x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

European round-up: Napoli stay in the Serie A title hunt

Setback for Atletico Madrid in Spain as draw sees them lose ground to neighbours Real in fight for second place.

Napoli had plenty to celebrate in their 2-0 success over Cagliari.
Napoli had plenty to celebrate in their 2-0 success over Cagliari.

Title-challengers Napoli closed the gap to Serie A leaders Juventus to nine points thanks to a 2-0 win over outclassed Genoa at the San Paulo on Sunday.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, saw their hopes of a place in next season's Champions League kept in check by a shock 4-3 reverse to Atalanta, for whom Argentine German Denis scored a hat-trick.

Inter's 11th reverse of the season ended amid ugly scenes as Ezequiel Schelotto remonstrated with several of his former Atalanta teammates and had to be held back by security.

The visitors' coach Stefano Colantuono told Sky Sport there was little surprise in the result: "We prepared for this game really well and I can only praise the efforts of the whole team."

Juve, who were given a scare by strugglers Pescara on their way to a 2-1 win on Saturday, are still top with a nine-point lead on Napoli with Milan still third but four points off second place after giving up a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw away to Fiorentina.

Fiorentina, in fourth, are six points further off the pace but two ahead of Lazio ahead of the 'Derby della Capitale' on Monday away to Roma, with Inter sixth also on 50 points.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid lost more ground on Real Madrid in the race for second place in the Spanish Primera Liga as they held on for a 0-0 draw at Getafe on Sunday despite being reduced to nine men.

The visitors had the better of the chances in the first-half, but had to ride their luck in the second as Getafe were denied a strong claim for a penalty before Mario Suarez was sent-off for a second yellow card.

Thibaut Courtois then had to make a fine save from Borja Fernandez with six minutes remaining before Diego Godin was also given his marching orders for a second bookable offence in stoppage time.

The draw means Atletico have now won just one of their last five league games and manager Diego Simeone accepts they are struggling to reproduce their early season form. "The season is very long and the opponents start to know you and look for solutions," he told a press conference.

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