time as Rafa Benitez's men strengthened their claim for Champions League football against next season.

The result will also have been met with delight in Turin, where Juventus now hold a 14-point advantage over Roma, who have a game in hand, with a third straight Scudetto looking increasingly likely.

It was a game which swung from end to end with both goalkeepers called into action regularly, and rising to the challenges thrown their way.

Medhi Benatia had the ball in the back of the net in the 26th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

It was nevertheless a warning with Roma putting Napoli under some heavy pressure in the first half, Gervinho looking particularly lively and he brought the first great save out of Pepe Reina in the 28th minute.

Two minutes later, the former Arsenal player exchanged passes with Alessandro Florenzi, but was unable to control the return ball with only Reina to beat.

Just before half time, Michel Bastos had Reina at full stretch to turn his angled shot over before Morgan De Sanctis was called into action for the first time on the stroke of half-time to turn Dries Mertens' shot away.

Callejon squandered a great chance to put the hosts in front early in the second half with only De Sanctis to beat, but the Roma goalkeeper blocked with his legs.

The ball was not fully cleared, however, and a cross from Christian Maggio was sent over the crossbar on the half-volley by Gonzalo Higuain.

Napoli were now starting to ask more of the questions.

Reina still had to be alert to turn a deflected Maicon shot behind with a strong left hand before Callejon's 20-yard volley was diffused by De Sanctis.

There was no way any goalkeeper was going to get near to Callejon's next effort, though, as he planted Faouzi Ghoulam's cross better than a postage stamp in the top right-hand corner, the ball grazing both the post and the crossbar on its way in.

The game became stretched for the final nine minutes as Roma searched for an equaliser, but they could not find one as their berth in the Champions League group stage came under pressure, and their Scudetto hopes suffered a further setback.

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Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 16 39
2 Roma 15 35
3 Napoli 16 27
4 Sampdoria 15 26
5 Genoa 15 26
6 Lazio 15 26
7 AC Milan 15 24
8 Fiorentina 15 23
9 Udinese 15 21
10 Palermo 15 21
11 Inter Milan 15 20
12 Sassuolo 15 19
13 Verona 15 17
14 Empoli 15 16
15 Torino 15 14
16 Atalanta 15 14
17 Chievo 15 13
18 Cagliari 16 12
19 Cesena 15 8
20 Parma 16 7